15 Things I didn’t expect in Jordan. ‘Are there that many things you didn’t expect?’ You ask me.
Yes, and most likely there are even more but my memory isn’t the greatest. There are endless of blog posts on the internet about things that are going to happen, however I didn’t spot a didn’t expect post from Jordan. So I decided to be your hero and create a 15 things I didn’t expect in Jordan post for you guys. You’re welcome.
When you visit the country, in this case Jordan, all those articles you previously read will disappear. You’re experiencing your own version of the country or a city, so most likely those articles won’t be anywhere near the things that happened to you. Except for this one. These are 15 things I didn’t expect in Jordan, and I’m certain you wouldn’t see them coming either.
15 Things I didn’t expect in Jordan
The first things would be the cats vs dogs part. Cats seem to win everywhere in Jordan. There are cats everwehere, but are well-taken care off, which is something I really respect. Unfortunately, the dogs have is a bit harder here. In general people in Jordan tend to think that cats are cleaner, and therefore like them more. I’m more of a cat’s person as you guys probably know (if not go to the homepage of my blog and go over my photo, it will speak for itself, or to the about me page), but that doesn’t mean that I think that other animals should be treated anything less.
Yes tissues, they are literally everywhere. In stores you have those big boxes standing everywhere, in restaurants, in taxis and cars. In hotel rooms you have approximately three boxes per person and in hostels, they’re everywhere as well. I know it’s useful when you need to sneeze and you need to make sure your nose is empty again (sorry for the image you have in front of your eyes right now), but I’ve never been in a country where tissues have been a real invasion.
Jordan is a country that is filled with good and cheap food. ‘Insert Donald Trump voice in here’. It is everywhere, really, it’s great . But I’m not joking. From the best falafel and bread you’ve ever tried to fresh lemon-mint juice and from Mansaf (a typical Jordan dish) to shawarma. The Jordanians like their food fresh, just like me. There are stands on the side of the road with pomegranate, olives and other sorts of fruits and vegetables. There are ten or twenty stands in a row next to the highway and people buy an enormous amount.
No, I didn’t mean to spell Messi. Even though I think the country is incredible, my Jordanian friends also mentioned that the country is not well-taken care off sometimes. Its citizens in general don’t care a lot about nature and about keeping it clean. People throw plastic out of their cars like it will be the end of their lives if they do not do it.
In fact, I was sitting in a cab and got a bottle of water from the guy driving it(I unfortunately didn’t have a sustainable bottle yet since it wasn’t delivered on time before my trip..). He also got a drink in a bottle and since he was driving he put his one in the bottleplacer in the car. When he was finished, before I could respond, he threw the plastic bottle out of the car and said ‘now you can place your bottle in it’. I was literally too shocked to answer. As we were driving further I could see the plastic everywhere, from hanging onto trees to flying through the sky.
Actually, this was one of the first things I noticed when I first arrived in Jordan. The garbage even makes its way into almost all the natural parks, includings Wadi Rum, and Dana Biosphere Reserve.
To be stared at isn’t a big deal here in Jordan. Actually, it seems to be a custom. You’re only part of the Jordanian culture when you stare back I assume. Jordanians stare at everyone but, where in other countries they will be creepy and follow you, they most likely won’t do that in Jordan. Honestly, you’ll get used to things like this as soon as you decide to not give a fuck about it anymore. Which for me happened quite fast luckily.
I did get some marriageproposels though, but unfortunately I had to refuse since the guys didn’t have a ring yet. #foreveralone
One unfortunate thing is that it is incredibly hard for many people to get a job in Jordan. It’s hard for students, for graduates, for people who worked years already but suddenly got fired. There is not a lot of work available, therefore many tend to do volunteerwork, but if that isn’t what you had in mind when you graduated then it’s logical you’re getting frustrated.
Tourism is down since its region is unstable and in general people tend to think that all countries in the region are not safe. Jordan is not less safe than a European country, or than countries as the U.S.A or Australia. Plenty of people were able to live from tourism, however, now it is crazy when you look at the amount of people that are visiting Petra, for example.
This photo below was taken in the middle of the day in Petra. Normally the red city has thousands of visitors, a day, now it’s a few hundred.
Before I came to Jordan I’ve read some articles about the country. Most of the times I read that people in Jordan are really nice and friendly, however, I didn’t imagine it to be like this.
Jordanians are even more friendly than every article or guide would tell you. Wherever you walk you would hear ‘Welcome to Jordan’, or if you just had a conversation with a citizen they will tell you afterwards ‘Welcome to Jordan’. It’s funny, but it at the same time makes you feel really welcome.
Whenever you have a question or are in doubt a Jordanian will be sure to help you, or if they don’t speak English they will try to find someone who does. They will give you tips, even invite you for diner sometimes and turn to be great guides that show you the country from a whole different point of view.
It is honestly so sad that tourism is down while its such a safe and beautiful country, I’ve never felt this safe in my travels before. I even walked through the streets during the evening. Nothing, nada, completely safe but you need to walk with common sense of course, like everywhere.
Everyone has a car, and a family of five people easily has five cars, so you can imagine that Jordans capital, Amman, is pretty darn overcrowded. With everyone being impatient while honking their horn constantly, it is not nice to be stuck in the middle of downtown Amman during rushhour. Trust me, you don’t want this to happen. And yes, I’m speaking out of experience.
Another thing, that would’ve resulted into an incredible amount of carcrashes in other countries but magically not here, there are no rules on the road. There are none. Seriously, when I was sitting in cars with some friends of mine I was so shocked they were able to drive without crashing into other cars. For example, people sometimes drive on the wrong side of the road on a highway and no one would care. Sometimes it’s just a bit more fast as the roads are every now and then diveded into two with concrete walls in the middle. Otherwise the drivers need to drive 10 minutes up to the next entrance and then 10 minutes down to where they actually came from. Which costs them already 20 minutes more than usual.
I get it, but it’s freaking terrifying if you don’t expect anything like that.
First thing first, I hate flies. Second, I hate them even more when they bite.
Yes they have freaking flies in Jordan that bite. I hate them. I wanted to kill them all, but those little creatures are fast and clever, unfortunately.
When I was in Wadi Rum, I did a tour through the desert with other people when we had lunch at a perfect spot (that’s what I thought…), those flies came at me like the policehelicopters and cars when you killed many people in GTA without using cheatcodes. The flies were suddenly everywhere and tried to bite each one of us. Of course not just once, no, that would’ve been too nice. And they are not nice, you hear me? Ten, twenty or maybe even thirty times as they only went away when we escaped by going into our car again while driving of with fast speed.
Be warned. Wadi Rum is gorgeous, and not to miss but make sure to have your electrical ‘flies killer’ thingy with you. Or just make sure to be faster than me. It’s a challenge. Don’t forget to tell me if you killed them. I want to see bloody pictures of those basterds.
This would’ve been the last thing I would’ve guessed really, but Jordanian beer is pretty awesome in case you didn’t know. I had no clue it was so good and many people drink it in Jordan. Fortunately I was in luck, as my Jordanian friend in Amman took me to a nice bar where we tried out a few beers.
If you’re heading to Jordan anytime soon, or are there at the moment, please try it, it is seriously really tastefu. And you guys all know that when a Dutch person says that (as we were basically fed with beer instead of milk) that it means something.
Mountains can and will change their colour in Jordan. As a person born and raised in a flat country I’m always amazed to see mountains or high hills (that I would most likely call mountains to, since they are bigger than our hills we have). The views from on top of these beautiful creations are endless, and we are always in for good views right?
Curve after curve, hill after hill, the views change constantly but surely never disappoint. When it’s early in the morning or if it rained, even just a little bit, the rocks and mountains change their colours faster than you can imagine. They will go from black to yellow and from red to white, with the most perfect combinations created by mother nature.
I had no idea this was even possible, but as soon as I witnessed it I was amazed. It’s just a magical experience.
Jordan is really a progressive country, especially in its capital, Amman, you will find plenty of girls and women dressed up in lowneck shirts and skinny jeans. However, not in all areas, I tried to only wear skinny jeans in the capital and chose to wear wider clothes in other parts of the country. When I did wear skinny jeans I made sure to hide my form by adding a long blouse or vest over it.
I know that actually a lot of people wear shorts and tanktops when they are in Petra, thinking it’s okay. However, I heard (and it’s quite logical as it is mostly a muslim country) that the people won’t tell you to dress different because you’re their income. Just because they don’t say it doesn’t mean it’s okay to dress like that. They won’t tell you but they will behave different towards you and will talk about you to others.
So, please be careful with the way you dress please, people will respect you more when you do that.
For a person who eats diner between 17:30 and 18:30, late diner has always been a bit difficult for me. Either I’m not hungry anymore or I feel like I can eat the entire world and stop after a few bites since I ate to fast.
In Jordan it is really common to eat at around 10 pm, which is late, period. So when I was with friends and they told me their diner time I was shocked, then not so shocked as, for instance, Spain is not better on this part. I just can’t get used to it, but when eating with friends I didn’t have a choice and happily joined in of course.
So if you happen to become friends with Jordanians and they invite you for diner, it most likely will become late. Unless you’re being invited into a cavehouse in Petra (take them up at the offer, the views are incredible and so if the food), because they will eat mostly after sunset and after Petra closes.
I’m not talking about famous people here, I’m talking about nature at its best. When I got invited into the cave to watch the sunset, have good chats and enjoy the view and diner it blew my mind. When I, after diner, walked back with my friend to the treasury to watch ‘Petra by night’, the amount of stars were unreal. It was mindblowing.
Wherever I was looking I could only see stars, everywhere, in every corner, behind thousands of stars there would be another thousand.
A day later, I met new people and made new friends who showed me the treasury from the top, the sunset of the town nearby Petra (Wadi Mousa) and introduced me to even more people who then showed me other incredible parts of the surroundings.
I saw ‘Little Petra’ by night while it’s actually closed then, but because they knew the people there we were allowed in where the stars were incredible once again. We put the car later on in the middle of nowhere, got out and started looking at stars with Wadi Mousa in the distance.
If you have the chance, go and look at the stars as long as possible. It will be an experience you will never forget, and it will make you feel incredibly small.
As long as your foreign people will think you’re a special kind of species. Whether you’re pale and blond like me, or are for example black with your beautiful hair that they’re not used to seeing. You will feel like a celebrity no matter what you look like.
Pictures after pictures, that made me think of several things. First, I’m glad I’m not famous that would be awful. Second, I should charge big bucks here and become a millionaire. Third, did that 8 year old girl just walk up to me, took a photo of me and walked away like it was normal? Fourth, okay, I’m done, no more photos.
It happened so often that I eventually got annoyed and just told them I wouldn’t take photos with them anymore. What also happened is that I thought people asked me to take a photo of them, which turned out to be that they wanted a photo with me. It’s a trap! Don’t fall for it.
Just kidding, sometimes it’s okay and fun and sometimes not. It all depends on your mood and on the way the people ask it.
You’re still here? I can’t believe it. That means A. you completely read (or most likely scrolled) through the ’15 Things I didn’t expect in Jordan’ post. And B. you’re totally my friend right now. If you are planning on going to Jordan it might be useful to pin it for futurereferences and talking about Jordan.. I made a new Youtube video that you can check out here.
That was my selfpromo part once again. Don’t forget to pin the 15 things I didn’t expect in Jordan for your future travels.