15 things I didn’t expect in Jordan

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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
1.Animals

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.

2.Tissues

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.

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3. Food

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.

4. Messy

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.

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5. Staring

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

6.Jobs

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.

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7.Friendly

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.

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8.Cars

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.

9.Flies

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.

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10.Beer

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.

11.Changing mountains

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.

12.Progressive

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.

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13.Diner

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.

14.Stars

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.

 

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15.Famous

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.

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  • I have experienced people taking photos with me just because my skin is different in India and China but I would have never imagined that you can find this “tradition” in Jordan as well. Regarding the food, I agree with you, they do have some amazing dishes, shawarma being one of my favorites (especially when they put eveeeering in it). I am definitely a cat person and walking on the streets of the Jordan cities and seeing so many cats would probably make me want to pet all of them 🙂

    • Hahah me neither to be honest, it was definitely something new 😉 Yes yes yesss, glad you agree, the food is just perfect, with the right amount of spices. Haha, catlovers unite!

  • A Road to Travel

    I love the article and want to travel to both Israel and Jordan. Currently in Ukraine and Bulgaria so it is possible we could do this soon. I hate flies, they seem to hurt more than a mosquito. BIg horseflys are the worst, hope they dont have those there. I was reading this week that they had not made wine or beer for over 5 years in Saudi Arabia because of the beliefs. I guess that what you practice is really much different, we had a three month visit to Turkey and they had great beer too.

    • You definitely should travel to both countries. But please, make sure to visit more of Jordan than just Wadi Rum and Petra, the country has so much to offer! What are you waiting for? haha, buy yourself that ticket! I figured that out there too, but all the good things in the country definitely overpower those basterds. It is indeed so different in each coutry, but that makes it at the same time really interesting too.

  • First, I liked the 1st pic most. How did you climb up there? 🙂

    I have also visited Jordan around 18 months back. To be honest, having come from India it looked home for those things that you mentioned (messy, staring etc. ) Shamefully, we do a lot of them, though as an individual I don’t. I can imagine how bad you’d have felt. I also hate flies.

    Overall, I think you enjoyed the trip and we should accept a place as it is. 🙂

    • Welll, I made friends with some locals and one of them brought me up there. It’s worth making local friends, always haha.

      Actually, the staring is okay once you get used to it, and I know it’s part of their culture so I take it the way it is 🙂 The thing I do feel bad about is the plastic though, as many of my friends from there hate that too, but there is unfortunately no solution. And indeed, every individual is different, 100%.

      I absolutely enjoyed the trip, for sure! I would recommend everyone to go there!

  • Great observation about the tissues, I didn’t notice in Jordan but in Morocco it’s exactly how you described! ‘Great food’, Donald Trump would repeat it over and over too! I didn’t know the number of tourists had dropped so drastically, I guess Jordan is in the wrong place at the moment with all the fighting going on around. That’s an amazing night shot of the stars, what a clear sky!

    • Somehow they love having them around haha. I think so too indeed. It is sad really, they try to do their upperbest but people are afraid with all the fighting in the region… I hope the tourists will come back because they certainly need it.

  • Rashmi and Chalukya

    Its always great to learn about places from perspective of travelers and we are impressed by your observations. We are cat person too and we are very sure we are going to love it there cuddling a few fur balls. Petra looks incredible in day as well as at night with those surreal pictures of stars. Jordan is high on list and we would love to make it someday soon.

    • Thank you both, that’s really great to hear! Hahah definitely, you will find them everywhere and feel like you’re in heaven sometimes. It is absolutely unreal, the skies are so clear and bright, mindblowing. Absolutely understandable, I hope you guys make it there really soon!

  • Jean Bean

    Cats and tissues? Maybe the tissues are there to keep the cats entertained? Ah the joys of travelling and experiencing a new culture and it’s quirks.

  • josiekelsh

    I am planning to get to Jordan by the end of the year so this was great! It’s so sad that tourism has dropped off because of the perception that it’s not safe. Like you said, it’s just the same as most of the world at the moment. I found the same in Turkey when we were there recently. The good part is that now is the time to travel to these places and avoid the crowds 🙂

  • The tissues are very interesting. I wonder why there is so much tissue everywhere. Growing up in Japan, we had tissue boxed in every room and there were always stores selling cute tissue box covers. Did Jordan have that as well?

  • I would love to visit Jordan! I am sorry to hear that story about the driver throwing the plastic bottle out the window. But seeing the beautiful stars and eating the delicious food would make up for that, I am sure. I’m also glad to hear that you felt so safe!

  • Your photography is stunning. I have always wanted to visit this area, but your pictures have certainly helped that decision. I love how you talked about the stars – something I would never have thought about. Such a cool perspective.

  • Mel

    I want to go to Jordan! It sounds like now is the time to go since there are fewer tourists. It’s really sad about the plastic everywhere, that would bum me out. The food and mountains sounds pretty great, though!

  • Arzo Travels

    Such an interesting post. Jordan is very high on my list, so these tips are very useful. Will keep in mind to stare back, haha. P.s. about the animals thing: I realized that in muslim countries they respect cats more than dogs, so this something I expected.

  • Carlinn

    Haha I liked the last bit, yes I did read it all and I really do want to go to Jordan. I think I would be really annoyed at the littering though as its something I cant stand! I am totally used to the staring at photo taking thing though, I get it in some places in Africa often with my long blonde hair. Its sad tourism is down, people like to throw a whole lot of different countries into the same group as being unsafe.

  • La Vida Viva Travel

    Awesome! I think what has drawn me in most is the stars and colourful mountains as I’m also someone from a flat city! I love that you can get out and see the sky light up like that. Also very surprised about the abundance of tissues, how interesting.

  • Sounds like you had a fantastic experience even if you were shocked by a few things. I do think some countries struggle with their litter issues far more than others.

  • A Datsev

    What a great list of curious facts about Jordan! Very original and nicely done! Kudos!

  • Sandy & Vyjay

    The sky full of stars was amazing. I long to see the sky studded with stars and even if that is the only reason to visit Jordan then I will. Although the tissue bit was hilarious. An honest article!

  • Jen

    This is quite insightful. It is interesting that the amount of people visiting the Red City has decreased so much. Do you know why that is?

  • Priyadarshini Rajendran

    Wow, you just made Jordan very interesting to me. It sounds a lot like my place back home 😉 But we have started to ban plastics sensibly from a few months.
    The point about tissues got me in splits 🙂 I would love to enjoy the stars as I am a romantic star-gazer. Thanks for the informative post. Hope Jordan’s tourism thrives and helps with more jobs for the locals.

  • Thank you for the post! It has been quite some since I have been in Jordan, so it is nice to read about again. I had a pretty crazy experience there, and the locals really stepped up to help me. (My purse containing my boyfriend’s and my passports was stolen as we were going to the airport to fly home… Quite an ordeal ensued, but due to the kindness of strangers we were able to get through it!)

    I always think back fondly on Jordan, and it makes me sad that tourism is down there right now. Makes me think I might need to start planning a return trip! (Sadly my camera was stolen, too, so now I need to go re-take all those epic photos in the Dead Sea and at Petra!)

  • Leigh

    I always wanted to go to Jordan – until my mom went last year and told me a very disturbing story about a Bedouin at Petra – a man jumped on a woman’s donkey and was rubbing himself up against her. Maybe it was an isolated incident, but that totally turned me off on the idea of visiting 🙁

  • Em

    Never been to Jordan but I do love beer and had no idea that Jordanian beer was a big thing. Maybe one day!

  • I love it that there are cats everywhere! I do love dogs too and it can be hard to be confronted with the way locals treat animals 🙁 Jordan seems like a very fascinating country to travel to. Did you take that beautiful picture with the stars?? Its stunning!

  • Michelle Zammit

    Jordan is on my bucket-list! Happy to read about some of the lesser-know things on this post, can’t wait to visit!

  • LOVE that picture of the stars at night! Really love all of this actually – Jordan is on my bucket list simply for its breathtaking beauty, but this is all great info to have!

  • Colby

    Wow! I just learned so much in this post. I definitely hope to visit Jordan some day and will be saving this for reference. I´ve also heard from many people that people in Jordan are extremely kind. It is so unfortunate that tourism has plummeted and many people will get to see the side not displayed across media.

    I never would have guessed about those flies, either. That´s awful!! Sheesh!

  • What a wonderful post about Jordan!! It is so high on my bucket list. I definitely wanna eat alllll the falafel now!

  • Clíodhna Ryan

    This post makes me want to go to Jordan! It’s so disappointing that tourism is down, especially when so many people there depend on it for an income. I totally agree with what you said about dressing appropriately. Just because no one says anything doesn’t mean it’s ok. I hadn’t heard a lot about Jordan but it sounds like a lovely place to visit.

  • Mohit Agarwal

    its good to see that the people are so friendly but the place seems quite weird for the amount of loitering that people have made even in the reserves….the sky view is something to totally die for

  • MelBTravel

    Jordan is one of those places that I have always wanted to go to but I have never gotten too. Good to see a post that is not just talking about the good things but the realisation of the bad too. Thanks for the honest option.

  • Ha that’s so funny about the tissues. I would never imagine that there would be tissues everywhere. I might actually benefit from that because I have allergies often. Good to know!

  • Haley Woods

    Love that top pic… might like to share it for our GLT instagram!
    xox #gltLOVE xox

  • Kelly Ann Duhigg

    Love your last comment about being famous. That happened to me when Inwas put on tv in Taiwan for being blonde. But I love your post and am so glad to read it and know what to expect when I can visit Jordan for myself.

  • Joy Sheehan

    HOLY those stars are incredible! Jordan is at the top of my must see destinations and these photos only encouraged that lol

  • that looks amazing!! you should also visit Israel 🙂

    THE FASHION MATTERS- Travel & Fashion blog | INSTAGRAM: TheFashionMatters

  • Olivia Johnson

    A very knowledgeable article. Really liked it. thanks ,it was very nice.
    http://bit.ly/2lBErWk

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  • Midori Linea

    these images are so beautiful, thank you for sharing your beautiful travels!

    xoxo,
    Sakura

    https://www.midorilinea.com/blogs/midori-linea/cest-la-vie