As a kid, summers in Amman were the highlight of my year, and then I got older and realized that vacationing elsewhere was an option. Nonetheless, I still love Amman and all of its nawar. Here are some things to expect when visiting the Midwest of the Middle East.
1. It smells like lamb, diesel and cologne, everywhere.
The heat and rain don’t exactly help.
2. Taxis are interrogation rooms and taxi drivers are the interrogators.
What are you, match.com meets a job interview?
3. Beware of talking shit, everyone speaks English.
4. Guys holding hands… totally not gay.
Where I come from, boys in skinny jeans linking arms signals a rainbow flag.
5. Amman epitomizes the word “mundane”.
Nothing to do except go to coffee shops.
6. Everyone is a “mou7endas” (engineer) or doctor.
Don’t mind me, I’m just gonna sit in the corner with my communications degree and analyze your non-verbal rhetoric.
7. Cats, they’re fucking everywhere!!
8. People are under the impression that you’re completely impotent.
When they see you perform chores, it’s like the Messiah returned.
9. You will never catch a girl without her hair and makeup done. EVER!
Bish please, you did not wake up like dis!
10. You are the bearded lady… you will be stared at non-stop.
I understand your fascination with me… I don’t smell like lamb, diesel or cologne.
11. The people who live seven blocks away from your grandparent’s house… they know your life story.
12. Relatives feel entitled to your whereabouts and think you need their approval when leaving the house.
13. Produce truck, roosters and the athan mess with your beauty sleep.
14. PDA is a big no-no.
15. Everyone has a maid, even the poor folk.
16. Supposedly the populations differ: West Amman is “high class” and East Amman “trash”.
Shut up, you’re both sarsari as fuck.
17. They have their preconceived notions about Arabs from the West.
It’s true! We’re all heathens and live in sin with our non-Arab partners and smoke crack… naked… in public.
18. Relatives will try to trick you into meeting bint el jeran.
You will walk right into their trap. Evil bastards.
19. When someone offers you a beverage or food and you decline, you just started a war.
But I’m full!!
20. You’ll see this dude’s picture everywhere.
And no, this is not Harry Potter.