Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Meetings in Jordan

It's been a week since I came to Jordan with my Mother and sister. The trip to the Baghdad airport was a hectic one as usual, and it took us more than five hours to get on plane, we were even asked to take off our shoes at some point inside the airport! Nobody liked to do so but we just didn’t have any other choice. We reached Amman in the afternoon, and the weather was amazingly different from that in Baghdad; so cool and refreshing. And of course, as soon as I got a cell phone I called Attawie and made plans for the next day.

The first thing I noticed in Amman is the hill-like streets. There is barely a flat land here. Walking is more like climbing up or down a hill. This is probably the only thing that makes me feel I'm out of Iraq. Other things make feel at home are the wide range of Iraqi people, the use of Iraqi accent and Iraqi songs and the famous Iraqi restaurants which opened new places in Amman and all are labeled "From Baghdad to Amman" to indicate that these restaurants are Iraqis or serve Iraqi food. So far, I've only heard the taxi driver speaking the Jordanian accent. The other accent I hear down the street and many places in the Iraqi accent! Amman looks like an extension to Baghdad!!

The next day, Wednesday, was the first meeting of some of the bloggers in Amman. There were Hala_S, Anarki, The Kid, Zeyad, Attawie and me. My sister was around but she was exploring the place with Mom. It was fun. We talked about blogs, Baghdad and other stuff, and sure a few political topics!

The second meeting was on Thursday. Anarki, The Kid, Attawie and I went to movies and watched Pirates of the Caribbean II. Being a big fan of Johnny Depp, I'd say that the movie was so much fun and Jack Sparo was hilarious! After the movie we went out to the mall and walked around for hours and took many photos (we haven't decided yet on which photos to post, so you have to wait if you want to see them! :P)

The third meeting was on Sunday. There were Anarki, a friend of his, Attawie and me, besides Mom and sister, Attawie's sister and their grandmother. We called each other and decided to meet down a street where there were some summer celebrations with so many people walking around. Unluckily, there were no activities of any kind on that day! Not even the usual fireworks. But we enjoyed the good weather and meeting so many Iraqi people in there. I'll leave the other details to the rest of the gang to post about ;)

Having an internet connection at home is a real bliss! Now I have to pay constant visits to the internet café everyday in order to check my email and the blog. I wrote this post offline and have it on a flash disk to post it next time I get online.

A fourth meeting is being under planning now!

Cheers everyone!


Melantrys said...

*counts the days* :D


David said...

Hi Morbido,

Amman sounds like an interesting place (please give us more details! :) ). I like hills to walk up and down. Indiana is mostly very flat. It is great for farming, but not so interesting geographically. However, there are a few parks here that I have visited with hills. One park even had a small canyon with a very nice waterfall!

With Amman having so many Iraqis and Iraqi restaurants, it must seem kind of like home to you, maybe like Baghdad used to be before the war. I am glad you are there, at least for a while. Do you think you might be able to stay there? With your skill in English, I think that you could probably teach English. But, right now, don't worry about that, just concentrate on having fun! :)

I heard that the Pirate movie was good. I saw the first one and I liked it. I usually just rent movies, though, so I will probably wait to see this new movie. I just saw the movie "Cold Mountain" for the first time. It was a very powerful and sad love story set in the time of the American Civil War. It was really amazing! But, as I said, parts of it made me very sad. War really does terrible things to people!

I'm glad that you are enjoying your meetings with old and new friends! :)

Thanks for the Cheer! :)

David said...

Mel, you should install a Countdown Meter at your blog! ;)

David said...

Morbido, sorry I am spamming so much! ;) I forgot to tell you about my new post. I wrote a poem (Mel really loved it! For Mel: :P). I hope you will like my poem.

Ok, done spamming! :D

olivebranch said...

Great post dear :) Glad to see a happy post after so many months of struggle. Things in Baghdad are getting worse it seems so it must be great to get out; even if only for a while.

I hope to travel to jordan next year in order to meet Iraqi's and Iraqi bloggers without actually venturing into Iraq. That is as long as it remains safe to do so (because im going to bring my girlfriend aswell)!

Take care and make the most of the time you have in Jordan!


Luke(y) Skinner
aka [olivebranch]

CharlesWT said...

"Anarki, The Kid, Attawie and I went to movies and watched Pirates of the Caribbean II."

Was this your first movie theater experience? How did you like it, aside from the movie? Did the theater have a sound system that made off screen events seem like they were taking place behind you?

I'm so glad you're having fun. Enjoy!

OJ said...

Can you tell us a little bit about what's said at these meetings?

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Zeyad has posted some pic's of Amman over at his blog. I like the white. Although I'm wondering how they keep it clean?

So I don't think I will be biking around Amman anytime soon...with all those hills! lol!

You liked Pirates II? Someone I work with saw it and didn't think it was as good as the first one. Too long. Oh well, I know I'll be seeing it anyway. :)

Nice to "see" you again! Glad to hear you're having a good time with Attawie.

Hajar said...

I'm very glad to hear you're having fun.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just got back in country late Thursday night. I'm sorry to hear that the graduate programs turned you down, I really am. I would have loved for you to come here and study. I'm glad the meeting went well for you. I'll be checking in back in later, like always. Till then, have fun and stay safe!

Marshmallow26 said...

Hello Bental3raq,

I am just like you, another daughter of Iraq.
I was surfing the blogs and suddenly yours popped up.
I am a Fulbright candidate for this year and I passed the interview last June, now I need to take the TOEFL and GRE tests. But I was so sad when I read about the chance that you missed!! Is that real?? Why they embellish the truth and let the people have pinky dreams and after all, they slap them by bitter truth?

I understand your situation and believe me if I were you, I would cry and cry. as you said that you spent a whole year stuck in house and studying...!! it is unfair.
I really wish you hard luck if you want to apply next year and if you find another opportunity. Keep smiling. :)
P.S I know I should post this comment in the previous post but I thought may be you wouldn't be able to go back and read it again!

kars said...

thanks God your happaier now! ;-)

and by the way, I'm eager to see your pictures. ;-)

Morbid Smile said...

Hello everyone!

Sorry it's taking me so much time to write anything here this time! I'm busy with many things right now that I still can't finish the "long post" I mentioned before.. and now the template is gone and I had to replace it with an old one now :(

Hello Marshmallow, and welcome here :) .. I know a few Fulbright candidates of this year, some of them were my classmates at college. It seems that the policy and process of this year has changed. Last year we took the TOEFL exam before applying for the program, and the GRE after getting the grant. I see now that getting the grant this year depends on weather you pass in those two tests. TOEFL is considered a piece of cake when compared with the GRE!! But don't worry, it's not that important as they tell you.. we all had our turns with it last year ;) By the way, what's you proposed field of study??

Marshmallow26 said...

Hello Bintal3raq,

Thank you for your answer and greetings...
Well I applied for Simultaniuos translation and communication. And I am sure that if I score weak in English part of the GRE; no University would want to accept me!! It is really hard.
About the TOEFL yes, we should take it after the interview but for those who took it already before, they could keep the certificate with them and take the GRE only.
But as you said: No one from Fulbright committee members are answering the emails. I sent myriads of them but got no answer.
Oh well...I guess all what I have to do is to study at the moment and see what is gonna happen next!
P.S I didn't mention any university in my application, and i was asked about the reason why? I said: simply I don't wanna loose any seat if I specify some of 'em.

Besides that I am a Petroleum Engineer and I chose a different field to study this time. So I have no clue about what will happen...I am overwhelmed with this Fulbrightmania...
At home they call me: A GRE claustrophobic daughter.
I guess I blabbed too much.

See ya :)

David said...

Hi Morbido! :) Don't worry about being late with the long post. I know you have important things to take care of! ;) Sorry to hear about your template. I wonder what happened?

So, have you had some fun with Mel yet? :)