From Toronto to Amman, connecting through Vienna: 17 hours and 23 minutes later, 3 dry airplane meals later, 1 lost piece of luggage later: Home.
Coming-home rituals: a morning inaugurated at dawn with a walk to my local mosque for the fajir prayer followed by a day spent in the kitchen listening to my mother fill me in through the magical art of storytelling as I leaf through Al-Ghad over a cup of mint tea. The evening is me in a car, listening to music and rediscovering the roads of Amman, the concrete architecture of Amman, the changes in Amman.
Lost piece of luggage is recovered; a detour in Frankfurt. Plan to show up on the doorsteps of life long friends much to their surprise: successful.
Three words: humous, fooul, falafel. Nuff said.
Let me say this though: having missed half a decade’s worth of Jordanian winters I have admittedly forgotten the cold. In truth I left the Great White North on a zephyr of minus 5 Celsius to land in a plus 10 Amman. The differential, the missing piece of the puzzle, the key ingredient to the winter of our discontent: automatic internal heating fueled by natural gas. True, we have no viable natural resources in this country let alone natural gas. True, the homes are made of concrete, which makes the cold echo off the walls. True, piaster-pinching parents refuse to let the radiators rumble with gas prices so high. And true, all of this amounts to waking up to a feeling of resentment at the mere thought of violating the warmth of one’s bed with the coldness that surrounds it; it waits for you to surrender, eventually.
There is always our lovely soapa; how I’ve missed it. The renderings of citrus air from roasted Clementine peels will fill my parent’s home in weeks to come.
Let me say this though: West Amman’s latest infrastructure endeavor is almost inspiring. From the fourth circle to the suspension bridge to Abdoun circle, up past Blue Fig and into the great unknown of the Eastern Heights and airport road. Millions spent on cutting traffic woes in half and adding a new architectural landmark to the hilly landscape that is Amman. Was it worth the onslaught of profanities hurled at it for months on end from Ammani citizens?
And let me say this: tall buildings and narrow streets freak me out. It’s almost biblical: the people of west Amman are building taller and taller structures, possibly to reach God. Homes with size envy are building second, third and fourth floors, possibly to house a newfound emptiness. Concrete competes with concrete. Man made towers compete with God made hills.
But let me say this: Christian homes decorated with Christmas lights is something I’ve never seen in Amman but have taken an automatic liking to. What I do find odd however is that many retail stores are really dishing it out marketing wise when it comes to Christmas products. I find myself wondering if the small percentage of Christians in this country, most of whom I would guess do not indulge in lighting spectacles, can yield a high enough profit to justify the Christmas aisles, displays and full page ads in the local papers. Purely a question of economics from my point of view.
From Toronto to Amman: 5.4 years later, a degree and a half later, half a decade formatted to fit the size of two pieces of luggage later: Home.
This time for a long time, God willing. The reasons as to why will be related in an upcoming, more personal post, which will also include a decision on the future of this blog; cleverly titled (perhaps): “changes part duex”. It’s a think piece.