Commerce and family in Amman

Today was another eventful day with my son-in-law. We went downtown to shop and look at the people. Jordanians who live in the downtown area are very poor. Nobody smiles. The place used to be thriving with people, but suburban sprawl has moved many shoppers to markets within their own communities, leaving downtown with a dwindling number of people. You could’ve fooled me, however, because I thought the place was crowded and noisy.

The experience was amazing for these foreign eyes. The smells went from the sublime to the nasty, often separated only by a few feet. Professional hucksters and beggars were everywhere, and I found myself covering my pockets. I bought some jewelry and a chess set for loved ones back home, and Waseem bought candy for the children and produce for Jenan.

We stopped at a shop that will mix any perfume scent you can imagine (or buy). One of the Arabian perfumes that they asked me to smell nearly knocked me over, because it was so awful. I told Waseem that I thought they let us smell that one to make the others smell good.

DVD and software sales are everywhere. I bought two films that are currently in theatres in the U.S. for one dinar each (about $1.50). The copyright cartel in Hollywood can’t be happy with this.

Amman is a city alive with energy.

Waseem used to teach at the University, and we spent an hour touring the place and visiting old friends. Students are students, regardless of where they’re located. Some dress conservatively; others are much more liberal. Such is youth.

Everybody loves the King, at least partly because you aren’t allowed NOT to love him (and his queen).

I need a day just to catch my breath, and I’m hoping for that tomorrow. Friday is a day of rest, and my legs sure need it.


  1. the squirrels back home says

    where the hell are you?

    we’re hungry!!!

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