First for the big reveal...
...I am living in a flat near Rainbow St (the hip area on Jabal Amman). "Flat" might be too strong a term because I'm not actually renting a whole apartment. That would be way too expensive and I'm on a budget. Instead, I have a room in a ten person house with three bathrooms and a kitchen; it's called the Rainbow House. My room is large with a Queen sized bed (YES!) and enough space to do some exercise if I was in the mood.. Plus there is an amazing view on the roof. See pictures below.
The best part of living in a house is the laundry machine. Having clean clothes is the BEST.
I had my first day of class yesterday at Ahlan World. Learning Arabic is a lot harder than I expected it would be. For one, I hadn't realized Arabic is read from right to left. Another thing is that there are 28 letters. So, it is a whole new alphabet, new sounds, and a new vocabulary. However, I've found it comforting to be in classroom setting for part of my day, Studying and learning are things I'm used to and it gives me some confidence in a new environment. I'm learning I am beginning to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about a small aspect of the culture in Jordan. Yesterday I was able to read some of the street signs. I said read them, not understand them.
Now time for a funny story. A couple of days a go, when I was still living in the hostel, I was eating breakfast and started talking to a woman that I'd seen around for a couple days. I knew she was traveling by herself and she seemed friendly. After quick introductions, Paula asked me where I was from. I said I was from California. She said, "Me too. I'm from Alameda." I seriously thought she was joking. But it turns out that she lives about two blocks away from my house. She is in Jordan trying to find a way to use her training as an occupational therapist to assist NGOs and other organizations. We chatted some more and ended up going to dinner with Kifah and another lone woman traveler staying at the hostel.
My next post will be about my trip to Irbid this past weekend and my experience so far as a woman in Jordan.