Day 3: Amman, Jordan
So far my Jordan sleep schedule seems to be: pass out for a "nap" mid-afternoon. Decline getting up after a reasonable nap time and instead push sleepytime as far as you can. Give up on sleepytime anywhere between 12:30am and 3am. Start the day bright and early! Or rather, dark and early because you are up way before the sun. Thank God I'm traveling alone and don't have anyone passing judgment on this! Ha ha! Anyway, today I wake up at 12:30am and I work on this site until about 5am; I take a break because I'm get sucked into this supernatural thriller with the chick that got her hair cut off on Game of Thrones - the movie was Mortal Instruments: City of Bones or something. The breakfast buffet opens at 6:30am but I don't want to appear too eager so I wait till exactly 6:40am to show up. I literally try some of everything. I am disappointed by something that looks like it is possibly some exotic Jordanian dish with nuts and cream and it turns out to be plain old noodle kugel - meh, whatevs. The hummus is pretty good and I make note since room service is super cheap and it's on the menu.
I linger and drink water and coffee and more water and more coffee while I continue working on this site. Only a few hours earlier I woke up disappointed that not a single person had commented on a post I made announcing my site to all of Facebook before I went to sleep and then I realize I never switched the audience to "public" because I was trying to test how it appeared and had set it to "only me". I post it publicly for reals and then try to get the WiFi to work so I can iCloud share my phone pics to my laptop. It is an excruciating process and the WiFi sucks. I resort to using my new 12GB SIM card-enabled phone as a laptop and make some progress. I discover the connection issues have resulted in some pics downloading as low-res but I post them anyway because who wants to read my long-ass diary posts with no pics??!?!
I make other changes to the layout, realizing the format I had started with for the travel diary are not conducive to adding or easily following the new posts for each day. I create a genius solution which you have clearly discovered if you are reading this.
Around 8am I am teary-eyed from the support and comments coming in on Facebook - especially a DM from an old high school friend that makes me weep over my coffee it touches me so much (shout out to you Ms. TG! xo). Next I realize I am an idiot for moving forward with promotion when I haven't yet enabled a "subscribe" feature. I revisit the MailChimp account and my site-host help page and figure it out bing bang boom now you can subscribe! During my first day in Madaba I finally started using the stories feature on Instagram (Day 1 in Madaba was super educational - I also learned how to use a selfie stick but I don't want to brag), so I throw together a story to promote my site while I'm making major shit happen and hope it's not awful.
Around 9:45am I finally leave the hotel. It looks like it might actually not rain anymore so I map out how to get to the fancy mosque near me with the big blue dome (King Abdullah Mosque fyi). Amman is like a city/mountain range and parallel streets are often separated by 100-200 vertical feet. After missing turns repeatedly because I am looking for streets I realize the turns indicated on the map are in fact telling me to go down steep and long stairways. I get to the mosque after passing armed guards outside the education center. There is a church across the street. I choose not to go inside figuring I'll probably be back with my Omanian travel companions once they arrive tomorrow and take pics of the outside. I move on and try to track down a grocery store that's open because I need water and also shopping at foreign grocery stores is one of my very favorite things to do when traveling.
The grocery store is big-bodega size and not in fact a supermarket as it was listed on Google but I roll with it because hey it's open! I forgot to mention - everything is closed because it's Friday! Moving on, I wander around inside looking for some sort of body cream because I need it bad. I don't see it and wander into the snack section but nothing looks amazing or weird so I leave savory snacks and into sweet snacks. No fancy Kit Kats so I guess that's just an Asia thing? Note to self: go to Hong Kong soon. I retrace my steps and discover body creams! I get two because they are travel friendly, cheap and have nice Arabic lettering. Then!!! I discover these small juice box-like containers of thick cream! And they are next to similarly packaged hummus! And tomato paste! I grab two of each, then a giant water and a box of tomato juice. The entire haul cost 7.5JOD ($10.50).
I wander around some more taking pictures of little details I notice. I encounter a number of cats and manage to photograph two of them. One of them actually comes when I call! But he doesn't let me pet him :( On my way back to my hotel I see a grocery bag of pitas on fence; random grocery bags of food are all over Amman and Madaba as well. As poor as both places appear to be I have seen no homeless people. My assumption is that the food is placed publicly for anyone who is hungry and to avoid waste. I love that. If I'm wrong and it's just litter I do not love that.
Back in my room I start staring off into space and realize there is a sticker on the ceiling by the window - getting closer I realize it's indicating the direction of Mecca for prayer. See - another benefit of being alone and somewhat lazy - I might never have even noticed it otherwise! I take a pic because this is exactly the kind of local detail I'm searching for and then get some room service hummus and a marinated chicken shish kebob-type dish - less than 10JOD total and now it's bedtime.