People keep asking me what I think of Jordan so far. It’s difficult to respond, because I’ve never moved to another country before. I’m developing an overarching theory of how to answer this question, and my main hypothesis is as follows: if a two-week vacation to a new country is a one-night stand, a posting is an arranged marriage (or what I assume those things would be like).
Take my most recent vacation to Mexico. I loved Mexico City. The rhythm and pace, the sights and smells, immediately swept me up and carried me away on a river of salsa verde; a wind of grilled pork. But that was all I wanted. After two weeks, we parted ways, and now I reminisce about the valley tucked amidst volcanoes, filled with countless millions of people. Reminiscing is easy, though, when I never had to deal with Mexico’s less endearing traits – I never had to navigate traffic, set up services, or hunt for the kind of peanut butter I can’t live without (chunky all-natural). Mexico and I had a brief and passionate affair, but I never truly got to know it.
On the other hand, I’d heard some great things about Jordan before arriving, but we’d never met. Those in charge made a deal, and the next thing I knew I was showing up with a suitcase like Marie Antoinette, packed off to a foreign land to live in close quarters with someone she’d never laid eyes on. My situation is much more fortuitous than the poor cake-loving queen, of course – I had some say in the matter, and bread is abundant here. But I confront the sometimes harsh realities of my new home before there’s been a chance to become enamoured with it’s pleasant aspects. We’ll probably grow to love each other, but between the heat, the demands of my job, and the immediate needs of our home, we haven’t had a chance to honeymoon in the desert and get properly acquainted.
The temperature drops in September, I’m told, and I should acclimatize to my job somewhat by then, so I hope to start exploring our new home in depth. Until then, though, those who ask will have to be content if I answer with a shrug, and say “it seems alright, I guess.”