Happy Valentine’s Day!
Not many photos to show when I’ve been looking for jobs non-stop.
Literally, it’s like a job in itself looking for jobs, not sure how people do this while working. But I’ve done a lot of thinking with what I want to do and what that looks like. Answer is, not settling for what other designers are doing. I know that my new focus involves looking for jobs within graphic design, but for an organization either involved in youth development, or equality, women’s rights, racial justice, etc. I realized, if the organization doesn’t involve me doing something just besides design, then I wouldn’t be doing what I want. It would also be a plus if I was interacting with kids somehow, or people. While I love design, sitting behind a desk isn’t as inspiring to me as interacting with the people I would be designing for. Have some decisions to make but won’t be announcing anything until I know.
So, I’ve been home a lot, however here is some proof of actually going out to a restaurant. The first two are at Yemeni restaurant. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that in 2014 I studied abroad to Qatar and that was the reason for starting the blog. ( Click here for my Qatar entries!)
Anyway, I was exposed to a lot of new food while abroad, but learned about the Khaleej culture and countries that have similar customs and food. Qatar, Saudi, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait and UAE, these countries eat very similar things, in contrast to Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. Another thing is all the food was eaten on the floor. This is so interesting to me, especially as a Colombian, because in Colombia you do not eat on the floor. Not that you always eat on the floor in the Middle East, and most certainly not if you are alone, but it’s a communal mindset. More plates are easily spread on the floor than on regular tables. However, these pictures you see were a separated part of the restaurant for those that want to eat on the floor. But, there are also people who prefer tables, which is why it is rare to see restaurants serve you in this way. This restaurant had 90% tables, and 10% section for foreigners maybe or locals that prefer the experience of eating on the floor. The carpeted floors are cleaned after every meal. You also eat on a plastic cover, which picks up most of the mess made from the food. I would think it’s safe to say, if people eat on the floor, it’s usually because there’s no table available, too many people, or it’s in the comfort of their own home. Think about it–sitting on a table is a bit more formal than relaxing with your friends, drinking tea, while sitting on pillows. It’s not for everyone, but I don’t mind.
Have I ever explained buses in Amman? If living in Jordan were a video game, I think taking these buses gives you some extra points for various reasons.
1. Know exactly where you are going.
Well first, the bus destinations are written on the side in Arabic. Thankfully, the guys working on each bus will shout the name of the destinations so people know where the bus is going, incase it’s different than what’s written. Second, when I say you should know exactly, is because you need to know the name of the stop, not just what it looks like. Let’s say you have an idea of where to stop, if you don’t know what the stop name is, the conductor may take a faster route, if no one speaks up that they need to stop. I used to take the buses last year, when I would visit my friends at their university, so I learned the stop names. It actually isn’t too hard to learn, since they repeat it a lot before the stop, and as they stop. Tricky thing is won’t stop if no one needs get off or get on.
2. Have the courage to tell the conductor to stop in Arabic, if he doesn’t.
This was never fun for me because I’m shy, especially if I am the only person getting off. What I do is check with the person next to me, if they are also getting off, I ask them to let the conductor know. Or, as I give my bus fare, telling the guy where I want to get off. That way, he’ll let the conductor know and I won’t have to say anything more than a head nod of approval, when he asks me to confirm. That’s not much of a problem anymore for me, thankfully.
3. Know female-male dynamics.
So, as you know Jordan is a fairly conservative society, in many regards. On buses, the guy working on the bus, usually is the one to asses the best situation for the people getting on. Men always in the back, unless a whole family fills up the seats. Ladies next to ladies, and if there is a guy in a two-seater, he is asked to move to another seat, allowing 2 ladies to sit there. Most guys will know what to do, and even some men will ride the bus standing up, so an older lady sits down. These are unwritten rules, and I know the drill because I ride the bus often.
4. Know Arabic numbers, when you pay the bus fare.
At first it is confusing to understand what the rates are, because they are not written or anywhere at all. I learned the numbers early on, but even then they speak so fast, I would never really understand. They expect everyone to know the prices, so they just ask for the money, not the amount. I know the fares, which is helpful, especially when knowing what to get back.
Well, not much else to say, other than I am so sad the other domain I made for my blog didn’t work out. The storage was not unlimited and because I hadn’t posted on that domain yet, I didn’t want to continue knowing I had such strong limitations. Thank you for always reading my blog and keeping updated with me. I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day, either with friends, a loved one, or just a night to yourself. Either way, there’s no obligations to celebrate this holiday, it’s just a money-maker for restaurants, for the most part. See you in 2 weeks!
Make sure to follow my Instagram account: @travelobsesswithvaness
Peace from the Middle East!