1) Gabe tends to be completely in the moment when in the face of ruins or natural wonders. Amy tends to use the time to reflect on her personal past.
2) No baksheesh!
3) Turkish coffee, medium sweet. Good.
4) Nescafe prepared instant sweetened coffee. Good.
5) Lonely Planet guidebook. Decent, but prices are woefully outdated.
6) Wadi Rum and Petra are all they are cracked up to be.
7) The more you go to a restaurant, the cheaper it gets. Example: When we first went to our neighborhood hummus restaurant in Amman, it cost 5 JD for hummus, fuul, and falafel. By the end of the week, it cost 2 JD.
8) The frame of reference for Gabriel’s name is the Koran (Ah, Jabril! You Muslim?) or futbol (Ah, Gabriel! Batistuta?)
9) Watch out for evangelists at the top of Mt. Nebo.
10) Eurovision Song Contest. Nuff said.
11) Our ceiling for hummus and falafel is once a day.
12) Breaking one of the cardinal rules of third-world travel (eating unpeeled whole fruits and veggies) only occasionally gets you sick.
13) Everyone in Madaba, the Christian capitol of Jordan, has “The Forbidden Dance” as their ringtone. No joke.
14) Shower in the midafternoon or during the second half of important soccer games for the hottest water and best pressure.
15) Speaking to a woman wearing a full face veil means you are always staring directly into her eyes, which can be unsettling.
16) Do not, if you are a woman, sit in the front seat of a taxi. Bad, inappropriate questions and touching will happen.
17) Even when your clothes are clean, they are never really clean.
18) When in a room with three Muslim men, the likelihood that their names are Mohammed, Ibrahim, and Ali, are high.
19) Plumbing can be held together with Band-Aids and soda cans.
20) Tons of Filipino women work in Jordan as retail workers, housekeepers, and hotel staff. They are literally shipped in in huge groups. If you’re in the airport for a few hours you’re likely to see at least three different groups.
21) Everyone thinks Amy is Filipino.
22) Looking at a map in Amman is useless unless you already know exactly where you are, because every street corner is an intersection between King Hussein Street and Prince Ali Street.
23) Gulf Arabs are into Starbucks pastries and Tazo tea.
24) The power outlets in the Queen Alia airport in Amman are British. The power outlets in the rest of the country are European. This is strange.
25) “Arabic” flavored ice cream at Freeze Creamery is the idealized version of every traditional Arabic sweet created. Worth a return trip to Jordan. For serious.