Deb in Amman 2013
I’m back in Jordan for two weeks to conduct three train-the-trainer programs for the Jordan Civil Society Project (also funded through US AID). I left the USA on Thursday, January 31st and arrived in Paris and Amman on Friday, February 1st.
This time, I flew through Paris. I had a 5-hour layover, but it wasn’t long enough to take a tour of the city. Instead, I walked back and forth past all the shops. My abiding memory of the Charles DE Gaulle International Airport will be the cloying fragrance of different perfumes mixed with cigarette smoke (who knows where it was coming from, because they said it was a non-smoking airport…), and the fact that the ladies room had a small separate room with a makeup mirror and stool. They clearly take looking good seriously! Also, signs saying there were free 15 minutes on the airport Wi-Fi, but it didn’t work for me.
Thanks to Ron, I had selected my aisle seats on line, so that is what I had from Madison to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Paris and Paris to Amman. All of the flights were uneventful, but I learned why people bring their own headphones to watch the movies during the flight- because the tiny ones the airline gives you don’t work for beans.
Delta from Minneapolis to Paris had lots of space and leg room- I could have laid down
across four seats, had I the ability to sleep on a plane. However, the flight from Paris to Amman, also on Delta, was without room to move. It didn’t help that a very large man sat in the middle seat and had n0 idea of boundaries. He threw his large wool coat over his body and covered half of me. When we were eating, his elbow was just in front of my nose. I pointed that out, he looked at me with surprise and apologized, and afterwards he was much more considerate.
I purchased two large suitcases to haul everything- one neon blue and the other neon pink. They both have round green plastic happy face tags that Jerri gave me. I had absolutely no problem finding them! My luggage came quickly and my driver, Abu Rashad, was right there when I got through immigration.
Oh, I think I’ve finally learned that when a man comes over to give me lots of assistance with my luggage, he is NOT airport personnel and will expect a tip. I’ve really got to watch that.
A kind of funny story- I have what amounts to be about $60 in Nigerian money. I haven’t been able to convert it back to US dollars in Madison, so I tried in the Minneapolis Airport and in the Paris Airport. Nope, no one will touch it. Gee, I wonder why…??
My one unhappy aspect of the trip is that I came down with a bad cold. I had been hoping that it was just the fact that I hadn’t taken any allergy medicine for two days. Nope. Luckily, I had presciently packed all sorts of cold medicines that I started on immediately.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
I had a bad night, getting up every few hours, so I slept in all day. I finally got up at 4:30 p.m. The young porter who helped bring my luggage up to my room last night had showed me a switch I could push to indicate that I didn’t want to be disturbed. So I did and it worked! Magic!
I just spoke with Rama to tell her my situation and discuss plans for tomorrow. Someone will pick me up at the hotel at 9 to take me the four blocks to their office. Last night, on the way to the hotel, my driver showed me where the office is- but Rama thought I might have things I needed to carry. Since the training will be here in the hotel (whew!) I really don’t need to bring anything except possibly a file and my laptop- but Rama was distracted because she was apparently giving her two nieces, 5 and 2, a bath. So I simply agreed to be picked up. Actually, if it’s raining, that will be just as well. It was raining when I got here yesterday, with huge puddles everywhere. Given the terrible lack of water in Jordan, they would be happy if it rained for the next 6 months. I just looked outside and it doesn’t seem to be raining now.
I’m glad that I stayed at the Intercontinental when I first came to Amman, because the view of the old city was spectacular. Of course, I was on the 8th floor then. Now, at the Sheraton, I’m on the third floor and my view is of city buildings that one might see in any relatively modern city. in other words, nothing special.
Well, the good news is that I feel a lot better than I did last night. I’ll take good care tonight and not push myself too much tomorrow so that, hopefully, my cold will prove itself to be merely 24-hour and disappear. My first training (4 days: Designing and Delivering Attitude-Changing Training) starts on Monday the 4th, so I’ll need to set up tonight. Rama assures me that the hotel got my diagram, so I’ll hope and expect that there will be no need to push any tables and chairs around. Rama will be with me, so if I need help, I’m sure there will be plenty available.
Now, to eat something and iron my clothing!