Today I want to introduce you to ne of my dear friends Raras who’s been living in Jordan for 4 months to do internship program for AIESEC. Now, I would like to share her stories of living in one of the most beautiful country in the Middle East.
Shabrina: Introduce yourself to everyone!
Raras: I’m Raras and I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Jordan to do internship . I’m not an avid traveler but I always felt I do travel by chance, I never go tour around the world but always have the lure to travel some countries because of their rich culture and Amazing scenic places. Which I can say, probably I should start now, because the thing about travel I can pretty much say the whole point is about your big eagerness to save money.
Then you pull it back into everything, connecting the dots how you can work in order to earn some money and what you’re doing for living as well save some of yours for hobbies, if the case your hobby is travelling then you must be spend most of your saving for flight tickets and all of the hustle bustle for travelling essentials.
How do you end up in Jordan?
Raras: I don’t want travelling for pleasure only but living in a country where I can experience the whole experience of being a local. Then, I decided to quit job and took internship abroad. After working here and there in Indonesia, I applied for several company in Europe or America. Yet, I got an internship opportunity in the Middle East – Jordan to work at a travel agency for a year. Not a popular country considering most Indonesian people s prefer to travel to Europe or America.
What it feels like to live and work in Jordan?
Speaking more about Jordan, the country located in between the border of some country which currently in political conflicts, they are: Syria, Palestine, Israel, and also neighbor of King Saudi Arabia. Most people’s will feel unsafe to go travel. I start my journey 3 weeks after the Israeli sent ceased fire to the Palestine.
It’s a normal feeling when you are not sure to travel to Jordan. It’s a country currently in the middle of a conflict. But, I still go anyway and it has been almost 4 months living in this country. People assume most of Middle Eastern countries are conservative. it’s actually not. Jordan is a moderate kingdom where also peaceful and one of two countries made a peace with Israel, so people will be able to travel to our neighbor without problems.
Speaking of capital of Jordan, Amman it’s a cool place to live. Amman is the main city for several organizations around the world; many of them work in Humanities sector to take care of the refugee’s development in Jordan. Jordan is a very supportive country where a lot of the neighboring countries have fallen down because of the political issues. So technically, Amman has a lot of expats and they are working as Volunteer or studying Arabic in the University.
Wow! Your life seems very interesting now. Where have you travelled in Jordan?
If you happened to know one of Seven Wonders of World Heritage is Petra, which located in Jordan. It’s a magical city where literally Nabateans people craved the city from the rocks. And any other places such Wadi Rum, a great area with Sand Dunes and some of beautiful Rocky Mountains to bring the utmost adventure experience.
Jordan has diverse tourism place, where you can also dive in the Red Sea. They have pretty decent corals, and the coolest thing you can do is snorkel up to 20 meters from the sea shore and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Jordan has many spiritual site as mentioned a lot in Holy Quran and Bible like Mount Nebo, Madaba or Mutah and 7 Sleepers Cave. That’s why Pilgrim will come as well to Jordan before or after bound to Jerusalem.
The Dead Sea is among the popular tourist destination in Jordan. The sea has more than 30% of minerals and produce black mud, which is famous among woman because it helps you revitalize your skin. Try to float on the Dead Sea is not as easy as it looks. There are several rules you have to follow such as you cannot let water come to your mouth, eyes, and ears because not only the mineral will hurt your skin it’s actually a bit dangerous.
What is the living cost in Jordan?
Living cost in Jordan compare to Jakarta is a bit high. The average salary here is around JOD 450 (USD 750). Peoples mostly living in an apartment. I chose to share a decent and very spacious apartment with friends from China and Canada. Jordan Peoples speaks Arabic as the first language and English as a second. Hence, it won’t be troublesome for Expats and Tourist to communicate with locals.
How do you interact with the locals?
Phrases that are famous and similar to arabic in Jordan are; Yalla, Habibi, Marhaba, Ahlan Wa Sahlan, Insya Allah, Wallah, Khalas, Shway- Shway. You will automatically use these phrases when speaking to Local or foreigner friends. For example, if you finish your job and someone ask you will said Khalas or if people greet you they will say Ahlan in short or Ahlan Wa Sahlan.
Smoking shisha and drinking tea is a way of life. When Jordanian invite you to their home to smoke Sisha and drink tea; to polite way is to accept their invitation. Both men and women smoke Shisha, and the conversation would last until 3.00AM in the morning.
Many of the dishes is influence from the Middle East area, and some of them have similar characteristic across all countries such as Shawerma, Mensaf, Maqloubeh, Falafel, Humus, Arayaz and the sweetest dessert I know, Knafeh – Cheese with melting sugar on top of it.
Why do you think every one should try to visit or live in Jordan?
To justify living in Middle East to be not safe and boring, you are totally wrong. It wouldn’t happen in Jordan. Everything is so much fun here, beautiful city, many site to explore, delicious foods, and most importantly the friendly locals. Jordan is a magic box where you will be surprise and wanting to explore again and again.
Next is to say Yalla, Go To Jordan!
Photo courtesy of Raras Singodihardjo