Returning to Jordan by Bribe of London

Washington Monument

Returning to Jordan from DC is akin to returning to school after summer break–it’s painful, traumatic, and the last few days of ‘summer’ are ruined from the impending doom on the horizon. To Raj’s credit, he anticipated a case of the ‘Jordan Blues’ and planned a two night layover in London in hopes of counteracting my mood. (Smart man; it worked, at least temporarily.)

We had a great three weeks in Old Town, Alexandria. Reintegration into American culture took all of one second as we were greeted with smiling faces and people driving in an orderly fashion. The highlights of the trip included:

  • running OUTSIDE, along the Potomac River
  • going to yoga EVERYDAY
  • walking about town, wearing whatever I pleased
  • shopping at my favorite stores
  • eating at Cheesetique, multiple times
  • getting my hair done by my favorite stylist
  • eating Greek yogurt
  • seeing friends
  • catching up on all of my favorite TV shows
  • and much, much more…
View from National Gallery

London was fun, despite my trepidation of returning. We enjoyed an afternoon at the National Gallery followed by one of the two things Raj had requested: fish and chips for dinner on the first night and Indian food on the second. The second day we spent at the British Museum followed by a stroll through Harrods. After working up an appetite from all of the walking, Raj was on a mission to find an Indian restaurant to make up for the terrible meal the night before. On a doorman’s recommendation, we headed to Victoria station. We got out of the station across the street from the Apollo Victoria Theatre and saw signs for Wicked. Raj, continuing on with his quest to make me forget where we would be heading to soon, spontaneously inquired about tickets for that evening’s show. We bought tickets and headed out to find the Indian restaurant. Dinner was terrible, but it didn’t matter; Raj got his fix. Wicked was great, as were our seats.

We landed back to Jordan on Thursday evening, attended the Marine Ball on Friday, and now I’m prepping up for a Thanksgiving feast, Jordan style, this week. I’ve promised Raj that I’ll try to be more positive and that I’ll post more than once a month now that I’m no longer ‘working.’

Moving to Amman

Since October R and I have been planning our sojourn from the comfort of Northern Virginia, to Amman, Jordan. Moving abroad is something R has discussed since we met and being the super wife that I am, I’ve agreed. Perhaps I’m nervous, unsure, and selfish in my assessment of what life will be like there, but I’ve come up with a gripe list to vent my frustrations:
Top Ten Reasons I’m Annoyed with Moving:

  1. I have to give up my job: I love this job, my students and the administration. Raj owes me BIG time for this one alone!
  2. I cannot find ANY yoga studios in Amman. I practice yoga five days a week. I’m also certified to teach it (and I do teach one yoga class a week at my school), but as a lazy yogi, I prefer to be led through a practice instead of leading myself in one. Herein lies the problem. If I can’t find a studio, I’ll have to commit to a personal practice. Good god!
  3. People–men or women–do not run outside (nor do they walk much). Translation: If I want to maintain my exercise regimen of running twenty miles weekly, I’ll have to run INDOORS on a TREADMILL. Shoot me!
  4. We will be living in an apartment. There’s nothing wrong with apartment living. However,  at my age, I never imagined I’d be living in an apartment with my husband and my dog, in a place that I cannot decorate or even furnish with my own belongings (I’ve been severely limited as to what I can and cannot ship). Additionally, there’s NO DISHWASHER and the appliances are circa 1980.
  5. Furry children are not considered family members. Shanti our miniature Schnauzer is a sweet and adorable dog. He looks like a teddy bear but barks like a beast. No one likes a barking dog–especially in areas of the world where dogs are not considered babies.
  6. My hairdresser will not accompany me to Amman. As a bleach blond, the fear of leaving your hair dresser, whom you visit religiously every four weeks, is paralyzing. Who will be able to highlight my hair as well as my current stylist? Who will understand the intricacies of bleaching my hair in a land where the majority of women do not bleach their hair blond?
  7. I have to find a job. This is not a monetary concern (Raj may disagree), but rather a psychological one. If I have nothing to do (and granted, I have lots of stuff that I’ve mentioned over the years that I complained I never had time to attend to, i.e. writing, reading, cooking…), I will go crazy. I need to occupy my time with some type of work for my own sanity.
  8. My clothing is mostly inappropriate to wear. Although I’ve lived in the DC area for the last three years, I was born and raised in southern California. The laid back, summer styles of sunny California do not translate well in the conservative climate of northern Virginia, but I can only imagine how inappropriate they are in a conservative place. Most, if not all of my summer clothes are sleeveless, tight fitting, neck baring…
  9. I can no longer secretly buy stuff and stash it away before Raj gets home. All of our mail will be delivered to his work address meaning that he will pick up ALL packages, thus requiring me to explain purchases.
  10. Lastly, independence. Moving to a foreign country requires patience, practice, and reliance on someone else. I hate having to be codependent.
There you have it. The top ten reasons that I’m annoyed to move.