Monday, July 24, 2006

Fair and balanced blogging

In the interest of fair and balanced blogging, I'm following up on my blog about the fabulous breezes in Amman with frustration about the lack of parking. In the US in larger cities, apartments are worth more money if they have off street parking (so for those of you looking in the US, off st parking in newspapers does NOT mean you should be looking for a street named St. Parking that has lots of apartments as one of my foreign friends did). In Amman, business don't even have off street parking. How crazy is this? I mean, maybe if the shop is a one-off in a residential neighborhood, but c'mon, malls barely have parking lots. What is that about? Today I wanted to go to the bank to get cash from the ATM. Unfortunately, there wasn't a space within 3 blocks of the bank. At this point, I gave up without the cash. My patience extends only so far. So, not I'm left longing for drive-thru ATMs and parking lots at banks. Any bank worth its salt in the US would have both. But then, I suppose I shouldn't get started on banks in Jordan and my thoughts on them.

Warning: Tangent Ahead
We're still lost in a bureaucratic tangle that includes 12% actual interest rates for personal loans. They claim it's 6.6%, but it really isn't. So, the car purchase is still on hold until we can find reasonable financing. Even at 6.6%, American banks would be ashamed to try and offer that interest rate to car buyers. Of course, there they are competing for business and here business is given grudgingly. So, I guess I can't blame them. After all, if you don't actually WANT to lend money, it makes sense to charge ridiculous rates, refused to lend money, and make every transaction a pain for people. I guess I just hit on the banking bottom line, they don't actually want to give people money. Boy am I glad I figured that out.
End of Tangent, you are welcome to resume reading

So, at any rate, I'm reflecting on how spoiled I am expecting parking places, lots, and whatnot at every place of business. You'd think it is a tragedy to have to walk 3 blocks to park, but then it wouldn't be if there were sidewalks. So, walking in the street for 3 blocks with Amman's driving during the summer months with the influx of gulf drivers and the newer contingent of Lebanese drivers filling the streets is clearly putting your life in danger. So, I guess I'll simply go without cash until tonight when I'll convince El 3atal to get me some. Hey, maybe this is a good thing after all...


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