Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lonely Hearts Club of Amman, Finding Friends as a Fabulous Foreigner...

Finding friends in Jordan as a foreigner can be really hard. It is really hard, in fact. I find it takes about a year to find a circle of friends and get comfortable in Jordan. To that end, here are some MommaBean (often tongue in cheek) recommendations of ways to jump start your Jordanian friendships.
  1. Wander aimlessly around the "foreigner" stores around the 7th circle (you know, Cozmo, Safeway) introducing yourself to anyone who walks by speaking English, because there's nothing anyone wants more than to be interrupted while shopping to meet people.
  2. Frequent educational places for your kids like the Children's Museum looking for other like-minded folks.
  3. Go to church. Most of them have an English language service and, surprising really, most attendees are not Jordanian.
  4. Join an e-group. There are lots out there. The one I'm on has nice people (but don't join it, we have enough people already, teehee).
  5. Take language lessons. Language schools are filled with people who don't speak Arabic. They are mostly foreigners ;).
  6. Go to the park. During the day. In the summer. Everyone knows that Jordanians wait until the sun goes down to go to the park with their kids. Just after the Beans' bedtime the parks get hopping.
  7. Find one person that you like who is foreign and latch onto them. Soon they'll find friends for you just to get you out of their hair.
  8. Make weekly visit to the fancy salons for nails and/or hair to rig "chance" encounters with other foreigners.
  9. Look for blond kids roaming the malls and seek out their parents. They're often foreign.
  10. Blog. If you're lucky you'll come to Kinzi's eye and she'll include you in a blogger event (like a cookie decorating party). Trust me, bloggers are the best people in Jordan bar none.
In all seriousness, it can be really tough to find your way in Amman. I'm kind of thinking that we need an Amman welcome wagon. You know, a group that comes to visit new folks moving into Amman. They would bring information on the city, commonly needed numbers, maps, whatever. And, they would provide a friendly face in a place that, while welcoming on the surface, is hard to penetrate beneath the shell.

Happy Fitting!


At 3:27 PM , Anonymous Jim Wright said...

Hi Momma Bean,
I've been reading your blog for a couple weeks now, but have only just noticed that you too, are from Alabama. I've been here in Jordan about 19 months. I'm originally from Piedmont but spent the past 20 years in Birmingham. Where are you from?

At 11:20 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Jim, welcome. I'm from Montgomery, but went to school in Birmingham. What a small world. Nice to see you here and hope you're finding Jordan to be a great experience. Drop me an e-mail off-line at mommabean@windowslive.com and maybe we can have an Alabama gathering...

At 7:50 AM , Blogger abu 'n um tulip said...

My MIL thinks the embroidered fabric we got is antique satin.
~ Um Tulip

At 8:30 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Nice.... Can't wait to see it in place and all pretty!


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