Saturday, 30 January 2010

Amman, memories and feelings

As has been the case lately, this was another necessity. Passport renewal.

This happenned last December, it was getting cold (proved by my upset stomach later on the day of my arrival) but still sun was warmly and brightly shining (which explains why i didn't put my jacket on). In short, a beautiful day!

I managed to convince my aunt who lives in the capital that she doesn't need to pick me up as i've rented a car at the airport and started my drive into the city center looking for the passport office so i don't have to waste time next day doing that.

Now Amman is a city with quite a topology, a lot of hills and ups and downs...I was driving peacefully in the old streets (in the north-east direction) going up...up...up, until suddenly down started, AND THAT WAS ONE HELL OF A SIGHT!!! Steeply going down was the street i'm on, and ahead of me a view of all Amman suddenly opened that took by breath away. That city is beautiful, it really is. And the more i drove through its streets looking around me, the more i realized that.

I don't remember the last time i actually had the time and mood to look around me, I'm not from Amman but a small city in the north of Jordan called Irbid, so i drove to Amman from the other side normally and always on an errand or a visit or shopping etc...But now that i had pretty much the whole day with nothing to do, i took it all in, i should have done that earlier, i should have looked and realized what a beautiful capital my country actually has,i should have taken it in and enjoyed every moment there, i should have recommended it to people going there rather than going indefferent about it when they asked. But now i know, and now i want to go back again, i want to befriend that city and see it more often.

Amman...I love you.

P.S. This photo is not taken by me, i found it on the internet, had to show you something :)

Monday, 25 January 2010

Siberia! Yes, that same one :)

If you've read my previous post, you already know how i ended up here, so i'll skip that part. I have to mention two points though:
1- The Shock: i got when i received the mail about moving the course from Moscow to Tyumen.
2- The Courage: it took me not to cancel it.
What comes into your mind when Siberia is mentioned really? Prisoner camps, severe weather conditions, small towns and not much to see or do. A pretty depressing picture therefore gets drawn in that same mind of yours (and mine).

But...days went by and i made peace with the thought of Tyumen and actually started looking forward to it. Being in Siberia! Tough! Then came the joining instructions proudly telling us that the center is 28Km away from Tyumen, the accommodation is on the territory of the center and there's hardly any transportation to the city...nice!

For people who think it snows severely all the time in Siberia, let me correct that piece of info: Actually due to the geographical location: North and inland, it actually gets below -40 during the winter and above 40 in the summer, nice, huh? But that's the fact.

Then the course began, started making friends from the group, going out, enjoying the great weather at that time (~30C), and discovered that although Tyumen is a small city, a town pretty much, it's not bad at all, it's nice to go around, there's all you need, nice restaurants, entertainment, shopping malls, book shops (which for me is crucial) and so on, i actually enjoyed my week there.

The best part was the river (Tobol i think) and its banks, you had some nice looking russian style cathedrals you can see far ahead of you, and the bridge of lovers where people getting married come and hang a lock on the bridge, write their names on it and throw away the key (a symbol for together for ever). We were wondering: What if they get devorsed later on? :s

And i have to say at this point that the accommodation we got at the training center was really nice too, a room with a bathroom, cleaned for you every day, like a hotel room pretty much (we even had a TV!), there was a common kitchen and dayroom, and it was 5 minutes walk from the classroom and diner :)

So if you end up in a position where Tyumen is one of the only options you can choose, don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds, actually far better :) And the Russians are nice once you get to know them.