Personal Impressions

The "Personal Impressions" section is a collection of thoughts and personal experiences.


Re-reading this section ourselves, we thought readers may feel that we portray Jordanians unfairly. However, these entries are our honest, unexaggerated experiences.

Spectacular Sites

Petra has the prettiest sandstone in the world. The buoyancy of the Dead Sea is a novelty everyone should experience firsthand. The mountains in Wadi Rum are a rock climbers paradise. Jordanian sites are absolutely spectacular.

No Sense in Asking

Accurate information is difficult to find in Jordan. Asking a Jordanian is a sure way to be led astray. Bus drivers tell tourists false departure times and prices. Locals in private cars insist that public transport is finished for the day but for a price will take you. Hotels selling day tours will delay their guests until the public bus to the same destination has left. Store owners will double their prices. The stream of scams is endless. The only reliable source is a recent copy of a reputable guidebook like the Lonely Planet and learning to read numbers in Arabic yourself.

Don't Bother with Waste Collection

Jordan is littered with trash. Spending a few hours in the country is enough to understand why. Jordanians can't be bothered to deposit trash into receptacles. They just chuck used containers out the window. This is most evident when riding a bus. Trash continuously flies out windows and doors whether passing through a city or the countryside.

Earplugs Please

Hacking and spitting sounds must not be impolite in Jordanian culture. In hotels, on the street, and in the bus, men young and old make obnoxiously loud guttural sounds. Just find me the earplugs please.

Frustration Relief

Inspired by travel humorist Bill Bryson, Wes wrote a simple list of Jordanian jokes, mostly to relieve frustration.

Q. How does a Jordanian tidy his surroundings?
A. Chuck the rubbish out the window.

Q. How do Jordanians freshen the air?
A. Light up.

Q. What is the Jordanian national pastime?
A. Hawk phlegm.

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