Miriam Damascus taking in the view of the Sea of Galilee near Omm Qais.
Jordan just can’t win. I tell you this up front lest any hangers-on are breathlessly awaiting a pronouncement of relative worth between Jordan and Syria. No matter how many Safeways or Pizza Huts it has to woo me, no matter its comparative richness in Biblical history, no matter how much I grow to love it here, Jordan will always be second. Syria was my introduction to the Middle East, and thus it will always occupy that coveted, mystical place on the memory shelf.
I had my suspicions that this would be the case before we arrived here in Amman, and since our pre-dawn arrival a few days ago, my suspicions have solidified into realization. At first, it was as if we had never left Syria – all Arab countries tend to look alike in certain ways. Gradually, however, differences became apparent. I won’t list the advantages here because believe me, there are some things Jordan does better. I think even the most patriotic Syrian could agree with that. And I won’t list the disadvantages because that kind of thing belongs on my Syria blog. And I can’t help but compare them because Syria comprises my entire residence-in the-Middle-East experience.
Regardless, my second impressions, if such things exist, are very positive. I am looking forward to discovering Amman’s flavor, and how it is distinct from that of Damascus.
Oh, and Miriam is making a big splash in her Middle Eastern debut. Everyone loves a baby, but the family-centric society of the Middle East loves it even more, especially when it’s a cute baby (if I may say so myself). We’ve even caught people taking pictures of her with their cell phone cameras. Fortunately, Miriam doesn’t mind the attention and even hands out smiles every once in a while.