Nobody walks in Amman


Varied methods of transportation on a busy street scene in Damascus, Syria.

You only see 'em drivin' cars out in the street...

If we are ever in Jordan in August again, I think I just might insist on getting a car. Before you think I'm just being lazy, let me assure you that I am all for public transportation. I even use it in America, where it takes a lot of time and dedication to do so. And I would never dream of owning a car in Damascus, where the network of buses, services, and taxis runs like a well oiled machine.

But Amman is a different story. It has become
nigh impossible to get a taxi these days. With the short supply and high demand, even when you do manage to get a taxi, the driver will often have no qualms about getting snooty with you.

The bottom line is that if you have an even slightly active social life that entails occasionally being out past 10pm, or traveling more than a kilometer or two away from your home, having a car is a great blessing. Throw a tired baby into the mix and it is almost a necessity.

Otherwise, stuff like this happens to you: on Thursday night, we left a friend's house in Tila'a il-Aliya, planning to go to Gerard's in Abdoun on the way home to Jebel Webdeh (OK, so it's not exactly on the way, but close enough). We left ourselves a decent amount of time to get there, enjoy some ice cream, and get home before Miriam's bedtime.

Sadly, all of that time was taken up finding a taxi. By the time we finally managed to get one, we barely had enough time just to get home and put the little one to bed. Gerard's had to be sacrificed. If you've ever been to Gerard's, you know what a tragedy this is.

This shortage of taxis wouldn't be such a big deal in and of itself except that Amman's public transportation is woefully inadequate. It's great for a few key destinations, such as the university, but only if you happen to live within walking distance of where the bus passes by in the first place. In a hilly, sprawling, ever-expanding city like Amman, that is too often just not the case.
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Open letter to taxi drivers

The shower electric