Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fun Things Not Mentioned Before

Throughout the passing days, different things come to mind regarding what to blog about. Many times these are just thoughts that pass from one side of my brain to the next. They are forgotten and never written down. Although, once in a while I have an idea that gets stuck in my mind and for whatever reason I still haven't blogged about them. So, here are a few of those things that have stuck in my mind and I have now, finally, written them down.

Golfing In the Desert
Who knew. Jordan has a golf course. Amidst the arid land and lack of water, someone decided to build a gold course. Honestly, I chuckled a bit when I learned more about the course itself. It was built in the 1990, meant to be the first of many...although currently there is only one golf course in Amman and two in Jordan. The Facts: it's a 9 hole course, 2754 yards, par 34. There is a driving range, club house, restaurant and bar. The Funnies: The putting greens are called "Browns". Why browns?! Well, they are brown in color. They are made from a mixture of oil and sand! There is not enough water to support grass, so this is the alternative! In addition, the fairway isn't full of lush beautiful green grass, so you have to carry a mat. A mat, what do you mean a mat?! Seriously, the player carries a mat around with them and uses it under their ball to give them a nice playing surface. LOL. If you don't believe me...here's their website: http://www.golfjordan.com/. We actually went to the golf course this summer and checked it out. To be honest, the club house is very nice. The course itself is not what I'm use to...looked pretty rugged and dry. However, Amman does have a golf course and there were lots of players on the course! Dad....bring your clubs! :-)

The Butt Washer
Huh? Well, it all started when I sent out pictures of our new place to my friends and family. I received many replies regarding the bathroom....what is that thing next to the toilet? Is that a urinal? It is another toilet? Is that a butt washer? Well...yes, it is a butt washer....but to be proper it is called a bidet. The bidet is widely used in Jordan and the Muslim world, some parts of Asia and Western Europe (let me know if it is used widely in your part of the world too). It is not widely used in the US; however, it is gaining popularity. The reason it is widely used in Jordan and the Muslim world is due to the strict cleanliness rules Muslims must abide by. Muslims must wash themselves with water after using the bathroom; therefore, there is the bidet. To learn more about Islam and cleanliness go to this great article: http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-articles/concept-of-cleanliness-in-islam-726526.html. A bidet is a small plumbing fixture that stands separately next to the toilet. There are a few different variations of the bidet. In Jordan, many bathrooms are equipped with a spray hose next to the toilet instead of a full bidet. As mentioned, it is used to clean yourself after relieving yourself. Here is more info on the bidet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet.

The Weather
Okay, so if there is nothing else to talk about, people always ask about the weather. People are always asking me about the weather in Jordan...and this time, it's not because there is nothing else to talk about...it's because they are interested. So, here's a snapshot of the weather in Jordan. We are in the Northern Hemisphere (just on the opposite side of the world). Being in the Northern Hemisphere means that we have winter when the US has winter and we have summer at the same time too. Therefore, we are currently in the winter season. However, as I mentioned in my previous entry, our winter season is not like the winters of Minnesota. Amman has a latitude of 31 degrees 57', whereas the latitude in Minneapolis is 44 degrees 59', and the closest latitude I found was El Paso, Texas....so theoretically, we have similar weather to El Paso, TX...however, I have never been there to confirm this. This next week our weather forecast is as follows: Wed (Hi: 62, lo: 42); Thur (65, 43); Fri (67, 45), Sat (67, 45), Sun (71, 48), Mon (59, 50). I looked back at the weather last week because this seemed higher than it has been and sure enough, last week we averaged mid-50's. Coldest months are Jan and Feb. On contrast, hottest months are July and August. The average temperature during these months are in the mid-90's. One thing I will never complain about here is the weather! For those of you who know my husband Yanal.....I can now understand why he kept complaining all these years of the weather while living in the Midwest. Question for any of you...why do men from the desert move to Minnesota or Wisconsin?!

Lastly, every time I cook here I think to add this to my blog. The US does everything so backwards from the rest of the world and now I am confused! I learned the metric system in school and we use it quite a bit in the medical field....but I am still confused. Like, I have the whole conversion for kg to pounds, no problem, did this all the time at work. I have a button on my car that switches from Km to mile, so when I feel like I am flying at 80 Km, I can hit the button and realize that I am only driving at at the speed of 50 mph. I can sort of do the conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit, good enough anyways, and my computer can switch it over for me instantly. But when my recipe calls for 8oz and the package I am looking at is in grams, what the heck am I suppose to do?! It's so confusing to be at the 'super market' and everything is in metric. And trying to read the nutritional labels on the back of the boxes...come on....seriously, I was great at them in the US....but here, I am totally lost. Help!


  1. Thank you for talking about the bathroom thing, cause alot of people here laugh when ever i talk about it, though once i ask them what would you do if dirt touched your hand i think you wouldnt be satisfied by wiping it out with tissue paper, i guess you need some water to make your hands cleaner. 1 oz is almost 1/3 of a gram. nice blog , its snowing here like anything northvirginia,dc.

  2. Ayman, Thank you so much for the 1oz=1/3 gram! If your friends ever have the chance to use a bidet, they wouldn't laugh...it's wonderful! Stay warm!

  3. Minnesota is expecting the biggest Christmas blizzard ever. 6-12 inches expected in Brainerd beginning early Thursday morning and continuing into Saturday. Sarah and Jason are coming tonight because tomorrow night would be impossible. Yup, it's winter in Minnesota. Being safely snowed in will be good. Stay warm.

    Love, Mom

  4. Hey we were playing a trivia game last night and that question came up about what they mix the sand with at the golf courses to make the greens/browns in the desert! If only I had read your blog earlier, I would have totally won! (I won anyway, but I would have won sooner...hahaha!!)

  5. That golf course in Jordan is pretty interesting, but the link doesn't work anymore :( As for the butt washer, European countries and Asian countries have different bidets. I think in European countries, the bidet toilet is common, while the Asian countries have this bidet spray that you attach on the toilets.