Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Everything in Jordan is an Adventure. Even the Internet.

So for two weeks now, we've been without Internet at the apartment because we were deciding what to do with our old Internet and figuring out how to get a new Internet service.

The provider we used at our old apartment is a satellite technology, which means that we basically have a modem router that collects an Internet signal from outside, not from a land line or cable. But I wasn't sure if we would be able to pick up that signal from our new house. I asked around and was told to check with the biggest service provider. I wandered over to their store, didn't like what I saw (they said we would have to wait EIGHT DAYS for Internet! Pff!), and called our old standby.

First of all, the dude on the phone asked where I lived. I gave him a detailed mental map of our area, down to the school across the street and what I could see out my window. He said that only parts of our street were covered. So they would have to send a man out to see if we were even on the right side of the street for a signal. A'adi.

So I waited around for the gentleman to show up. He did, brought a modem with him and proceeded to tell me we have an excellent signal in our TV room. First bit of good news all day. We discuss prices, grab the contract and are ready to go. And then he asks to see my residency card. Oh crap.

"Um. Ha ha," I said cleverly. "I don't really have one yet. But we are right now in the process of getting them!" I added with a feverish grin, all the while thinking I would cheerfully hold everyone involved in my residency application process over hot coals if I would not get Internet until I was a resident. "Do you want to see my visa? My passport? Anything? Ha ha?"

It turns out that no, the visa was not good enough. Neither was the passport. I finally had the bright idea to pull out Heather's contract with the school to prove we worked and lived here in Jordan (the fact that we were standing in the living room of my apartment was apparently not enough proof, nor was the pile of cash I was attempting to hand over.). This is good, the guy said, but I need to know that you STILL work here. (Apparently the fact that the contract was until June of next year wasn't good enough either.)

(P.S. The guy was actually super nice about all this; it was just a frustrating situation.)

So we worked out an arrangement where I would keep the modem, pay him the money and then go to school the next day and get a letter from my boss that said I still worked there. We signed the contract, and everything was peachy.

But why on Earth is nothing in Jordan ever simple?


  1. hello..My name is Ahmad i'm the Director of marketing @ wi-tribe Jordan…I’m sorry you had to feel this way about wi-tribe’s offer complexity for foreign people, I promise you we learned it the hard way :S...but we are very open to hear your suggestion on how to enhance the process for foreign people, my e-mail is…

    last but not least we wish to compensate you for the trouble you had to go through; please allow us to give you a gift as a sign of appreciation for joining the tribe and as an apology for the troublesome you had to go through.

    I would highly appreciate if you could e-mail me your contact details so we can get in touch with you

    Kind regards,

    Ahmad Farekh

  2. Wow! Jordan is really changing since I left 8 years ago. To be contacted by the director of marketing is something unheard of before. I think it is the best customer service one could get.
    Regarding how things are done in Jordan, one need to learn to be very patient, really patient. Once the university here in the U.S. asked me for some documents that I need to get from Jordan. After two week they called me and asked me why they still didn't receive these documents I went to see the director of the International Center and explained to him the bureaucracy of getting things done in the Middle East. The director was very understandable. They received my documents after 4 months.