Monday, April 26, 2010

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now

As I mentioned in my last post, I am still happy here in Jordan. I have my routine, my friends, my life here. I have my favorite cafes, and we are always discovering new places to go.

That being said, I am getting a little tired of Amman. I'm tired of the shebab (guys) hanging out all over the streets at all hours of the day, making it impossible for me to be completely comfortable walking around even my own neighborhood. I'm tired of them saying "Oh my god" or asking me where I'm from or welcoming me lecherously to Jordan every time I walk by. I'm tired of not being able to go out to a club for a reasonable sum of money, and I'm tired of not having any parks or green grass to sit on.

I am NOT, however, getting tired of Jordan. Every time I leave the city, I see more and more things I haven't seen yet. With my mom, I saw Petra and Wadi Rum, two magnificent places of which I don't think I could ever get tired. We are going to Aqaba this weekend, for two days of sun, snorkeling and refusing to think about work or obligations. We still have so much to see in Jordan alone, including the desert castles, Wadi Mujib, some towns up north, the Ma'an Hot Springs, Faynan and others. No, Jordan. I am definitely not tired of you.

Nor am I tired of the region. There's still so much for me to explore here in the Middle East. I haven't made it to Syria or Lebanon, Israel and Palestine or Oman, all places on my must-go-before-I-leave list. Possibly an end-trip to Greece and Turkey wouldn't go amiss either.

But Amman is losing some of its appeal for me, and I think that loss coincides with the departure of so many of my close friends.

Last fall, I started out with nothing and built up an amazing friend base that made Amman the amazing place that it was. As more and more of them leave to resume their lives in their home countries, they leave spaces in my life that I have not yet begun to replace. And the more end-of-the-year schoolwork overwhelms me, the less energy I have for going out and meeting new people to fill the void. It's a problem.

I also think I'm starting to feel how far away my family is and how much I'm missing by not being able to jet home for the weekend. In the next year, I have one family member and two friends getting married, a family reunion and my brother's graduation from the Air Force Academy, all things I really don't want to miss.

So what to do? Do I go back to the states (well, to be honest I'll most likely follow Jimmy to Canada), lose my routine and healthy life here but gain back the convenience of my family and friends? Or do I stay and spend one more year being annoyed with Amman but still getting to experience the wonder and fascination of the Middle East?

Time to go flip a coin I guess.

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