Friday, August 24, 2012

Det finns inga dåliga väder, bara dåliga kläder

There is a saying in Sweden that there is no bad weather, just bad clothing (the title). This not only serves to show the practicality of the Swedish mindset, but also the need to adapt to whatever comes. For example, yesterday the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and illuminated the lush green landscape. I thought, oh what a beautiful day, I’m going to take a walk. So I throw on a light sweater and set off, but nearly 15-20 mins later the skies open up to ice cold rain. As someone recovering from pneumonia, this wasn’t the best situation to be in. Another Swedish saying: if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute. (in my case it was the reverse)

View of Swedish rain-soaked, sun-stained fields during my inopportune walk:

What does this have to do with my semester abroad in Jordan? Everywhere I have lived I have had an image of the ”typical” weather of that place and yet in every location it has turned out to be variable, what I call bipolar weather. Even in Malta, where you can basically guarantee sunshine every day from May to the beginning of October, expats residing there know the unpredictability of the weather, especially during winter months. Aware of this fact, and being reminded of this variability in Swedish weather, just adds to my anxiety of packing for Jordan. When I first packed my bags back in mid-July I imagined a dry, hot desert climate where I would need cool materials. Therefore I forgot to pack any jackets except for a rain jacket. However, as I re-read the handbook sent to us by CIEE and speak to people who live in Amman or have been on the program, I realize that I shouldn’t stereotype so easily, and I should be prepared for heavy winds, the cold that can sneak into limestone houses and chill you to the bone, and other surprises that the weather may throw at me. This mistake makes it all the more clear to me that I should not have any stereotypes in mind in going to Jordan. After all, I should know better, having traveled through Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, and Israel, and have friends from many Middle Eastern countries. So I apologize to all the Jordanians out there for my assumptions and I plan to put these (and any other) preconceived notions from my mind in going to Jordan.

This still leaves the problem of packing my bag so I am ready for ANYTHING while still staying within the limit of 20kg. The endless dilemma of the female traveler.

By the way, I finally (I don’t know why it took me so long!) invested in a guidebook for Jordan. According to reviews the Rough Guide seems the best, so that is the one I ordered. In my next post I’ll get around to sharing my wealth of online resources on Jordan, as I promised earlier. I will also upload some pics of the soccer game I went to last night, my home team AIK against CSKA Moscow (we lost *sad face*), and discuss what I have found out about sports in Jordan.

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