Many, many, many moons ago I made friends with a girl named Jodie. She was my first-ever flatmate. We used to go nightclubbing every weekend together and she held my hand all night long while I sobbed over losing my first love.
Fast-forward more than 20 years to her farewell at a pub in Newtown before she jetted off to start a new life in Jordan.
Jodie has never been one to do things by half measures. That’s why I love her. While I mooch around idly wondering if I should move to Newcastle one day, she packs up her life and jets off to a whole new country.
Anyway, she’s started writing a blog and it’s fascinating.
Here are 15 things she has learned during her first week living in a Jordanian village:
1. Getting up at 6.30am is unheard of here unless you are a goat.
2. If you are religious, (and a male) you get up and go to the mosque at 4.30am then come back and sleep until at least 10am.
3. Cigarette smoke is unavoidable so get used to it.
4. Don’t go shopping with your immediate family – 30 people all trying to navigate their way through a shop together is hell.
5. If you have slip on shoes, they belong to whoever needs them to go outside.
6. Your child will be force fed by 30 family members and you will hear the word “strong” 1000 times each meal time.
7. Our lunch is their breakfast.
8. There will be between 10 and 20 visitors per day the first week. They will come at midnight sometimes.
9. Then the said visitors and the 30 family members will all sit outside where you are trying to sleep and talk (all at the same time and at the top of their lungs)
10. Everything is dusty.
11. The water shortage is like an Australian drought x 100.
12. You and your child will be kissed by strange relatives every day.
13. They think Australia is backward compare to the Middle East.
14. Everyone will think you are weird because you want your child to eat meals before chocolate and biscuits. They think you are cruel because you won’t let him drink Pepsi or coffee.
15. They will try to love you anyway.
Follow Jodie’s blog, Middle Eastern Maneuver, here.
PS Check out Jodie and I on our way to a pajama party in our younger days … (that’s a poster of Mickey Rourke on the wall behind us – Jodie was quite fond of Mickey Rourke, if I recall. I was more a Neil Finn girl myself, so vanilla)