Sep 7, 2010

How do foreigners go around Amman?!


I pity every non Arabic speaker who live here! how the hell do they get around the city is a mystery yet to be solved - to me at least- ! I would really love to meet the man who decided we should use the most confusing names that we locals can't even memorize most of the time! And why is it that each street should have a different more confusing name? I mean what's the point? keeping the names of people who lived on this planet some 1400 years ago alive? well they're not! getting us to know the names of small villages in Jordan? we're not! It's not working for me and I'm someone who has some vivid storage unit up there!


Back in Thailand I used to get around with a map in a city big enough to have 11 million people living in it, and it wasn't hard at all because the system was easy to grasp, this area is called Whatever, and the streets in Area Whatever are given consecutive numbers; Whatever1, Whatever 2 and so on! Would it be a betrayal of our culture if we had Jabal Alhussien 1,2,3,... for instance? So Arabs, Tourists and non Arabs living here can go around and give addresses without having to use "landmarks"? (After the traffic light, get in the 2nd right, then straight, then there's a supermarket, I'm in the building next to the supermarket, opposite of the dumpster!) ! we all know the feeling of being lost, its not funny, and I imagine how hellish my life abroad would have been if the street names sounded like "Kun Chuu Pun Te" or something!! I don't think شارع الحفص بن يعقوب is easy to pronounce even for Arabs!

Forget tourism, I just need my phone bills delivered to my house, it's been 4 months already! LUCKY me lives in a building located on the corner of two streets intersecting, and whether its delivery, taxi cab or recently the telephone company I use landmarks! It is about time this brilliant system changes, we now have a new lovely Amman font and I'm guessing someone will have all signs replaced, lets replace them for numbers! you'll be cutting cost walla!

final note: really? Um el Kundum? and btw its not an urban legend... I knew someone who lives there!
http://naserz.blogspot.com

13 comments:

Haitham هيثم Al-Sheeshany الشيشاني said...

و الله كلامك ممتاز يا ناصر

تسلم إيدك على هالبوست

MAroo said...

3enna el asami ....ام الشرايط.......

Omar said...

Muscat makes Amman look like a piece of heaven, streets names are not hard here because they simply don't exist! I was so shocked when I first came here that the idea of an "address" here means 'PO Box'! And no, it's not like the west when you have your box outside the house, it's just like Jordan, in the nearest post office!

It's truly complicated in Amman no doubt, it is as simple as that people will always choose the most convenient and efficient way of addressing, if they're not using the official addressing method, it simply means it's not the most convenient and efficent!

Mr.H said...

well !! I don't totally agree with u ! as I can see, the street are named and the buildings are numbered, the point of complex names exists but don't think its a good idea to change them to numbers !! if we order a delivery we give them the address area-street-number ... what make it hard to use is having ppl not getting used to them though they r there at least in Amman !!

for the foreigners .. ya maybe it is hard to pronounce !

hope it's getting better with such addressing, and the culture of addressing for ppl as well :) thx for the post :)

Ala'a Abu Arida said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ala'a Abu Arida said...

what's up with La Yazal ?

NasEr said...

@Haitham
Thanks for stopping by.

MAroo
في وادي النيص...
which was apparently named after me :p check it on facebook lol

Omar
absolutely, look at the new circles names, no one is using them, people are still calling them "1st circle, 2nd.. el da5leyyeh, etc". I think the government should ask the ppl what are they calling a specific area and just put that name up on a sign.
Enjoy Oman.. and oh, about the mailing address, I blogged once when I was in Thailand about how happy I was that I have mail delivered to my residency directly.. what privilege when u don't have it!
Thanks for stopping by n welcome to my blog.

Mr H
The numbering of buildings was a great move, I stand my grounds though about the streets names, I means except for delivery specialists who are required to memorize these names and have their own resources and maps to know where are you, I don't think its workign for anyone else, a simple question: if I'm to come to your house, would you really tell me -for instance- Shmesani, 4 share3 whatever? :)
Thanks for stopping by n welcome to my blog.

Ala'a Abu Aridah
1) laish m3asseb
2) nothing is up with La Yazal, its not the 1st name to come up in your mind to call an area with it, is it ?
3) if that was a sarcastic comment then touche!

Ali said...

Words from gold naser.

I have been working in the tourism industry over a year and i saw the confusion of tourists in my own eyes, I saw them look around like crazy trying to understand how will they get to there hotel.

Tourists here in this country can't do anything without a tour guide escorting them and i had to do that so many times and they always ask for a GPS to come with the car they're renting so they don't get lost and most of them come back to the office and tell me about how they got lost.

Before the Jordan tourism board try to encourage tourism in jordan they should make the country more Tourists Friendly!

Screw that man!

Ala'a Abu Arida said...

la2 ana mesh m3asib inta m3asib LOL

bas 3anjad what's up with la yazal ? sho ya3ni la yazal ?

NasEr said...

@Ali
Well its on the other hand keeping the tourist guides working :) that's one good thing I didn't think of about this whole mess!! :)
thanks for stopping by.

@Ala'a
la ya zalameh mesh m3asseb wala ya7zanoon, ba3rafesh sho gesset La Yazal el sara7a lol, bas maktoobeh 3a nafs el sign fa tel3at bel ma3eyyeh :D

blabbrgirl said...

um il kondom o fhemna, bss kaif ya3ni la yazal? is it like keep going?!

you're absolutely right, street names are difficult, and building numbers are helpful but still very confusing, I think the problem is with the city division system, ya3ni why don't we have visible blocks that enable you to actually guess where the street takes you, instead of going into streets and getting a big surprise with sudden detours, one way streets, circles and what not.

great post! I hope someone listens.

MommaBean said...

We foreigners just have to be REALLY smart, teehee. Oh, and being from the American South, we also use landmark directions. Even though every street has a sign. My favorite, actually, is like you said about the circles. Why can't they just use the name everyone else does. Like they finally(!) with Rainbow Street. You can buck it all you want, but people STILL calls Gardens Street well... Gardens Street. And Kilo Circle. Lots of my friends were SO relieved when I explained to them what it was (most of them simply calling it Burger King Circle for years...) as they'd heard it for years and had no idea where it was. ANd these are people who frequently went through it!

NasEr said...

@blabbrgirl
I hope so as well. thanks for stopping by.

@MommaBean
Absolutely right, if they use the names ppl use it wouldn't be a problem. Burger King circle ha? :D well it makes sense what can I say lol, and better late than never for them I guess,thanks to you.

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