The valet brought Aisha’s Lexus and we said goodnight. The cold night air on the walk back brought a resolution to spend what little remained of my first month’s overseas salary on warm winter clothes. I hadn’t expected English winter weather in Amman. My mind wandered as I walked, back to winter nights at home – strolling back from The Two Badgers arm in arm with Anne, huddled close together for warmth and tipsy from the insanely expensive bottle of red wine we’d shared over dinner in the little back room restaurant. Striding down the hill to my little Jordanian home, the wash of homesickness made me hunch up, my hands deep in my pockets against the foreign coldness creeping insidiously into me, making my bones ache.
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Jordanian winters never cease to amaze me, the Mediterranean summers seem impossibly far away. The winter weather always reminds me of the UK, long days of rolling black clouds and sheets of rain, cold snaps and snow no rare occurrence. When it snows, Amman grinds to a halt. The rain, however, can be pretty relentless and the water stays on the ground, everything gets covered in wet grime from the roadside and the darkness never quite seems to lift entirely.
The Dead Sea stays warmer, it’s always 8-10 degrees hotter there than in Amman.
Even when the days are coolly sunny, the night will bring plunging temperatures and people don their layers and crank up the heating to 11. It’s always important to keep those layers on whenever indoors, for some reason, even if the room itself is already boiling.
It’s weather like this that drives me to the little restaurants in the Jebel Amman area, to sit near a warm stove by the window in good company with a bottle of red wine and watch the world scurry by with its arms wrapped around itself.
* Picture credit: Umm Ar-Rassas taken by Eddie Taylor. The extensive archeological site here, BTW, remains largely unexcavated. I didn't have a winter pic to hand and where better to get one than Twitter? Thanks @tayloreddie!