Amman, Jordan Report of what it's like to live there - 07/19/23
Personal Experiences from Amman, Jordan
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
No. We have lived all over for many years.
2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?
9 hours to Chicago and then to DC.
3. How long have you lived here?
4. What years did you live here?
5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
It seems to me that rank and family size seem to have no bearing on what you are assigned housing-wise. The housing board, in my opinion, appears to be unfairly balanced in favor of one agency.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Less expensive than DC but more than southern Europe.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Lots of services. Restaurants are plenty and good, and less expensive than DC.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
No, but water pressure can be an issue.
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Many people seem to employ women from the Philippines or Sri Lanka (latter seems more non-US Embassy). In my opinion, it's an uncomfortable system and I am concerned that it could be abused or used for trafficking.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
Expensive. Embassy gym. A couple other options.
4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
5. What English-language religious services are available locally?
There's a Catholic Church with services in English.
6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
Most is in English if you want it to be, but a small amount of Arabic shows good faith.
7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Absolutely. The sidewalks are not for people, they are for trees.
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Ubers and taxis are affordable and smoky.
2. What kind of vehicle(s) including electric ones do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, infrastructure, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car or vehicles do you advise not to bring?
4 wheel is helpful in some areas but not really necessary.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
Zain - really cheap plan with the embassy
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?
There are a lot of embassy jobs. Like most places, people tend to be overqualified and they are competitive.
2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?
Some, but they seem a bit more make-work than useful
3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
Modest for both men and women.
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Medical care is nice, although perhaps not high quality.
3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?
It's very hot at times.
4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?
There seem to be a lot of seasonal allergies, I've heard complaints, but don't know to what.n
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
There are several: ACS, ICS both seem good; King's for older kids. People seem happy.
2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?
It seems possible.
3. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?
Yes, through school or otherwise.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Huge. Lots of expats but not American.
2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?
3. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?
There's a bit of a barrier. I think it would be hard to be an expat from East Asia, as many people from Asia are service workers.
4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
Highly doubtful. It is illegal to be gay.
5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
Yes, to all of the above.
6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
Lots of good internal travel.
7. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?
Close to many places in the world.
Words of Wisdom:
1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?
The housing is really frustrating; needs do not seem to be kept up with, and in my opinion, it's a much lower standard than it needs to be. There's also a huge variation in quality. And again, senior and family size means nothing.
2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
3. But don't forget your:
4. Do you have any other comments?