Friday, August 23, 2013

Cell Phones & Internet

Cell phones and their plans are one of the areas of US culture that absolutely do not miss. Having to sign a contract and buy data plans and decide on a phone was a hassle because I'm a phone dinosaur. I want a phone to perform two simple functions: texting and calling people. Beyond that I don't want to do a darn thing with it!

In Jordan there are three major phone/internet companies to choose from. We chose Zain because we heard that it had fairly reliable coverage in our neighborhood. No contract needed to be signed when we bought our basic phones (they cost us around $17) and anytime we need minutes added to our phone we go to any of the dozens of phone stores in our neighborhood and buy a 5 JD scratch card. It usually takes us 2-3 months to text and call enough to use up those 5 JD's. I love that a cell phone is not a major expense here. One feature of cell phones here that's a throwback to the 80s is the inability to leave a voicemail. When you call someone it will not connect if that person is using the phone and will automatically disconnect you after 7 or so rings if no one picks up. I'm not sure why these companies didn't include that function, but I love it because I hate leaving messages. 

We are paying around $30/mo for internet and a landline (it was a special deal Orange had at the time) which overall makes our technology costs really low. One caveat is that we're only allowed to use up to 40 GB/mo and if we go over the rate tacked on is quite high. I know that back in Colorado we would be spending at least 3 times as much for phone and internet, so I'll gladly limit my usage and keep our tech costs low for another year.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer Feelings

Sorry for the lack of blogging, but our summer has been a whirlwind of activity. There was a lot of camping which was wonderful. Fishing and swimming desires were fulfilled. The cravings for burgers (specifically elk burgers), steak, pizza, enchiladas, chips & salsa, good ice cream, alcohol, pork products and real milk have also been fulfilled.
We have been able to visit all of our family members and have them all exclaim on how much the kids have grown.
As anticipated, the last two weeks stateside saw my emotions sway toward anticipation and excitement for coming back to Jordan. There's more language to be learned and time spent with neighbors and friends. I had missed the fresh food and simple fare. Eating in the States was hard on my waistline. The way that the US government had so many silly rules governing daily life had started to grate on me. So, it was with happiness that I boarded a plane to enjoy this second half of our overseas adventure.
The travel itself had some slight hiccups, but was overall easy and reminded me once again how close the world seems when one travels by plane.
We have a week to recover from our jet lag before school begins. We slept until noon yesterday and woke up at 4am this morning.
The house is in fine condition after our absence. So far three cockroaches and handful of mosquitos had inhabited our house in our absence. It also looks as though a homeless person may have slept on our porch. Today will be a day of running errands for phone cards, food and other essentials that need replenishing.
Soon you'll see more cultural posts as I fall back into the fun of foreign living!