Our first 48+ hours.
My initial impressions of Amman:
The entire city is made up of short beige buildings surrounded by shrubby trees. The sky is a crisp blue. And most things we might need or want can be found in walking distance from our house.
Dry heat really does feel better.
The people are friendly and welcoming and thankfully most we have come across speak at least some English.
We discovered a really good falafel shop near our house. I wonder if I will ever get tired of falafel.
I interviewed for a job at the embassy. I must have done very well because five minutes after the interview I had an offer. Now I just need to tackle security clearance.
It's a bad idea to arrive right before the Eid Al Adha holiday. The good news is that we have a five day weekend. The bad news is that nothing can be done till after the holiday, meaning our residency permits will take longer....and so will our stuff.
It also means that there was a big push to get Shanti here before the holiday.
My Thursday started very well. See the above note about the job. Just after lunch a call came though from the woman handling this end of Shanti's shipping. the conversation went something like this:
Shipper: Mam, we are wondering if you have your dog.
Me: No we are waiting for you to deliver her.
S: Do you know if she was put on the plane?
M: I believe she was...
S: Well, we have her paperwork but she was not on the plane.
M: (I am now starting to freak out) where do you think she is.
S: We will check further to see if we can find her.
My panic attack is starting to set in. I can think of a hundred bad things that could have happend.
Fortunately, the GSO office stepped in to help out. I'm not sure exactly what was said, most of it was in Arabic, but Top Priority was used several times. He also told me this never happens.
Now I had to wait.
An hour and a half later the call came in. We have found her! She is ok! She is in Baghdad!
Are you kidding me!?!
No they are not.
She will still be delivered to us "tonight".
Though it turns out that the language barrier with times meant her plane was taking off at 8 not landing at 8. The promise to call when she was on her way to us was pretty empty so we (I) fretted for most of the evening.
Finally, at midnight, the truck pulls up with our distressed and tired world traveler. To add insult to injury our joyous reunion was marred, for her, by her desperate need for a bath.
Somewhere around 12:45 we all settled in for much needed sleep.
We will likely never know what the real story is.