Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Sounds of Amman

Starting at around 7:30 a.m. and running until 7:30 p.m. the gas trucks drive. These trucks sound like ice cream trucks. They play really annoying music—but only like 3 measures of it and then start again. They drive around the neighbourhood all day everyday! I took a video of one of the trucks. You’ll note that toward the end of the video they start backing up. That’s when I turned off the camera waved “no” to the truck and went inside. If you look at them they will stop because they think you want to buy gas. (In Al Husn they blare their horns and sound like trains! In Syria they bang on the propane tanks with a wrench and yell “Gas!)

We have quite a few mosques in the vicinity of our building (name one place in Amman that doesn’t), so we get to hear the call to prayer everyday as well. 4 am is the earliest one. The latest one is around 9 pm. They have five of them during the day, so there are three more. It’s fun to hear the different mosques doing it. They quote the Q’uran before they give the call to prayer. And they don’t all do it at exactly the same time so you’ll hear it multiple times within just a few minutes.

We live just off of Queen Rania street. That is the main street that runs by the university. We are far enough off it that our neighbourhood is pretty quiet, but we can see the busy street from our window. Pretty much every night we hear the sirens of the ambulance. I’ll have to catch that on video sometime—they aren’t quite the same as the sirens in the US. It’s remarkable that we only hear the sirens that often. The street is 3 lanes each direction and it gets much more traffic than State Street does. On State Street we would see multiple accidents everyday. Here, we’ve yet to witness and accident. The traffic here just flows. It’s pretty amazing—it’s organized chaos. The cars are weaving everywhere and cutting cars off and making the three lane road into four or even five lanes. They honk all the time…but they never crash! It’s pretty amazing. Honestly, if we had the same drivers here that drive on State Street in Provo Queen Rania Street would be a car grave-yard.

I'll have to add a link to the video of the gas truck a little later!

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