Quick tour of Khan El-Khalili

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Jordanian currency is the Dinar

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When ever I visit to a new place, whether it’s for a holiday or work, it takes me a while to get used to the currency. I thought it might be helpful for some to know the currency in Jordan.  The Jordanian currency is the Dinar, JD or JOD. It is subdivided into 1000 fils, or 100 qirsh or piasters. It appears in paper notes of 20, 10, 5, 1, and 0.5 JD denominations. Coins come in denominations of 1 JD, 500 fils, 250 fils, 100 fils, 50 fils, 25 fils, 10 and 5 fils. I use for daily up-to-date conversion rates.

Here are the pics of the Jordanian Dinar note pics. However I do not have the pics of the coins. If anyone is able to take pics of the coins and email them to me, so I can add them to this slide would be greatly apperciatted.


Is it true?

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I received an email from a friend of mine from Jordan about being careful from people who are trying to take advantage of people’s general trust amongst each other. Although it has been a few months since I left Jordan. Has Jordan changed so much? Or is this one those emails which have no truth in it?

One of the many things I liked about Jordan was the fact that people were trusting, courteous and generally very warm. I hope this is not changing. Or is it?

“Must Read and Please be careful out there!!

A man came over and offered his service as a painter to a female putting gas in her car and left his card. She said no, but accepted his card out of kindness and got in the car. The man then got into a car driven by another gentleman. As the lady left the service station, she saw the men following her out of the station at the same time.

Almost immediately, she started to feel dizzy and could not catch her breath. She tried to open the window and realized that the odor was on her hand; the same hand which accepted the card from the gentleman at the gas station.

She then noticed the men were immediately behind her and she felt she needed to do something at that moment. She drove into the first driveway and began to honk her horn repeatedly to ask for help. The men drove away but the lady still felt badly for several minutes after she could finally catch her breath.  Apparently there was a substance on the card that could have seriously injured her.

This drug is called ‘BURUNDANGA’ and it is used by people who wish to incapacitate a victim in order to steal from or take advantage of them.

This drug is four times more dangerous than the date rape drug and is transferable on simple cards.

So take heed and make sure you don’t accept cards at any given time alone or from someone on the streets.
This applies to those making house calls and slipping you a card when they offer their services.”


Amman City Tour

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Amman City Tour Bus

(photos by wasapninjordan)

Anyone who has been driving about in their car, taken a taxi to somewhere or even just walked on the main streets of western Amman would not have failed to notice the big blue & red ‘Amman City Tour’ buses.

The new initiative aims to show the locals and the tourists a quick tour of Amman at a reasonably affordable rate.

  • The Tourist Pass:                           JD10 or USD14
  • The Jordanian Pass:                       JD5
  • The Jordanian Family Pass:            JD10 (2 adults + 2 children)

bus stops
bus stops

There are over 45 bus stops for the ‘Amman City Tour’ which works on a ‘hop on and off’ basis.

Visit the ‘Amman City Tour’ website ( for further information but here is a snippet.

‘Amman City Tour is a great way for tourists visiting Amman to explore the City; The tour consists of a circular bus route that encompasses a variety of locations, such as the Roman Theater, Shopping Malls, Downtown (or “Balad” as it is called), Museums, Parks and the Wakalat Street shopping district, amongst others. Amman City Tour offers its passengers the convenience of 45 stops in one bus ride, operating between the hours of 10am and 8pm every day of the year (until 6pm during winter months).’

I did not get the opportunity to hop on one of those tour busses, although I have been on all its destinations. It would be great to know from others who have been on the bus and what they thought of it.


Queen Alia International Airport – Welcome to Jordan

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(photo by

Since people have found out that we are leaving Jordan for Egypt, we have had guests after guests. Three guests arrived yesterday, three more are due to arrive today and one more tomorrow.

You know there is a saying in the UK about when you’re waiting for a bus and you have been waiting for ages. The saying goes something like ‘they all come at the same time’. This is certainly the case here with us. 🙂

This means a lot of trips to the Queen Alia International Airport, Amman for us and visiting the same tourist destinations again and again. J If you live in Amman, you’re probably at most about 45 minutes away from the airport. I used to phone the airport and confirm the flight details and update when picking up guests. Due to the language difficulty on my part not understanding the Arabic language, we have on occasion turned up at the airport 6 hours earlier 🙂

My advice is to visit the Queen Alia International Airport website, which is in Arabic and English. I think the website is fantastic and very useful. You can find information about arrivals, departures, shops, contact numbers, parking and most importantly up-to-date information about arrivals and departures. If you’re interested in airport taxis then it should cost you around 22JDs one way either to or from the airport.

We used the website yesterday and it was very useful. The website provided us information about landing time, carrier and terminal information. We normally arrive, buy ‘blue fig’ coffee and just sit, chill and wait for our guests to start waiving at us when they see us. 🙂 I know this may sound tiresome but the wife and I love hosting and love to give our guests the best time we can, no matter how many they are.

In short my advice is to check out the Queen Alia International Airport website before you leave your house and you might be able to enjoy your trip if you are better prepared. 🙂

Queen Alia International Airport:

North building: 064453187

South building: 064451739

Arrival information:


Less prayer, more work

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I recently read an article about workers in Egypt spending more time praying then they do working. It was an interesting article as I too observe the prayer 5 times a day without fail and it does not take me more then 10 minutes.

The article talked about ‘the time between ablution -– washing hands and feet -– and a prayer can take 10 minutes, but many Muslim spend as many as 30 minutes on the ritual.’ The article somehow jumps from workers taking time of to pray and then making a strenuous link between a study which suggests that ‘A recent government study found that Egypt’s 6 million government employees, a massive platoon of bureaucracy, are each estimated to spend only 27 minutes a day working.’

My thoughts

Firstly I have to b honest if there are not proper facilities at the work place, and then it can take up to 30 minutes to pray. One has to make Wudu (ablution) and then find an appropriate place to pray and believe it or not if there are not proper facilities then it can take time. It is the responsibility of the work place to ensure there are facilities for their staff if they choose to pray.

Secondly I have worked in the UK and some parts of the Middle East and to be honest what’s more disturbing is how long the smokers take to have a drag every 30 minutes or so. You will find them loitering around in their cars, behind the wall, outside the office, on roof tops. Each drag can take around 10 minutes, if you add the time it takes to find a quiet spot and then enjoy your cigarette.

Finally there should be no link between lethargy at work and blaming this on a work force that wishes to practice its religious believes. To suggest that the government workers work only 27 minutes a day and the rest of day they are praying is ridiculous.

I think there needs to be an open discussion about what is acceptable at work and what is not. Other factors such as better pay and fringe benefits could easily motivate employees to work. People who work 12 hours a day 6 or even 7 days a week and get only receive £60 a month for their efforts, might find it difficult to be motivated every day.


“Everyone does it. Why shouldn’t I?”

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Man Sleeps in his House

Man sleeps on a donkey cart which is his home and his livelihood in Pakistan.

(photo by wasapninjordan)

I am a writer and a moderator for The aim of is ‘to make life easier for anyone moving or living abroad by being the most comprehensive information and support resource for expatriates on the Web today.’

I read an interesting article on the blog of and I had to write a piece on it after reading the blog. The blog talks about an article published in the British newspaper ‘the telegraph’ last month. The author of the blog then raises some interesting points about integrity and about ‘doing the right thing.’

The original article is talking about the mentality of local Italians and the mentality of cheating and “Everyone does it. Why shouldn’t I?” The article discusses how a doctor encourages a patient to cheat the system to raise extra money for a holiday and another example where the ‘head of the traffic police in Rome was found to have parked illegally using an out-of-date disabled parking sticker.’

Here are my thoughts on this.

I have been very fortunate to travel to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan in the recent past. I experienced this “Everyone does it. Why shouldn’t I?” attitude of looking after number one. I was conned by an elderly taxi driver of almost triple of the agreed price and in another occasion I haggled my price of a good to 70% less then the starting price and still wondered if I was bring conned.

Deception, conning, and lying exists throughout the world and it is wrong where ever it is carried out. In my opinion there are two types of deception; one is out of necessity and I don’t mean the necessity due to addiction but necessity due to survival. Deceiving people or conning tourists due to the economic situation of the particular country; in those parts of the world people deceive because they have to, because without it they will not be able to put food on the table that feeds the family. For example the average salary for a policeman in Pakistan has risen from 3000 rupees per month (£22pm) to 9000 rupees per month (£66pm) which is still about 15000 rupees less then what is required to sustain an agreeable living without being categorised as poor. Pakistan was labelled as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In my opinion this type of deception is somewhat understandable although I would never do it and it is wrong out of principle.

The second type of deception, lying and conning is out of want; the greed of human beings pushing them to want more and more. The want to own a second home, or to buy a better car or simply to own more then your neighbour. It is this type of deception that I cannot understand? Where a perfectly economically stable person deceives another without need but is motivated by want.

Wrong is wrong and we should not accept any wrong and we should always try to do the right thing but at the same time let us try to understand that sometimes, although the action may appear to be the same, its motives are different. Hence I think there is a difference between the two types of deceptions although the action is the same and they are both WRONG.