Today's adventure: Jabel al'Qala: the mountaintop roman ruins
The ruins are desolately beautiful. Scattered pieces of empires, piled on top of one other as tribal kingdoms gave way to Romans who gave way to Byzantines. And now the place is surrounded by a new empire – whatever they will call us in a thousand years.
In truth, this modern empire was my favorite part, just staring out at the vast expanse that is Amman. The sand colored buildings blend together like a desert. From the mountaintop the cacophony of the streets is lost in the wind and the city seems still and ancient as the giant columns which lie like bones in the dust. I can't photograph this feeling – the partial city-scapes can't show the vastness– the way Amman seems to envelope of the world.
I couldn't capture the scale, but this picture shows how oddly seamless the ancient and the modern are here.
My host brother Saif with the old roman theater in the background, and me with Amman.
I am tenuously making sense of my life here. Life in Amman avoids movement during the day at all costs. I am quite sure the daytime opening hours of Jebel al'Qala were the reason it took a week of constant begging to get me there. But night is for adventures. Saif and I usually zip (or putter, depending on the traffic) through the city at night with his friends. We get coffee here, shwarma sandwiches there, or fetch dinner from a hole in the wall hotdog place called 'Wazzup Dog,' which is spattered in graffiti, caution tape, and 'BEWARE THE DOG' signs.
I know by the time I feel really at home here I will have to leave. But, for the little time I have it, I love this life.