10 Interesting things about Jordan
September 24, 2018

Important Things of Jordan before traveling

cosas importantes de jordania

It is generally considered that Jordan is a carefree country with very few rules and regulations, but as in any Arab country, there are still certain cultural norms that you should know about. Here is a list of things to keep in mind when traveling to this beautiful nation.

Beware of dress codes

Jordan is fast becoming a modern cultural center, and this is reflected in its increasingly modern clothing styles. However, freedom in terms of dress code will always be limited; It is important to know that there are still certain codes for both sexes, and misunderstandings about what is appropriate to use are the biggest cause of friction between locals and tourists. To respect cultural norms, women should wear loose clothing and avoid using anything revealing. As for men, it is important to keep in mind that it is not acceptable to go topless at any time.

Always pack a scarf

In addition to dress codes, a scarf can be useful for entirely different reasons. On a hot day, it might be a good idea to cover your head to avoid heat stroke, especially when visiting a desert tourist site such as Wadi Rum or Petra. Female visitors may need a scarf when visiting a religious site, such as the spectacular mosque of King Hussein Bin Talal.

Vegetarians, be alert!

Vegetarianism is widely accepted and addressed in the Jordanian culture. However, those who do not eat meat will still have very limited options when it comes to traditional cuisine. Almost all Jordanian dishes contain products of animal origin in one form or another. So be prepared, for example, if you are invited to lunch, to stare at a table full of meat dishes, and keep in mind that it is very disrespectful to show disgust for food in Jordan.

Good news for smokers

Many Jordanians enjoy smoking, and it is a custom that is allowed almost anywhere and everywhere, including taxis, public transport, streets and shopping centers. And who has not heard about the most favored smoking apparatus of the people, the boisterous bubbly, or the argeeleh, as it is called in Arabic. You will find an argeeleh in almost every cafe in Jordan. Choose your favorite flavor and smoke.

Do not drink water from anywhere

Tap water is not potable in Jordan. Unlike Western countries, tap water in Jordan is only used to wash things. However, you can get drinking water at any time of the day at your home or at corner stores or at department stores.

The Arabic rule of the "five minutes"

Jordanians love to be spontaneous and quiet, especially when it comes to making plans and appointments. People can simply show up and hang out, invite them to come at a specific time, or plan a road trip and leave immediately. Punctuality, on the other hand, is not taken into account. When you have made plans with a local and they tell you that they will be with you in "five minutes", it is best to presume that they will arrive at least 20 minutes late, so it is better that you arrive late.

Never say no to food

The Jordanians are very generous and hospitable people. They take the comfort of their guests very seriously and do everything possible to make them feel at home. It is also a known fact that they like to share their meals with everyone. Always smile and accept the food offering, since repeatedly telling them that it is full will probably offend them.

Photo permissions

Jordan is, without doubt, one of the most photogenic regions in the world. The locals are often happy to pose for their photographs as well. But before trying to take pictures of them, always ask permission first, especially when there are women present.

Love is not in the air

You may be surprised to see that the locals greet each other with hugs and kisses on the cheeks, the same goes for women, since this is a socially acceptable method of greeting. On the other hand, it is inadvisable for couples to show affection in public, from holding hands to kissing. It is worth bearing in mind that homosexuality, although legalized in 1951, remains a taboo concept.

Taxis are cheap

The famous yellow taxi can be found everywhere in Jordan. Operates on a meter that counts the amount of the fare required to pay until you reach your destination, they are considered very cheap. Unfortunately, it is common for drivers to play with the ingenuity of foreigners and to pay double or triple the price, or simply to falsify a broken meter. To avoid these situations, simply ask them to turn on the meter and, upon arrival, indicate that you want to see the numbers on the meter before paying them.

Avoid rush hour

The traffic jams reach their peak between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. It is almost impossible to find a taxi at that time, and if you do, the taxi driver will often hesitate to take you anywhere to avoid traffic. Always plan your moves around the city in advance, or choose to walk to nearby destinations on foot during those times.

Israel is a sensitive issue

Jordan is home to Jordanians and Palestinians, and the issue of Israel is a very sensitive issue. As a traveler, you may have different opinions on this subject, but it is recommended never to open or participate in discussions related to this topic.

Use your hands

The manners at the table are carefree in Jordan. Eating food with your hands is a common practice, and it also indicates that you are enjoying the food that is offered. Mansaf, Jordan's famous traditional dish, for example, is usually eaten with your hands.

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