...of airports that are actually pleasant to transit. In 2003, there was one (bad) Pizza Hut, horrid, hard plastic seating, clouds of smoke, and a restroom attendant so unaccustomed to international travellers that, misinterpreting my short hair and slacks, she nearly suffered apoplexy when I attempted to enter the Ladies'. There's now a lovely array of cafes and shops, and I don't just mean the horrid Marlboro-and-Glenlivet Duty Free variety.
From my well-padded perch in "World News Cafe," I espy sumptuously tempting displays of Jordanian sweets and both Middle Eastern and Euro-style bistros. And yes, American fast food, for the KFC-and-pizza deprived. I have free wireless, and the smokers have been banished to an unfurnished room across from the toilets. At the cheerfully functioning foreign exchange desk, I swapped a handful of leftover bills in various currencies for enough Jordanian Dinars to indulge in a cappucino, perfectly-pulled by a Tunesian barrista, and a pressed chicken tikka sandwich. Given Amman's explosive growth, none of this is especially shocking. What I did find amazing was the New Dress Code. Its been shifting westward for awhile now, but never, in all my days, did I expect to see - wait for it - Arabic Men Wearing Shorts. In Their Own Home Country. It's like seeing adults wandering about the streets in their pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Oh, wait, I forgot. That's something we do see every day now, back on our home campus. Times are a-changin' all around.
Labels: Amman, Jordan, Queen Alia Int'l