Anyway, it keeps coming down to the house we are currently in vs. our apartment in Jebel Webdeh in Amman. Jeremy and I are having an ongoing conversation like this:
Jeremy: I think Jebel Webdeh was worse. Remember the oven that was always threatening to explode? And how Miriam was not allowed to enter the bathroom or kitchen?
Me: Yeah, but at least the living room in that apartment had a nice floor. I refuse to walk around in this house without flip flops or shoes on. Not even just socks are good enough.
Jeremy: The shower here works OK, though, even if it is gross. The shower in Jebel Webdeh was always electrocuting us, remember?
Me: True. There is the problem of the weird odor in this house, though. You yourself said it smelled like a pet store in here.
Jeremy: Yes, it does. We should attach Lysol wipes to our shoes and walk around the living room floor until it smells better.
Me: I...don't think that would help.
So yeah, we don't like the place we live so much. It's a big 100-year-old house south of campus that has been split into four apartments. So there are oddly placed doorways and walls put up in the middle of nowhere and lots of cramped, awkwardly shaped closets. I do love me an old house now and then, but only if it's been well maintained, or at least lovingly worn out, and this house is neither. It is just run down and dumpy.
The whole situation was made worse by the fact that when we showed up, we discovered that there were no sheets or pillows to be found. That first night was pretty sad. We went to IKEA the next day and got a few $1.99 sheets and pillowcases and things were looking up soon enough. Life is always, always better when you have sheets and pillows to sleep on.
And that's how things keep going here. We settle our standards once more, deciding that maybe it's not so bad if we have go the whole summer having to pee in a bedpan in the middle of the night because to get to the bathroom we'd have to walk through both the girls' room AND down an ear-shatteringly squeaky, creaky staircase. But then we find out the dryer doesn't work and it's like OH MY GOSH, how do my expectations, low as they are, continue to get shattered??
The whole feeling we get from this house is that it feels nothing but hatred towards those who wish to make it their home, a sentiment best expressed by this video, one of my all-time favorites:
We all need to take a page from Miriam's book. She is just pleased as punch to be living in an unfamiliar, exciting house. Every new thing she discovers is just so wonderful to her. The other day, she said, "Mama, did you know we have a bench in our house? Isn't it so nice to have a bench in our house? I just love the bench."
And there is a yard, and it's a great location, and we're only here temporarily. I keep repeating those three things to myself over and over again, in the hopes that it will help me get a better attitude. If you hear me start to rave about the benches, you'll know that it worked.