>Doing The Relationship Shuffle: Amman the World’s Largest Small Town

>As you may know, Jordan is all about relationships. Amman is literally the biggest small town I’ve ever seen. How you can have 4 million people and still be a small town, search me… but Amman manages it. It’s fascinating to see two folks from Jordan meet for the first time. The typical conversation goes something like this…

“Hi, I’m John XYZ.”
“Ah, I’m George PQR.”
“Really PQR? So, how are you related to Dave PQR?
“He’s my first cousin (ibn 3ammi).”

The community here is really small. The is even more exaggerated in Christian circles. Last night is an excellent example. I went to a dinner for some worthy young people who were being honored. The event was at the King Hussein Club (Ooh la la). I sat down at a table, there in a professional capacity (mentoring one of the groups). I smiled at the lady and her husband who were already at the table. At this point, she leans over and says aren’t you a Bean? Why, yes, I am. Seems she’s seen me in church and knows Teta and Jiddo Bean very well. I don’t recall ever having seen her before, but apparently I’m noticeable, teehee. She proceeded to ask about the Beans and tell me how cute they are (see it’s not JUST because I’m the Mom that I think they’re amazingly cute). A few minutes later another couple joins us, friends of the couple at the table. After several minutes of conversation, Auntie 1 says to Aunti and 3ammo 2, do yu know who she is? No, they didn’t. She’s kint (daughter-in-law to) JiddoBean. More oohing and ahhing. Of course, the other mentor sitting next to me during conversation with 3ammo 2 discovered that his sister is married to 3ammo’s niece.

Can we say small town? Really, really small town? Or maybe it’s just that Teta and JiddoBean are such well-known figures. Who knows… But it is fun.

Happy recognition!

7 thoughts on “>Doing The Relationship Shuffle: Amman the World’s Largest Small Town

  1. >I just love having such a famous friend. With such BRILLIANT children. Terrific husband. Great families begat great families. These stories never cease to crack me up. 🙂

  2. >Perhaps infamous is a better word for it ;). It is one of those things about being a foreigner married into a local family. I also often hear about the others…

  3. >The small-townness IS fun, isn’t it? I have a neighbor from Brazil who is somehow linked into my husband’s family. A neighbor. Brazil. Go figure. Always a new connection, a new discovery…

  4. >LOL @ the conversation 😀 well yea its definitely a small town and everybody knows everybody,6 degrees of separation rule fails here,its only 3,and i guarantee u;ll be connected to anyone through 3 ppl only ,max :D. i've been having the same thought recently,with all the "small" buildings ,tiny streets and the still-empty spaces between houses and on the mountains ,hell u know its a small town once your plane starts landing and you see grass all around the runway :DDD

  5. >The other week when we sat down at your family's table (while you were gone), it took about 15 minutes for my husband to turn around to me and say, "Hey, is this Mama Bean's family?" So see, in some circles, people recognize your family by YOU, not always the other way around!

  6. >Indeed Rebecca, there are very limited circles in Amman that owuld identify my family by me rather than me by them… It's fun, though isn't it? We really have to visit you soon… I keep saying that, but one day I'll match action to words. Promise.

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