All About Wasta

Sweifieh, Amman, Jordan

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, after about 48 hours of being technically homeless because the State Dept stopped paying for my summer housing and my new apartment wasn’t ready yet, I am now moved into an unbelievably nice apartment in Amman. And it’s all thanks to this little thing known here as “wasta.”

Or, as my father would say, it’s all about who you know! After meeting with our tutor Saleh’s uncle to see and apartment “like” the one we’d be renting from him, “but not as nice” (the previous tenants were still in it), we decided that however much we like Saleh, his uncle was decidedly sketchy. (Saleh seemed to feel the same way about the whole encounter.)

However, when I had mentioned to my supervisor Angela that we were looking for an apartment, she said she’d just found out that her rental property was going to be vacated the next day … an apartment just two blocks from the Modern American School! And this apartment is just beautiful. A steal at the price she offered (since we’re old pals, Angela and I!). It’s in a posh neighborhood of Sweifieh, has windows on three sides for amazing air flow, one and a half baths with a washer, an American stove with an oven, three bedrooms, and an absolutely enormous common area. There’s even a history teacher our age in the Senior School who’s also looking for an apartment, which makes the rent an even better deal. So Megan and I told her on the spot that we’d take it, and Ryan from the Senior School will be moving in later this week.

Unfortunately, it took the previous renters a little longer than anticipated to move out, thus I was briefly “homeless,” i.e. sleeping at Angela’s with all my worldly possessions in the back of her car.

But I’m moved in now!

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