Because I arrived in Amman a day early, my first night was spent at Hotel Pasha, a small hotel in downtown Amman. I checked into the hotel with a felllow CIEE student who I had met at the airport a few hours before. I spent most of the evening on terrace, which offered an almost panoramic view of the city. My first observations/impressions are the following: Amman is a city of informalities. Cubic, ill-constructed homes teeter precariously from the hill sides and overlook narrow streets filled with incessant traffic, the patterns of which is non-existent, or at least totally incomprehensible to me. There is something very comforting about being in a city stripped of the pretenses that make modern cities feel impersonal. The organic and humble nature of the city extends to the people who reside there. Despite the language barrier between us, I felt comfortable interacting with my taxi driver, who warmly welcomed me to his country, and the fruit vendor, from whom I bought peaches for next to nothing as we exchanged smiles. Later that evening, the hotel staff invited us to join them in the first floor cafe for “debkeh” traditional Arab dance and Arabic coffee. It is surprising and relieving to feel welcome in a place so far from home.