Amman is the hardest city I’ve walked. Neighborhoods are on hills divided from each other by ravines of speeding drivers whose only care about pedestrians is a warning beep. Presumably that’s all it takes to wash away the guilt of hitting one.
While there are almost always sidewalks of some description 1, while it might not be the sidewalk you want, they exits, though thick with shops, carts, hawkers, kids, mothers, breaks, holes, gaps, garbage and piles of bricks. So you end up walking along the side of the road like everyone else, flipping between hoping the drivers see you and hoping they don’t to save your eardrums from another series of sharp beeps.
Getting into a new part of town means descending an absurdly steep crumbling staircase, then playing a real life Frogger game across six lanes of traffic, before ascending another absurdly long, crumbling staircase. Often after trying three or four other staircases that end in private homes, or abandoned fields of garbage, bricks, and cats.
Yet it’s all worth the work. The first payoff comes after you’ve caught your breath and stop to look around at the amazing views, vistas of countless brick homes clustered and clinging to hill tops like ants to gumdrops. The views are not limited to the rich, almost everyone in Amman has a mountaintop view, regardless of their wealth 2.