I arrived in Amman Friday morning, and only now am I getting stable internet connection. Before I had to hurriedly buy a phone plan, then use internet on my phone. That was a bad idea. I quickly ran through 10JD by using internet and texting people too much. Because I put credit on my balance instead of choosing a prepaid plan, the rates were much too expensive and my balance depleted quickly. Now I have about 100GB of internet at my house and whatever internet is left on my phone from getting a plan after learning my lesson.
I totally didn’t expect this problem to occur, but that’s in part because I didn’t really understand how the internet worked. It was kinda magic to me at home, where I could just idly browse the internet without consequence. I didn’t care about how much internet I consumed, and sometimes I simply wasted it by looking up stuff when I was bored. Now, as the locals are, I am acutely aware of the limitations of the internet here.
One thing I regret though is not getting an Android phone or an IPhone for this trip. I hate to say it, but I think IPhones are ideal for travel at the moment, especially if you need to type a foreign language. IPhones have Arabic, a language that, while it has many speakers, seems to be a rare addition to smartphones. I only have the option of downloading really bad apps with my Windows Phone, so I’m starting to miss my Android phone on that note as well. Even with Android apps, however, nothing can compare to a built-in keyboard at the moment, as it really eases the transition between languages.
Also, either buy an unlocked phone, or get yours unlocked in the states before travel. This allows you to use local phone rates (rather than the higher international rates of your own phone company) by buying a sim card from one of the local companies. These are: Umniah, Zain, and Orange. Do not put credit on your sim card! Choose a prepaid plan! Compare the prices yourself and you’ll see the benefit.
Takeaway travel tips: Mind your internet usage! Buy a phone prepaid plan, and research them before you come here! Make sure your phone is unlocked before you come, as you need it to buy a local sim card to get a local company’s plan and pay lower, local rates!