The old city is definitely happening: bright lights, cafés, noise, beggars, sellers, peddlers and wacky signs over storefronts. But at the same time Amman is subdued, like everything is happening underwater. Amman is sagging under the weight of all the people and haphazard buildings. You can see it in the peeling paint, the exposed wires, the satellite dishes adorning the rooftops and the musty air that only I could smell. The houses want to give up. They want to crumble and disintegrate, they want return to the earth. And the mountains want to stretch, the air wants to circulate and Amman wants to breathe again.