Friday mornings are kind of a ritual between Ahmad and I. We normally start with breakfast at Usra, our favourite little hummus place, before heading out for whatever it is we have planned. The last few weeks, however, we have not been able to leave the city for various reasons from work to weather and illness. Recently, we’ve changed it up a little bit with the lovely (and delicious) Hatouteh.
Because I was still sick (in fact, I am still recovering from what the doctor thinks was a chest infection) and not physically well enough to go for a hike in Ajloun as I had initially wanted, we decided on a drive instead. Next thing I knew, we were on the outskirts of Amman (don’t ask me where) surrounded by green. It was absolutely beautiful. We took a turn onto a small winding road through what looked like villages and small farm-land. There were people out everywhere, setting up their barbecues and getting ready for an afternoon in the sun with their families.
No one picnics quite like the Jordanians (or the people of the Levant, let’s say). They arrive with blankets, buckets of salad, chairs and tables, barbecues and skewers of meat. The breeze brings alternate whiffs of grilled food and fresh flowers to you. “Why don’t we stop here?” I asked when we reached large field almost yellow from all the flowers in bloom. Me, who normally hates to see a single person when I’m out in the countryside. I didn’t mind the presence of these family picnics.
“I want somewhere where there is no one,” Ahmad replied.
We continued down and up through the winding valleys, green after the spring rains. Flowers in purple, white and yellow covered the sides of the road. We passed a few little bee hives set up not far off the road and continued on until we were back up onto the highway. Undeterred, Ahmad took another turn off and we rose up, through a small village and along an unpaved road until we reached a dead end where we parked and walked to a smooth rock overlooking the hills. We sat down just as the call to prayer rose from the mosques around us and we absorbed everything around us.
I cannot think of a better or more peaceful way to have enjoyed my day off outdoors while still recovering from a nasty illness.