A Rainbow Haunt: Q

Rainbow Street in Amman is one of my favourites. Sometimes, it has a little bit of a “tourist trap” feel despite the fact that most people I see frequenting the many establishments that line the street are Jordanian. It feels a little bit like how Seminyak in Bali felt to me maybe 10 years ago. That’s why despite the many delicious little cafes and restaurants along the strip (Turtle Green, Strada, Esmat) I’m always a little reluctant to “pop in” and try a new Rainbow place without first researching and looking up reviews.

Q Restaurant is a place I had passed numerous times. The sign out front stating “Soup of the day: wine” always elicited a little giggle from me, but I never stepped in. Right next another restaurant that has a cardboard cutout of a king and queen (not the King and Queen of Jordan) kind of turned me off. Stupid, I know, to associate two completely different establishments that share only a wall. So like Wild Jordan, Q was a wonderful surprise (where I plan on taking my colleagues from work soon). Continue reading

Tel Aviv with the family

Early in January, my family and I headed to Tel Aviv for a brief visit. In case it hasn’t yet been clear, I’m not crazy about the city but everyone else wanted to see what it was like and my mother had a good friend from her kibbutz days there that she wanted to see.

We arrived just before 3pm and checked into a hostel (prices are absurd in Tel Aviv) right in the city center before hopping into a cab, at my insistence, and heading to Abu Hassan in Jaffa for hummus and masabacha. The food, as always, was divine and I stumbled through my orders in elementary Arabic. My mother wasn’t crazy about the masabacha because for some reason she didn’t like the taste of too much tahini in humus. Continue reading

Glorious Jerusalem, Holy Bethlehem

Jerusalem, glorious Jerusalem. By the time we got to Jerusalem, on the 23rd of December, it had been two weeks since I’d been in the city and boy, did I miss it! I had been driving my family nuts talking about all the wonderful things we could do there during our nine days in Jordan. Getting back to Jerusalem was like returning home.

We arrived late in the evening on Friday night and missed the welcoming of Shabbat at the Western Wall. Instead, we grabbed 7-shekel falafel at a stand across from the Damascus Gate and wandered through the Old City at night. My mother was amazed by the cleaning job that had been recently done on the walls and buildings, and my brother and father were astounded by the beauty of this living and breathing Old City. Continue reading

An eventful weekend

Friday rolled around this week and I was so excited, I couldn’t WAIT to get out of Tel Aviv and go just about anywhere. Anywhere, of course, turned out to be Jerusalem. None of my friends were available to go camping with me in the Golan or in the desert (work, birthdays, work, out of the country etc) so I inevitably turned to Jerusalem again and luckily, a German friend of mine working with disabled children in the settlement of Gilo was free and decided that, as he likes showing people around, he’d take me and the new volunteers at his organization on a little tour of Jerusalem.

I arrived in the city around noon, much earlier than the “tour”, to meet a Palestinian friend of mine in the Old City. He kept me waiting two hours, but when we finally met up he took me to Helen’s Cistern, a hidden place in a cave under a church by the Holy Sepulcher. My friend told the priests I was married to his cousin to avoid having to pay the 20 shekel fee and we walked down the slippery steps into a huge cavern with lots of water in it. It was magnificent. He then took me to his school where I watched some young kids practice their gymnastics. It was lovely, until a four year old threw a nail at my head and got yelled at by the teacher. However, that tiny incident aside, everyone was as lovely as usual. No one but my friend spoke English, but everyone smiled and made gestures and offered me water and made sure I was happy. Continue reading

Jerusalem, the party town

Every time I tell Tel Avivians that I love Jerusalem, they look at me as if I’m mad. “Jerusalem?!” they say incredulously, “but it’s so dirty! And there’s so much tension! And there’s nothing to do!”

They don’t know what they’re talking about! This weekend, a friend of mine and I converted yet another Tel Avivian to the wonders of Jerusalem. This time not to the Old City, but to its bars and clubs and wonderful, wonderful, friendly people.  Continue reading

Goa Florentin and Jerusalem

I’ve been wondering whether my posts are too cluttered, if I should do what my friend does and limit myself to one topic per post. What do you think? Is that necessary?

This past Thursday was the opening of Goa Florentin, a new psy bar and gallery on Hatserim street in Florentin owned by my friend’s dad. The opening was great, there were crowds standing outside the bar, a live reggae band playing on the roof, free rounds of beer, beautiful art on the walls and jewelry on display, and very very nice people. The bar is nice, comfortable and easy to be in. It is not pretentious or exclusive, it’s cheap, and there are comfortable couches to sit on (if you’re lucky enough and no one else is on it). Continue reading

King George and other things…

Last week, I mentioned that there’s barely a boring week her. It seems I spoke too soon. Not that I had a boring week per say, but definitely a lot less eventful. I saw some friends (really, such lovely girls), made a new friend, climbed the breakers of Jaffa Port again, and wished my beloved boyfriend a happy 25th birthday.

I was supposed to visit Bethlehem last weekend, but was stood up. To be honest, I’m not that surprised, but I was very frustrated. And because of Shabbat, I couldn’t leave on Saturday because there are no sherut (mini-van buses that run on Shabbat) by my house to take me to the central bus station. In any case, I did what I haven’t done in a long time – I spent a lazy weekend on my sofa eating, watching TV and talking to my boyfriend. Continue reading