Spring has turned the desert green

20160401_113645Friday 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.

Two weeks ago, Ahmad and I spotted a little place near Usra that we decided would be our next Friday breakfast. And try it we did. The place (in the picture on the left) is one of the cutest hummuseries I’ve seen in Amman so far, a tiny hole-in-the-wall with tables pressed along the walls of a narrow room that opens up a little more at the back. I had been really sick so I was starving for a good Jordanian breakfast.

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Secret Museums: Al Ahli Bank Numismatic Museum

One of the great things about teaching is that I get to see places I wouldn’t otherwise find or visit through field trips. As I am currently teaching my students about the history of money, our last field trip was to Al Ahli Bank’s Numismatic Museum.

The bus took us to the bank, where we climbed two or three flights of stairs up to the small, one-room museum. There is an enormous amount of information crowded into that tiny room (a little like the museum at the Citadel), with an impressive collection of ancient coins from both the Greek and Roman empires as well as a number of Islamic civilizations. Continue reading

Amman’s Gems: Wild Jordan Center

Last night while scanning the internet for a new Indian restaurant to try in Amman, I came across a Lonely Planet post saying: “Through no fault of its own, Amman has become the forgotten city of the Middle East. It is also the most underrated. The streets have ancient monuments and dusty history to rival Cairo, without the grinding traffic or pollution. Its suburbs have a vibrant restaurant and cultural scene to match neighbouring Beirut, but locals have kept it to themselves.”

This is so true. As time passes and I get to know the city a little better, I see that Amman has the thriving city-life that many other places have, but that it seems to be a well-kept secret that only those looking for these experiences find. From varied restaurants to comedy shows to concerts in the ancient Roman Theater (I hope to attend my first one end of April), Amman is home to a host of wonderful experiences. And although it is not a secret per say, Wild Jordan Center is among those many gems. Continue reading

Ayyam-i-Ha in Amman

Jordan is home to a small Baha’i community of approximately 1,000 people. After meeting a lovely Baha’i man in London at the House of Commons, I have learned a little more about the Baha’i and he and his friends have always been exceptionally kind, welcoming, and fascinating. It was he who introduced me to his niece here in Amman, a prominent member of the Baha’i community and wonderfully well-traveled woman.

On Saturday, she invited me to join her and her family and neighbours for the Festival of Ayyam-i-Ha.  Continue reading

Off the beaten track: Dead Sea

I love Jordan. Every day I have a moment where I feel this absolute peace and think “I am in the right place”. Every single day since I’ve moved here, 5 months ago.

That being said, one of the most frustrating things about Jordan is the fact that almost everything is privatized. You want to go to the Dead Sea for a day? The first thing people think of is “which hotel will I go to for day access?” Call me crazy, but I find paying a minimum of $50 for day access to a beach absurd. I also don’t want to spend a day floating in the Dead Sea and looking at a half dozen hotels and a lot of people. Continue reading

The Israeli life

I’m always astounded by how eventful my daily life here is. Perhaps I was exceptionally lazy in Montreal, or perhaps all the homework from class ensured that I didn’t have much spare time. Or most likely, it was the limiting (and long) winters. In any case, I think since my arrival I haven’t had one boring, uneventful week here… and this week certainly was no exception.

On Tuesday night I met with a lovely friend for dinner and a walk along the previously mentioned housing protest on Rothschild Boulevard. I was amazed at how much it had expanded since the last time I went. It had almost doubled. There were various locations with artists performing live music and giant screens had been rigged and people were watching television and documentaries together under the trees. It sounds lovely and romantic, but in reality, it’s not all fun and games in Tel Aviv’s absurd heat and humidity. Continue reading

Isifiya and some Tel Aviv

My posts now have a habit of being long overdue. It’s because, surprisingly enough, I’m busy all the time. In my determination to make friends and see Israel I forget that I also need time for myself, of which I now have very little. In fact, though I don’t miss the intense stress of university, I do miss having so much me-time.

Before I get into the momentous events of the last week, I must being by stating the all-important news that today, for the first time ever (and after many years of trying), I succeeded in making my first intact omelette. Not numerous tasty, shapeless chunks of egg on my plate, but a full, round, delicious and very very pretty omelette. I am proud. Continue reading