Friday, March 29, 2013

Wakalat Street - Sweifieh

Al-Wakalat Street is located just off the 7th circle.  It is Amman's only pedestrian street and I love it!  It is pronounced 'walk a lot' which isn't exactly appropriate as you can only walk for about 10 minutes, but it is still a nice play on words.

I have to update this post (December 2013).  This street is no longer a pedestrian street and we are so upset about it.  Now cars drive through and it is busy.  It is such a shame!

It is home to some of my favourite Western clothes shops such as Monsoon, Mango, GAP and Zara.  There are also some sportswear shops and a few coffee shops.  Coffee Republic is my favourite because they are really friendly and they have a wash room.  I always need a bathroom for some reason when I visit this street!

It's Friday morning - no corn man today!

This is a nice outdoor eating/shisha place.  However, it is frightfully expensive.  We just wanted a mint and lemonade drink and it cost us $12!

Books @ Cafe - Abdoun

It is Good Friday!  I love Friday mornings in Amman because the roads are so quiet.  It is a super day to go walking or running.  This Good Friday, we took our breakfast at Books @ Cafe in Abdoun with our good friends.  Abdoun is a really nice neighbourhood in Amman.  It is where the embassies are based and therefore embassy families.  Books @ Cafe in Abdoun is the sister cafe to the one down town Amman which we have still yet to discover!  I am so excited to go to the one down town because it is said to have excellent views over Amman.

I found the menu to be nice and diverse, catering to all tastes.  I also found it to be a reasonable price.

The ice tea was yum!

It was great to be eating nice food and to be surrounded by books.  I think it is a great concept!  The best time to go is in the morning because then there are no smokers in the building.

Look at those delicious muffins!!!

What a load of rubbish!

The saddest, the most frustrating and the worst aspect of living in Amman is the rubbish!  It's terrible and is a real problem that isn't being addressed effectively.  My mum's recent trip here really highlighted this problem to me.  I mean, I could see it, smell it and ignore it with the attitude of, 'oh well, this is a developing country and they just haven't developed their rubbish organisation yet'.  But now, I feel like my winker blinkers are finally off and the sight and smell of the rubbish is bothering me.  Before, I just accepted it with a complacent attitude, but now, I want to get active.

One of the issues is that some families love to go picnicking, usually on the side of the road or in a forest or in some really cool, ancient place. They bring with them all sorts of delicious treats all wrapped in plastic.  When they are done, they leave all the rubbish behind, creating an awful mess that is just an eye sore!  We sometimes see men throwing rubbish on the ground or people throwing rubbish out of their car!  Is the problem lack of education, stupidity or just plain ignorance?

A regular sight on the streets of Amman.

A rubbish dumb right outside some really nice apartments.

I often see dead, decaying alley cats around the dumps.  

And then you walk down nice streets.  Just behind this picture is the dump.

I believe education and building awareness are the keys to solving this problem, but also the government needs to take a stand and make it their priority to clean up Jordan.  I do feel very lucky to be working in an environment where they are taking this issue very seriously.  My colleague's mum has even published a children's book in the effort to educate young children on the effects of littering.

Anzeh Al-azeeza Protects the Forests

Anzeh Al-azeeza Cleans Up Petra.

Both books are written from the perspective of a Jordanian wild goat, Anzeh, who is suffering from stomach problems due to humans leaving behind plastic crap which her and her family are consuming.  They make signs and place them in public places asking people kindly to take their rubbish home with them or dispose of them sensibly.  I have purchased both books and I have read them to my students.

There are other initiatives happening in the city.  I just found this one with 2 photographers wanting to 'Let's clean Amman'.  They rightly say that it is not solely up to the government to take action and that citizens have a crucial role to play.

I'm not sure what I am going to do about this or how I can help, but watch this space.  Amman is our home now and we want to keep it beautiful.  I'm wondering if we can get some t-shirts designed and wear them like the 'Keep NZ Beautiful' ones?

These T-shirts are really cool, simple, tasteful and effective - it gets the message across.  NZ is a beautiful, clean country.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fatatri - Amazing quick snack

Located on Rainbow Street, down town Amman, Fatatri is a succulent savoury treat!  Even thinking about this makes my mouth water.  Read the below picture for more details and if you live in Amman or are just visiting, we recommend this place hands down!  Plus it is cheap which is always good.  

We like to get an Armenian sausage one.  I like to smother it in hot sauce :-)  It tastes so good!!!  They can even do a nutella and banana one.  The last time we were here, we pigged out!  We had one of these each AND a nutella and banana one.  We were stuffed!

Mansaf - Traditional Jordanian food

Last week, my mum visited from England.  It was her first time in the Middle East.  My friends and colleagues were amazing and made her feel so welcome.  My friend, Susanne, is an American who has been living in Jordan for a long time.  Her husband is Jordanian and they have raised their family here in Amman.  She learned to cook Mansaf from her mother-in-law.  Mansaf is traditionally eaten on the floor with the family all around this great big platter of rice and chicken or lamb.  This night, we had lamb (NZ lamb, I might add)  and it was ever so tender! Jordanians eat Mansaf with the hands and a very thin type of bread.  I have to say, I didn't use my hands, but it is absolutely delicious nonetheless!  It is very flavoursome and has lots of textures.  I loved the almonds and the yoghurty sauce.  I really want to try this again because it was so good!  Thank you, Susanne.