Sunday, February 1, 2015

Time and Space

Day 1 and 2 and 3: (Since I randomly decided to start a blog, three days into my trip, three days into the rest of my life.) Left Raleigh, NC wide-eyed (they are already big so this was kind of a given) and with overweight luggage.Typical. Tried to leave most of my "baggage" behind though. 
  • Delta extra bag fee: $75
  • American extra bag fee: $100 (paid the extra $25 when my Delta flight was delayed and they bumped me up to an American, so I wouldn't miss connections, then had to change terminals at JFK. JFK, such a lovely place. Oh, did you know they are going to be the first airport with a terminal just for animals?!) 
  • American overweight bag fee: another $100

I didn't have any issues making it to Amman. Unlocked my phone before I left, so when I arrived at the airport went and got my phone set up. 12JD today and 6JD a month/when you run out. Absurdly cheap. That's calls, text, and data with Zain. Then I head out to find a taxi. The "bellboy" who I thought was the driver takes my bags and pushes them to the car, loads it, and then tells me he's the bellboy, waiting for the tip. One way, or another, they'll get you. No small JDs on me, I give him some $2 USD. What? My bags were really heavy. And I had five. Negotiated the cab ride before departure. Gave me the standard 20JD price and we were off.

I arrive in Dwar Paris, Tara hops in the cab, and directs us to the flat. Finally, all settled and starved, we head out for food. There's a newish cafe called Kepi, specializing in Mexican. The one cuisine lacking in Jordan. The one cuisine I did not plan on eating. Not mad at it though and the chicken quesadilla was amazing. They have great lunch deals. Entree, side, and drink for around 5JD. I will be back. 

The next afternoon, after I had come out of my coma, it was time to gear up for a starter kit shopping trip. Also I needed food. City Mall is the destination, mainly because the massive Carrefour is there. Carrefour is the french Wal-Mart of the Middle East. French it may be, but classier than Wal-Mart it is not... Okay they are about equal. 
  • Side joke: Why aren't there any Wal-Marts in the Middle East? Because they aren't Targets. (There aren't Targets either, but it's funny right?)
Breakfast/lunch/dinner was at Cafe Hanin in City Mall. Lina took me here this past summer, and it was love at first bite. If you can get a table by the window you are in for a great view also. A plus for most of the cafes in Amman is that breakfast is served all day. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so even though I woke up at 3pm I could still get the mufarrakeh, which is scrambled eggs, sautéed with onions, potatoes, minced meat, and spices. We also got the staple hummus and pita, and a manakeesh which is basically a thin crust pizza without tomato sauce and you can chose the toppings. We went with cheese and zatar. The best way to do food in Amman normally is family style. Most restaurants don't split checks so its easier for paying and you get to taste a good variety of dishes instead of staring across the table, thinking about how you'd love to try something. After the food we hit up Zara, they were having a sale, and then went on to the necessary shopping. 2-3 hours later we are back home, unpacking groceries, hanging up clothes, and my room and beginning to feel like my room 

Day 4: Realized there's been another day since my departure. I remember getting up at a decent hour. 7am. Yeah, no. There's nothing decent about that. I'm a night owl. Ended up being productive, had a short nap, and then I was ready to head into downtown, aka, Wasat Al Balad or the Balad, meaning old city. It's the older part of Amman, where you can bargain and deal, get souvenirs for people you don't really like, find books in arabic, etc. We picked up DVDs and books. On the way pack we had picked up another mate, a cat. He followed us all the way to our next stop, a cafe at Darat al Funun. We weren't really hungry, but the place was quaint and we were tired of the uphill climb so we stopped in for tea, juice, and hot chocolate. The lemon and mint drink tasted just like lemonade from back home, there was no mint overload. The hot chocolate however, you had to sweeten yourself. They had a good deal where you could get a stuffed pita and tea for 3JD. It looked as though the snacks they offer change daily. I could not locate any wifi, so I will have to look into that next time, and they did not have shisha. But it was absolutely one of the best views I've had in Amman and it was very shaded which will be lovely when it heats up.

Fun fact: There is a Palestinian Space Agency and one of their satellites is in Jabal Weibdeh! 
If you are walking up the stairs I'm on (below) look up and to your left.

The stairs... Satellite on the left.

Darat al Funun Cafe

A star is as far as the eye can see and as near as my eye is to me. 
-Emily Jacir

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