Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Onion!

I have come to realize that Jordan is like one big onion, full of layers and full of things that will make you cry :). No I am just kidding about the cry part, but it is full of layers, and the deeper you go the more layers you discover. It is interesting, enticing, yet vast.

From the outside one can easily see Jordan as a historical place; one of the world wonders is here, a body of water with no living creatures and salt that will make you feel cuts you never knew you had, many biblical sites, deserts where you can go offroading or camp out for a true bedouin experience; those make up the outer layers of Jordan. You can dig deeper and explore the amazing popular areas of Jordan, Abdoun circle and Rainbow street are 2 of many. These places are full of restaurants which serve Arabic food like shawerma or international food like an all you can eat sushi restaurant, and argillah cafes, each with their own theme and personality, no searching necessary. You can dig deeper still and learn about the entertainment life in Jordan, the random club in Abdoun that gets so crowded on a Thursday that you can barely walk inside, the bar on Rainbow street where everyone knows the bartender on a first name basis and you can see all of downtown from a balcony, a restaurant/lounge in Jabel al Webdeh that has a live Jazz band on Tuesdays, the argillah place in the Balad where you can get cheap argillah, live, old fashioned Arabic music, and an old fashioned Arab looking atmosphere, or a café/bar in Jabal Amman built into an old house, first floor is a bookstore and second floor is full of food, drinks, and argillah on balconies, terraces, and in rooms with views that are more than breathtaking. These places can be discovered by tourists but they are not as obvious.

Another layer deep and you begin to learn about the local spots, an Irish bar under a hotel that feels like an underground club, a club that, on Wednesdays, gets PACKED with people because of the reminiscent 80s music they play through the speakers, restaurants on airport road that give you the best tasting meat to the point where it is worth the 40 minute drive, the coffee shops where only men go but it is like their second home, or outside a DVD store in Abdoun, certain parking lots, or certain views, where if you go during the right time at night you will see the area FULL of cars, people just parked and hanging out with coffee or drinks in hand. Then there is the popular restaurant on Mecca street that is known to tourists as a place for good breakfast or lunch but to the locals it is a place to meet after your night is done, it is like a club on its own, a place to unwind and regroup, the place only starts to come alive at 3 in the morning. There are also the street vendors for coffee that we all know, 30 cents and you can get an amazing cup of coffee brought straight to your car window; they put chocolate on top of your coffee in the one on Gardens street but if you go around the corner there is one with a line 2 -5 blocks long, one of the best tasting ones is right around 7th circle, drive up and 2 minutes later your all set for your cruise around Amman. I am still amazed by the fast food place in Dahyeh where everyone knows the waiters by name, and the waiters know everyone, each person has their own special way of ordering their meal, it is a hangout on its own and its rare to go in there and not bump into many others that you know.

These are just a few of the layers I have discovered in West Amman; when in the outskirts of West Amman it can sometimes feel like a completely different country. They have their own spots, their own undergrounds, their own entertainment, their own layers.

I have recently learned there are many more layers that I have not even begun to explore and hopefully one day I will get the chance. I hope I never reach the center of my onion because each layer that is discovered is more fun than the last!

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