Things are off to a strong start, thanks to some of my Fulbright friends, most especially Elizabeth, who embodies the term vivacious in all that she does, and one of my awesome graduate students, Rola, who knew after only a few weeks of classes that I clearly needed to spend a morning exploring beyond Books Cafe, where I usually make my beeline on arriving in the neighborhood.
Rola invited me to meet her at First Circle on a Wednesday morning. Once we'd both arrived, we went for a walk down Rainbow Street that took in bookstore shopping, a visit to the Jordan River Foundation -- a nonprofit founded by Queen Rania selling high-end crafts made by Jordanian women -- and finally, a new cafe for both of us, the Old View Cafe on Mango Street. As you can see from the pictures, the food was fantastic (these are various forms of manaqeesh -- a kind of flat bread covered with various savory toppings) and the views even better. We spent a phenomenal chunk of the day with Rola explaining all kinds of things to me -- from Jordanian words to customs, and we will surely be back.
|The Old View Cafe comes by its name honestly. The view is truly fantastic!|
|And the food is quite tasty. Yet another reason to be grateful to Rola -- being introduced to kiwi-lemon juice that we both had.|
|Here's Rola hamming it up a bit.|
|And here she is in front of the Jordan River Foundation shop and doing a little promotion for my book on AIDS policy in the US that I lent her for a paper she's going to research.|
|Two more Fulbright students -- Grace and Hannah -- demonstrating that it is, in fact, possible to do work on Friday afternoon at books. They are both working as English Teaching Assistants and were working on their next week's lesson plans.|
|The brunch crew: Kelsey, Christina, Elizabeth and Jayme.|
|And here they are again in the heart of all that is happening in the Rainbow Street neighborhood -- on the corner of Rainbow and Mango Streets.|
The take-away point is this: if you're in Amman you owe it to yourself to check out Rainbow Street and while away a few hours in the cafes and shops. And if you're in Amman for a while, it might just become a habit.