I’ve been beset by first world problems of late, or should that be #firstworldproblems?
High on the list of my problems of the first world variety is being constantly asked where my favourite holiday spot was. Answering the same question on an almost daily basis gets a little tiring, but it isn’t really worth complaining about. In any event, my main gripe with the question is that there is no real answer. I loved it all and my favourite places change every day.
This week though, our five day sojurn in Jordan has been high on my list of places to fondly reminisce about.
Jordan was one of the places on the trip that we didn’t plan on visiting, but since we were in the ‘neighbourhood’ (i.e Turkey) we figured we were closer to it than we were going to be for a while and well, why not? As it turns out Jordan provided five of the best consecutive days of the whole long honeymoon.
It’s pretty hard to find gastronomic diversity on a menu in Jordan, all the bread we encountered was unleavened, there was an excess of hummus, rice, boiled eggs, grilled meats, slowly cooked/stewed meats and combinations of all of the above but like many places with small menus, the food is done pretty well. But in a country with so much on offer, even I was willing to put food on the backburner for a few days and concentrate on some serious sightseeing.
We began our trip by getting ourselves lost among the streets of Amman, the capital city. It was market day, my favourite day in any city, fresh fruit and vegetables were plentiful bringing out almost every inhabitant in the city.
The array of fresh fruit and vegetables was, as it is always, a welcome sight. The vendors were keen to let us try a bit of everything as well as pose for, even insist on being in, holiday happy snaps.
After wandering aimlessly for quite a while, and working up an appetite in the meantime, we stumbled into an alley (which is not hard to do in Amman) which to our surprise was filled with what seemed like three or four different stalls selling hummus, fool (a bean dip), deep fried felafels and salads. In fact each little nook was a different part of the same eatery, Hashem, which would provide my first and favourite meal for the whole of Jordan.
Hashem provides little in the way of luxury and english speaking staff. It doesn’t really make any difference though as Hashem is loved by locals and tourists alike, the tourists doing much as we did – pointing to dishes (well there are only really three) smiling and then tucking in for a feed.
Another night afforded us the opportunity to eat with our hands, well at least at the beginning of the meal. I can’t even manage to eat rice with a fork and knife (white people, how do you do it?!) but struggled badly with my hands. Give me a spoon please!! The dish below is the national dish of Jordan, mansaf, lamb in a yoghurt sauce served on a bed of rice. Delicious!
What? You say? two dishes from a whole country? Yep, that’s all I’m going to give you food wise. Jordan saw me suffer my worst and pretty much only food poisoning of the trip, so while CMJ was mezze-ing it up like a pro I stuck to pita bread, canned tuna and corn chips. Sadly, but luckily for me, doritos exist everywhere. Also very luckily, I had sunsets rather like this one to look at every night, we even managed a cup of hot tea at this one.
More tales from the road soon.
Al-Amir Mohammed St Downtown
Amman 11110, Jordan