Saturday, May 22, 2010

Not So Far From Home

Living in the Middle East, thousands of miles from home, might make people think that I am missing out on a lot of things back in the US. Fear not, those adventerous enough to visit me here in Jordan....there are many cool things within walking distance of my apartment. I have blogged before about the plethora of American chain restaurants and fast food joints here in Amman but let me tell you about the new additions which are right here in my 'hood.

First and most importantly, a Buffalo Wings and Rings just opened and it's on my street. I didn't eat buffalo wings that often in Ohio but now that there is one on my street, I go all the time. Why? Because it's comfort food. Yep, the place has 2 big screen tv's, gyros, curly fries and buffalo wings made just the way that I'm used to. The kind people who work there change the channel to Al Jazeera International (it's in English, bonus) when I'm there. Guess where the owner is from? Cincinnati!!! Now, all I need is someone to start selling Buckeyes in my neighborhood and I'll be set.

If you walk ten minutes further you'll see a cozy little diner that looks like it took a time machine from the 50's. They even have chili and oreo milkshakes. All the standard fare of a diner plus some more modern additions such as the thai peanut burger. It might be in the Middle East but it's a pretty fantastic old school American style diner with a modern twist. It wasn't opened by an Ohioan but I'll let that slide. Nobody's perfect.

On Fridays from May until September there is a fantastic market called Souq Jara which is also in my neighborhood. It's a farmers market and an art market combined. You can get excellent honey, herbal tea, cookies, watermelon smoothies, crepes, handmade soap, antique jewelry, funky modern jewelry, keffiyeh scarves with embroidered flowers and more. Most recently I bought some handmade soap with lavendar and another with brown sugar. The latter smelled so good I wanted to eat it. And I'm not kidding when I tell you that the woman who makes these wonderful soaps is from ......Ohio! Columbus to be exact.

I also bought as presents or received as gifts the following, from the amazing Souq Jara: herbal tea, sundried tomatoes, jewelry made by some of my students, a comic book, t-shirt and earrings with Turkish coins dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

So you see, sometimes I really don't feel that far from home.

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