Wednesday, 29 February 2012

That's Also Amman #73

Roadworks in Amman... after we had a hole for about 4 months! We got this.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

My breakfast...

I love breakfast! Can be a croissant and coffee, the full English one with bacon and beans and sausages and mushrooms. It can be an American one with pancakes.

At home, during the week, it's not that fancy... But I need my coffee, that's for sure. Coffee is one of the more expensive things here in Amman. I get mine from the Brazilian Coffee House (there is a shop in Sweifieh mall and one in City mall). I love the smell of freshly ground coffee. A lovely full bodied and yet smooth colombian one, I buy 250g for 3JD.

So this morning I had my coffee, from my old Bodum coffee presser. For the little story, it has made many many coffees in Denmark (from before I was born), then in France and now in Amman. I enjoyed my coffee with some bread I bought yesterday and my homemade strawberry jam. I love making jams it's so easy. 60% strawberries, juice from a small lemon, a dash of grenadine sirop and 40% jam sugar and that's it! Yummy!

Monday, 27 February 2012

A good baby shop and a talk about bread

Opposite the Kuwaiti embassy, on the road from the US embassy towards Dair Ghbar there is a little stretch with some shops. I have already blogged about it, that's where you find a second cup and a cactus shop (or is it cacti?!) - well I was told there was a new bakery opened and of course I had to check it out.

But before I come to that (and the lovely cookies they make) well I have to talk about Rawhi Pharmacy. You see, I have learned to go into every single pharmacy I find on my way, just to have a look at their baby stuff selection - sometimes, like today, one can have a fab discovery.

The call themselves the "One Stop Baby Shop" and yes it probably could be. On the first floor they have a huge amount of strollers and car seats - several UK and French brands (the prices are huge as well...) but the choice is there. Then sell playpens and booster seats, high chairs and bath tubs and all kind of security things (monitors, mats for the bath, shades for the car windows... etc) and the whole collection of bébé comfort (toys, plates and cutlery, baby carriers...). You can even make a wish list for the arrival of your little one. And then the best thing of my discovery... They sell "organix" products!

Don't get too excited, I got the 2 last pouches (2.400 JD), but I did tell the pharmacist to get more and to get other flavours.... A part from the pouches, they have teething biscuits, cereals bars, raisins... so good stuff!

So after leaving baby shop heaven, I arrive at BreadTalk, the bakery. I got a bit disappointed as I had a "no" when I asked the shop assistant if I could take pictures (that's the first time in 2 years). It's a bakery, there is nothing so special about their concept and I just wanted a couple of pics to illustrate my blog. Shame.

So a part from the not so understanding shop assistant, it's a nice place. There is a small sitting area to enjoy coffee and cake. They have lots of salty things (garlic bread is one I remember) and then they have a few different types of toasts, biscuits... and cakes. They have an open kitchen which is a nice feature, the pastry guy was making what seemed to be a yummy cake. 

this is what you get for 12JD...
This is what I bought. A carrot toast and wholegrain toast, both are very nice. Bibs loved the wholegrain one. And then the reason why I went, their biscuits: they are freshly made by hand, no additives, only good stuff. A little sweet maybe for some, but with a good cup of coffee or a lovely cuppa tea they are perfect. It's a bit expensive - the wholegrain toast is 3JD, which double the price of the supermarkets. Biscuits are 3JD as well. 

I love days like this! It's always nice to discover new places. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

That's Also Amman #246

This has always been a big question for me... What are they doing on the roof?!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

And we got our snow!

Finally, it arrived. We already had a few warnings, without any snow falling, but overnight it timidly made its appearance! Every year it's the same story: stories about the white stuff in Jordanian Times, the population's annoyance because it doesn't come and they have stocked up on bread and water.

This morning Amman ressembled the roads in the UK on Christmas Day, very empty.

We did get a whole centimetre! Maybe.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

German bakery

The day I discovered the German bakery (a long time ago) I was so happy!

Entrance of the Shop in the basement of the mall 
Danes love their "brown bread"... The shop is on the P1 level of Baraka Mall, or ABC or Storia or whatever that mall is called! It seems to change name quite often.

Besides the brown bread, they also have some really yummy small rolls with raisin, a few pastries and some other breads. The owners are absolutely lovely. I think I have met the whole family! It's very funny when a Jordanian speaks English with a German accent.

Small rolls with the raisins on the left - and the yummy brown bread on the right
Pastries, rolls....
It is also possible to order cakes and other goodies. 

Bibs' dream shop ...

... Has finally opened in City Mall!

Hello Kitty is everywhere!

Monday, 13 February 2012

A demonstration in Amman

Saturday I ran into this with my friend as we came onto Zarhan street, after having visited Silsal, one of my favourite shops in Amman.

When we moved to Jordan 2 years ago, demonstrations were simply not permitted. Today is another matter. That is one of the things that has changed in Amman after the Arab Spring of last year. I don't really know what the demonstration were for or against - but if I should guess probably for the King.

Now we have demonstrations practically every thursday at the 4th circle. 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Birthday Cake

Follow up on my post about The Cakery from the other day... Here is the promised picture of my friend's birthday cake. Good looking and absolutely gorgeous!

This cake is for 20 persons and it cost 45JD. 

Friday, 10 February 2012

That's Also Amman #1

I am starting a series of pictures I have called "That's Also Amman", to share all these small things I see everyday. This is all about Amman, its beauty, its contrasts.

A Bedouin Horse in Abdoun

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Another cake shop in Amman: The Cakery

It's my friend's birthday on saturday and I told her I would get the cake. I thought for a while where to get it from and remembered I saw a shop in Abdoun that seemed to be just perfect: The Cakery. Obviously I can't talk about the cake, because I know she'll read this... but I can certainly show you a couple of pictures of the place. They make big cakes and lovely pastries, jams, marmalades and macarons, as well as some savoury things like salmon roulade, quiches and finger foods. They caterer for parties or meetings.

Shop in Abdoun
I love macarons. However, I didn't get to taste theirs! I bought just one, pistachio flavour, and Bibs ate it all! It's a meringue based cookie with a cream inside, usually small and round. It comes in several flavours - the cakery has them in: chocolate, coffee caramel, vanilla, pistachio, green tea, mango, rose petal and raspberry. The don't look of much, but they are very difficult to make. I have looked at the recipe I don't know how many times and given up before I even started. My favourite macarons come from the Parisian pastry shop Laduree. Thanks to Bibs I have  a valid reason to go back to the shop very fast. Box of 18 is sold for 14JD.

Some of their cakes
Some prices....

Cookies: from 7JD / 500g
Tarts and cakes: from 20JD (12-14 pers)
Bites (sweet and savoury): 0.45JD/piece
Special orders: from 30JD 

I'll share a picture of the birthday cake, I really love it!
Location updated on my map, link at the bottom of the page.

Monday, 6 February 2012

1st IWAA meeting

The first International Women's Association Amman meeting took place last thursday and was clearly a success.

Over 100 hundred ladies turned up, many nationalities, including British, American, but also Indian and Norwegian, Tanzanian or Jordanian. After a cup of coffee or 2 and some pastries, we had a welcome speech by the founder.

Then Jane Taylor, the famous writer and photographer, made a presentation about her work here in Jordan. It was very interesting as she has pictures from the mid-80s and she was showing how archaeological sites, as Petra or Jerash, have evolved and changed over the past 25 years. She has published 5 books about Jordan - they are incredible material, they give another dimension and help to understand Jordan. I bought one of her books on Petra - it's a fab read and her photographies are really beautiful.

The next meeting will be held on 1st of March at the Sheraton - 10 am. The membership fees are still to be discussed so I will let you know when I know about it. There will also be a certain number of activities to which members will be able to sign up, for a fee as well.

The website is not yet up and running, but here are the contact details for the association:
Facebook page: IWAAmman
twitter: #IWAAmman

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Shopping at Spinneys

I like going to Spinneys. I don't really know if it is more or less expensive that Cozmo or Miles. Some of my friends find that yes, others no. So I guess it depends what you buy. There are things you can ONLY get at Spinneys as yogurts at 7JD for 4 or apples @ 10JD ++ the kilo - I know scary. But today I found one thing you can only get at Spinneys and that costs less than 1JD: a Reusable Shopping Bag. Yes.

So I bought a couple of them. I am so fed up with all these plastic bags I get every time I go shopping. I am going to drown in them. The funny thing was that it was probably the first time the guy that was packing actually had some in his hands. He looked at me and asked me very seriously if I wanted to use them. Hmmm yes! then he went completely nuts and loaded the bag so much that I could barely carry it!

Once I got home I had to get one of my plastic bags so I could transfer some stuff over. At least one of them got a second life. I know I could reuse them, but I always forget and seriously I think the supermarket staff would think I am a complete weirdo if I did.

And then I like their motto... It would be nice if it was true. Not that I have had a negative experience, in general the staff is actually very nice and helpful.

If only they hadn't run out of Ella's kitchen stuff. Talking about baby food - you can get Happytot pouches in some pharmacies now, including the pharmacy at Taj Mall and the little one in the street leading down to Mecca Street from the Four Seasons hotel. 

Friday, 3 February 2012

Traffic Chaos at the 5th circle

Here is the story that goes with picture...

The golden SUV on the right was blocking the white car - the guy in the white car was trying to force his way out of the roundabout and the golden SUV wouldn't let him so they were having a nice chat and blocking all the traffic. One police officer got involved, he was stuck in the traffic and got fed up. A second police officer got involved, he is the one standing the whole day in the roundabout. The 3rd car came the wrong way through the circle - thinking she would avoid the traffic jam. Typical Jordanian traffic chaos!

Love it.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Olives - The Book, The Blog

I don't have much energy today... busy busy with the first IWAA meeting this morning, which was a success and I will blog about it, maybe tomorrow when the energy is back - then play time this afternoon with the kids at cutie town  - an indoor playground which also needs a post.

But even without energy I had to log on to my blog to see if there was a new post on this blog: Olives. I am completely absorbed by it! I need to get myself the book so I can read it - unfortunately the author has not been able to publish in Jordan... but you can also read about that on his blog. The story takes place in Jordan and each post starts with a passage of the book.

Am sure you will love it!
I hope you all have a great start to your week-end.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

This morning's taxi ride

"Where are you from?" is such a standard question here in Jordan. I have already written about it (click here) and my first post about this question is a couple of years old. I have gone back to saying am from Denmark, because that's where I come from and I have decided I have no reason really not to say the truth.

I loved this morning small talk with the taxi driver and it started of course with "Where are you from?"...

It went like this:

Taxi driver: where are you from? America?
Me: no...
Taxi driver: England?
Me: no... I am from Denmark
Taxi driver: Ahhh! ...silence... It's very warm in the car no?
Me: yes, a bit (it must have been 35 degrees in there - and only 6 outside)
The Taxi driver opens the window
Taxi driver: more silence... and says: Too much milk!
Me: What do you mean too much milk?
Taxi driver: Too much milk in Denmark, too many cows!

I laughed so much! I thought it was sweet and funny at the same time. He obviously sat that and wondered what he could say about Denmark - where the cows come from I have no idea.

He lightened my day because it's raining again. A lot.

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