Saturday, July 22, 2017

Amman: a morning

Taxi ride from Amman airport to the city
December morning
a terrace
in Amman
by the lemon tree
no lemons to see or even a tree
only a  stump -- evidence that there was once a lemon tree here.

Chimneys high and low
swirl out puffs of smoke
in patterns of their choice--
circles, eggs or just wispy threads.

An English Breakfast teabag sits in the cup I hold and wonders why it's not been taken out yet.
I like my tea strong.
The bag doesn't know this yet but
it will be plastered to the side of the cup and squeezed with the back of the spoon till the very last dribs dribble out.
For now, it swims in hot water and watches vapour rise above the rim and vanish into the blue sky above.

Impermanence of existence:
Every moment is a reminder.

White smoke of chimneys climbs up and turns transparent.
Sky is smoke or is smoke the new sky?
I wonder--
who's cooking today?
A mum?
A dad?
or a hired hand?
Will it be eggs or pancakes for breakfast?
It's been a while since I've written or blogged. My days have been beating to a rhythm of their own lately. Reading books and articles, checking out pinterest pics for designs of saree blouses has been seeping into my ordinary. I've just got back from a short trip to Bangalore. A beautiful pink cotton and a sky blue silk saree came along in my handbag. Yes, I do tend to pack my new purchases in my handbag -- much to my family's amusement -- because I feel that in case of a misplaced or lost baggage situation, at least I'll have my newbies with me. Logic and saree lovers don't see eye to eye. Period.

Summer and politics has kept TV screens and news channels busy in this part of the world. True to my nature, I've switched myself off and escaped to the land of books and a tiny bit of travel and walks and meditation and sitting with eyes open and day dreaming--like I used to when I was 5 or 6 or even 10. That part of my inner child or childhood is growing inside in leaps and bounds and taking me along on so many lucid journeys that I forget to visit my laptop to write.

I woke up early today. Old rumblings of a desire to write and share were knocking my insides, so I crept out of bed, looked at my phone and knew I had a couple of hours of absolute quiet before the husband and son would wake up. A glass of lemon water and a cup of adrak wali chai later, I started to pour out my post at the kitchen table.

Amman came up--a memory, a feeling, a wispy cold breeze I'd love to feel now (when the sun is glowering at us in his 50 degree suit).

I'd spent a total of five, maybe ten minutes when the husband walked in with his noisy slippers--phacchaaak, phachaaak, phachaaak...

I tried to ignore and carry on but failed.

"I've only just started...and your slippers are so noisy..." I complain without looking up.

He knows. He knows how I get when a post needs to be knocked out of me. He grabs a banana from the counter top.

"Want a bite?" he asks "it's the last one."

Love for his generosity mixes with regret at being so short with him--his slippers have always been noisy. I decline with a nod and go back to my screen.

"There's no milk in the fridge and no fruit left." he mentions as a parting shot just as he exits the kitchen.

 We'd planned to go grocery shopping today. But my fingers want to type and the heart is filling up with the usual blogging excitement, so I'm gonna write, share and then cater to the needs of our empty fridge.

"Let them eat toast." I think to myself and keep going on my laptop. 

Back to Amman, a city worth a stop. I was there in December of 2016. I spent a solo sunny day of exploring and a rainy half day with Angela. The people, the food, the art, the history, the local crafts--I loved it all. Here's a collection of photos I took.

Streets of Amman ...
Peeping inside gardens visible from the street -- treasures to behold and cherish

The missing 'U' in laundry service: Apt, I think as 'they' do the dirty work not 'U'!
I think I get the message:)
The husband has always maintained this philosophy but when one sees it on a billboard, one gets it!

Awash and empty... post rains.

 We stepped inside to escape the rain, and found a treasure trove of local crafts beautifully displayed and Jordan River Foundation.

The rain stopped me from taking my camera out but if you're in Amman, DO NOT miss out visiting:
1. Wild Jordan
2. Jacaranda Images
You can get all the information you need on
Pick up or download (from above website) the Map of Downtown, Luweibdeh and Jabal Amman.
It's the best guide to explore the city in a short time--with easy to follow layout showing 
art galleries, studios, markets and restaurants.
 I ended my Amman tour with a cup of coffee at Books@Cafe-- loved it.
His smile says it all: Jordan is full of smiles and helpful, kind souls.
Hope to see you soon.
Smile--it's Sunday:)


  1. It reminds me of India , Somehow!! With a little Europe thrown in!

    1. You're not wrong Sonali. It's a mix. The people, though, are warm and helpful and not too busy to talk to tourists--casual chats--that's what makes a place worth a second visit I think.

  2. I really enjoyed this post Arti. Some random thoughts... Amman looks and sounds lovely. I love your first photo, showing the blur of lights on your taxi ride. My tea bags also get squeezed as I prefer my tea strong. That kitty would like to come inside, too. Your husband's slippers reminded me of my hiking boots. They squeak. It is ridiculous. I frighten away any wildlife before I see it.

    1. Ha! Ha! to the noisy hiking boots...just imagining the poor wildlife:)
      Thanks for visiting Emily. And yes, Jordan is gorgeous--especially, the little art shops tucked away in nooks.

  3. *sigh*
    I love these armchair travels...

    Dear Arti's Husband,
    Your wife made my day.
    Thank you for just eating the banana. :-)

    1. I'm shaking with laughter...Will show this comment to him;) xx

  4. Good to see you in action after a while, Arti! Hope you get many such mornings:-)

    Yes, Amman is a lively city with a character of its own. Love the off-white backdrop of the buildings and colourful life happening around you.

    1. Hey Ruchita. Thank you for stopping by.
      Lots to talk and blog about after a summer of impromptu travels:) xx

  5. hello Arti! I love reading you. Love the gentle way you ease us into your story... You and I drink tea exactly the same way. :) Thank you for sharing so much about your part of the world. I loved the photos. And even your husband's slippers made me smile. :) A big hug to you from Canada, my friend. xo

    1. Thank you Pauline. Reading your words spreads a blanket of warmth around me--I love it:)
      It's been a busy month--fun but busy--travelling and looking at Unis for our son. I'm looking forward to writing and blogging again. Let's hope I listen to myself and do it:) Hugs to you from very very hot Doha. xx


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