Today, Muhammad, my peer-tutor, invited me and some others to his home for some wonderful Arabic hospitality. Originally it was planned for the group to be about 12 -15 people but unfortunately I had fallen ill for a few days and was unable to get people to commit. Fortunately I was feeling a little better today and was able to organize a group of nine students from our program and Muhammad was able to invite some of his friends as well. My roommate Adam and I were picked up by Muhammad’s friend Firras (sp?) and after an adventurous drive (we got lost and also reversed on a busy highway) we arrived at Muhammad’s home. Disaster was averted and dinner was served. Dinner consisted of chicken, two huge platters of rice with beans meat and almonds, some carrot based salad (tasted like cole slaw), an Arab/Asian fusion of pepper steak, a sour cream and chicken dish, and some bread. Dinner was delicious and was followed up with Arabic coffee, tea, and kunafa for dessert. After dinner we decided to go to Rainbow Street to play some cards. After another adventurous drive (Jordanian drivers are a breed of their own. I wish I could take on the challenge but alas the rules prevent me) we arrived at our destination.
Rainbow Street is a street full of cafes and bars and is very popular with westerners. There are also a bunch of consulates on it as well. After parking we entered an argileh (shisha, hubbly bubbly, whatever you want to call it) café and sat at a table. We ordered some hubbly bubbly (I love that name) and proceeded to play cards. Some of our colleagues left to go get some drinks (with alcohol) but returned after a while. My hubbly bubbly was grape and mint flavored but it also had a taste of licorice to it. Firras explained to me that licorice flavored shisha makes all shisha taste like it after it has been smoked in a pipe. I guess it taints the flavor. He proclaimed that the shisha at this place wasn’t very good. It tasted ok to me but I had not sufficiently recovered from my flu yet and I think it made me a little ill. After a few hours Muhammad’s friend Omar took us home so I could get some sleep. Overall it was a fun experience; I just wish I had been in better health for it.