Things I love

  • ~Louis
  • ~Family&Friends
  • ~IceCream
  • ~MyKindle
  • ~CoffeeBreaks
  • ~Sparkles
  • ~Knitwear
  • ~Vanilla
  • ~AllThingsLUSH~
  • GossipGirlxoxo~
  • Chips&Ketchup~

17 December 2014

The Beef Stops Here

I'm normally a chicken kinda girl. Or sushi. If sushi is involved, sushi is normally chosen. 

Having said that, I do enjoy a nice steak or burger but I'm quite picky about how it tastes.


There's one place in Amman you're guaranteed to get amazing, tender meat. Brisket.

Brisket. Just typing their name makes my mouth water. It's a little unassuming place tucked away in Shmeisani, one we lived 10 minutes' walk away from without ever coming across it. Probably better for our arteries...

Brisket is run by a couple, both really nice, smiley and extremely helpful. The speciality is brisket, a type of smoked beef cut into thin slivers that you can gloriously dunk into their incredible brisket sauce. They also serve beef sliders, chicken wings, ribs and delicious sides (do not, I repeat, do not let the beans pass you by. They are divine.).

If you want to go and eat a nice slab of smoked brisket or the rack of ribs then you need to order them a day in advance. The first time we went there were 4 of us and I ordered 1.5 kgs of brisket and a full rack of ribs. And we devoured it all. Like, inhaled it. For me the brisket won over the ribs. It was juicy, it melt in our mouths, it was perfectly cooked. I'm running out of descriptive statements! We also had chicken wings to start, fries and mashed potatoes, which were yummy. I think the staff were surprised when we then turned around and ordered 7 sliders (mini-burgers) and ate those in seconds. They were incredible. And then after that we ordered a second round of chicken wings hehe.

We've been back since and we actually ordered 3kgs of brisket. I know, the environment is very angry at us! But I really can't speak highly enough of Brisket. I hope we'll be able to go back there soon.


Kitchen - Head Chef in the baseball cap.

Cool wall decorations.

Love those signs!

Chicken wings.

The Star of the Show.

How good does that look??

The ribs.

Sliders. Life changing.

Award worthy efforts.

05 December 2014

The introvert bubble

You may remember how much I love personality tests. In particular, the Jung Typology Test, which defined me as an ISFJ (Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging). I remember reading the results completely awestruck because (highly, highly recommend taking the test - here)

I've been thinking a lot about the introverted aspects of my personality. I don't believe that we're all so clearly and easily categorised into categories made to categorise us. However, I do think that, more often than not, generalisations hold a lot of truth. I am a classic introvert in that I recharge from within. I read somewhere that extroverts need to spend time with people in order to be able to spend time alone and introverts need to spend time alone in order to be with people. We recharge our batteries during the time we spend alone. And we're rarely bored if left with ourselves! I've always enjoyed the time I spend with myself (esp with a good book!) and kept a journal for many years. Thinking about it now, almost every party I attended as a youngster (and sometimes even now) I felt like an outsider and I just did what I had to do until I could go home and unwind. Having said that, I also enjoy big parties and meeting people and spending time with a few close people who recharge me. That in itself is an introverted trait - choosing a few close friends wisely who actually add to your energy rather than diminish it.

I've also been thinking about the difference between extroverts and introverts. And here's an example. As an introvert, when you're in a bad mood, you want to retreat into yourself. The opposite of what an extrovert would do. Which means that when you're in a bad mood and an extrovert is around you, they come to comfort you, which doesn't work. In fact, it may cause more anguish. And vice versa - when I am around an extrovert who needs some comforting, my immediate thought is "sort yourself out" and then I try to go and make a coffee and get away from the situation where I'm needed to comfort that person. It's not very kind of me, is it? I believe there are two reasons for this. Firstly, as an introvert, I tend to try and figure out my problems and why I'm feeling like I am privately. I'm fairly pragmatic when it comes to getting things done. When I'm feeling unwell, I take medication, entertain myself and wait until I get better. Of course I want someone to make me soup and bring me coffee, but I guess I sometimes prefer not to attract more attention by asking for help. Secondly, I remove myself from situations where I'm needed emotionally because it drains my energies, and my priority is self-perseverance.

I've really come to realise this truth recently. I prioritise self-perseverance, and sometimes it comes across to others as being selfish. I do care for a lot of things, and I think about them when I'm alone or I show my care towards them very materialistically, giving the impression that my care doesn't scratch the surface. But I do care. And at the same time, I can't risk negative emotional equity. It's very difficult to come out of.

I am prone to giving too much and then setting the expectations on myself too high. I deliver, I deliver and then I'm in the situation where those around me don't realise how much effort it takes to do those things that I've been doing. And then I am suddenly expected to do so many different things and my time to myself is relegated to the bottom of my personal to-do lists and before I know it, I am exhausted. Emotionally. Physically. Sometimes people think that I don't make the time or that too much is being expected of me. But it's not that. It's that even that little extra effort requires super human strength. It's just too much. 

To recharge you need to be alone. Sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours and sometimes for days. On those days that you can't be truly alone, the recovery takes longer, making the whole ordeal seem worse and making you seem like an exceptionally selfish person. It's like when you get the flu. You get better quicker by staying at home for 2 days than braving it for 2 weeks. Sometimes, finding those 2 days for recovery are a luxury, and that's the truth. So you come up with coping mechanisms. You convince yourself that some stressful tasks are actually therapeutic (like blow drying your hair - not therapeutic at all if you ask me!). And you get by slowly until you get a chance to have that recharge you so crave. 

So that's my take on being an introvert. And I'm sorry it's quite a sombre subject...I have a suspicion I'll revisit this subject sometime in the future so forgive me for the pensive thoughts. And I do wish I understood extroverts better, so that I could emphasise when they are going through the equivalent in their eyes instead of coming across as cold. 

It's been a long year. I was all hopeful about 2014, but I'm not going to miss it much if I'm honest. I'm looking forward to 2015. Be kind to us. 


*the photo can be found on Unsplash, where you can use photos for free.

21 November 2014


There's a place steeped in history not too far from our little West Amman bubble. It's not even hidden, rather exists side by side with the modern city that has sprung up around it.

Jerash, previously known as Gerasa.

I love going to Jerash. It’s one of the best preserved ancient Roman cities, and in fact I’ve read that it is the most complete of any of the ancient Roman cities. When you visit it, you can really picture what it would have been like to be an inhabitant of this vibrant city.

We recently had Louis’ family visit and then my family visit and on both occasions, we took them to Jerash for a little wonder. Like I said, it’s only an hour away from Amman and the entire tour will take you around another hour, making it a perfect way to spend an afternoon. 

As I finished writing this post I realised how many unique buildings and ruins there really are in Jerash. Too many for a simple blog post.


Hadrian's Arch.

The South Gate of the City.

The near side of the Hippodrome.

The Cardo - colonnaded street.

Stairs leading to the Temple of Artemis.

Temple of Artemis. Sorry it's a bit blurry.
The challenge was to get the main sites of Jerash, including Hadrian's Arch, in one shot.

City of Jerash in the background.

The Oval Forum.
Me posing. Hehe

06 November 2014

Where to from here?

I know I've not been very vocal on here for a while.

I do have some exciting photos and reviews I'd like to share with you.

I do have posts that are lighthearted and liken me to Dora the Explorer.

But it's been difficult when my mind has been really occupied with figuring out how to escape the maze that is my brain.


I'm not one to plan where I want to be and by when. I find that things tend to work themselves out and well, whatever's meant to be will be. Of course, I do hope for things and strive to achieve them because not doing so would kind be crazy...right? It's just if you had told me 3 years ago that I'd be living and working in Jordan I don't think I would've really believed you. And the reverse situation is true, I have no clue where I'll be three years from now.

But for some unknown reason (maturity possibly being it, but let's not be too ambitious here) I lay awake in bed many nights wondering if this is where I imagined life would take me and if this is what I want right now. It's a weird question, because I have nothing to compare it to. I can't bring up my notes from last year and say "yup, crossed that off my list" because, you know, I don't have that list.

Whenever I'm at a cross-roads I tell myself, ugh I wish decisions would just be made for me. Of course I don't want that. Of course I realise that making your own decisions is a privilege. Unfortunately growing up and making decisions are such painful processes for me, since I prefer to bury my head in instead of facing my realities. But I've really started to think about where my life is heading, what choices I want to make next and where I want them to take me.

Here's a confession, I started writing this post about a week ago. And here I am tying it off because I am no closer to finding my decisions than when I first started.

I know one thing is for sure though.

I want to make a plan. I want to reach conclusions, decisions. For once, I am not going to hide. I am going to figure this out...whatever "this" is to me right now. I won't settle. I can't settle. It would be wasting that privilege I'm so fortunate to have.


23 October 2014

First time for everything

There is a first time for everything. For us, it’s the first time we have a portable, open gas fire in our flat. Yes, it’s out there, in the open, spewing delicious fumes and threatening to consume unattended items of clothing. It may come surprising to some, but Amman gets really, really cold. We live in the constant fear highlighted by Game of Thrones, waiting for winter to finally come. In the past we’ve managed with electric heaters, wall mounted heating units and the most expensive of them all, diesel central heating. This year, we have to find something else. It is our third winter in Amman and we have succumbed to what many hail as the most efficient form of heating: the soba. It’s a metal box on wheels where you place your gas canister, hook it up to the pipe connected to the soba, light the spark and let the fire heat the metal grill. We used it last night and honestly, it was nice and warm. Not sure how comfortable I feel with this roaming risk but, we gotta keep warm!

Have a great weekend all!


14 October 2014

When in the Levant, go to Levant!

One of my favourite restaurants in Amman is Levant, which serves a mix of Levantine and Armenian food with surprising twists here and there. I'm lucky to say that I've been there twice in the last few weeks (waist line not so lucky). I literally would be happy going there and ordering mezze after mezze and stuffing my face with bite size goodies.

Once you've sat down and ordered your food, the waiters hand you a little shot of green soup. The perfect start! I have no idea what's in this magical soup and I don't ask - it tastes incredible and I'm still alive so all good for me!

During our meal, we then moved on to more serious munches - rocket and fresh thyme salad, fried kubbeh, freekah with cream (like a Middle Eastern risotto), chicken balls (these were a pleasant surprise!), walnut and red pepper muhammarah (like a veggie pate) and yalanji, small stuffed aubergines. I have had their other starters such as the vine leaves and spicy potatoes and they are both yummy.

After stuffing our faces with mezze, we dug in to the beef shawerma. This is one of Levant's specialties, and deservedly so. The presentation is remarkable, as you are handed a meat skewer, chopped onions, mini pitas, pickles and tahini sauce - the perfect compliments to your individual shawerma sandwich. I'm not normally a fan of beef shawermas, but the meat at Levant is tender and full of flavour. One shawerma is usually enough for 4-5 people who've already eaten all those mezzes, so don't overestimate how many skewers you need to order! 

In a beautiful touch of symmetry, you are handed a little shot of citrussy goodness to help digest your meal. It's sweet and sour and refreshing all at once! 

If you have room for desert, I would recommend their creme brulee muhalabiya. Muhalabiya is akin to rice pudding without the rice, gently flavoured with rose water. The creme brulee topping on this version gives it that extra edge. Accompanied by a glass of mint tea, it's the perfect end to a perfect meal in my opinion! 

I think I need to avoid Levant for a while if I still want to fit in my clothes! 

Hope you're all having a great Tuesday! =]


22 September 2014

Third time was indeed a charm!

I'd failed twice.

I persisted. And my third time paid off.

The Amman Citadel.

We started off with a delicious brunch at Jafra downtown. Jafra is normally a hit or miss for me and this time, it was a big hit. I might just have to go there again and do an exclusive post for it, because it's quirky, fun and the food is yum.

Needing a bit more energy than what the mezzes afforded us, we quickly nipped into Habibah for a slice of knafeh. This place has been around since the 50's, and they do the best knafeh, especially if you order in advance.  

Feeling fueled, we then wandered off to the Roman Ampitheatre. Now, I hadn't been back in to the ampitheatre in over a year, and hadn't climbed those steep steps in over 2 years. They look easy enough, but man are they hard to get up! Personally, I just kept my body low and focused on going up...without looking down! When you get to the top, you realise just how high you are!

We stayed up there for a bit, taking photos and nervously laughing about how to get down *side eye*

After climbing down safely, we had a quick look at the museum adjacent to the ampitheatre (like, really not very exciting).

And then. And then. We drove up to the Citadel.

It was open.

We bought our tickets.

We entered. We photographed. We conquered. 

There isn't much by way of ruins in the Citadel. But boy do you get many, many great views of Amman.

My favourite part of the Citadel was the Ummayad mosque, a beautiful, blue domed building that was recently restored. The dome is actually not the original dome, and although it's a small mosque and not extremely charming, it has a certain magnetism to it.

Once we had our fill of looking around the Citadel and Amman's spectacular views, we went into the museum, where artifacts from different ages were on display. 

And we ended the day in a truly Middle Eastern way - stuffing our faces with maqluba or, literally, upside down.

Happy tummy tummy, happy Saba!

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