Well, if your heaven is Amman at least.
A little visual intro of how the various “people groups” of Amman collide:
Of course, these are most definitely not every group in town, rather, the ones I am most familiar. Which do you belong to?
And who are these crowds exactly? Well, a little explaining is always fun…
1. The Rainbow Crowd
Conglomerating in Jabal Amman and Weibdeh, the self-acclaimed Rainbow Crowd are to Amman like flower-power-children were to San Francisco. That is, freeing themselves from societal restrictions, choosing their own way, and finding new meanings to existing in this world (in the Amman context of life, of course).
They dress in ways that 92% of society find peculiar, and they listen to music that other people do not find amusing. They all seem to belong to a sort of secret cult with transparent forehead tagging that allows them to recognize one another.
The Rainbow Crowd people are usually creatives or wanna-be creatives. That includes starving artists (who are not starving), expats who left the comforts of their first world lives to hippie-around with idealistic dreams, and well, that’s about it.
Meet them at: Jabal Amman house parties, Books@Cafe, Room 29, Jordango.
2. “Tantat Il Bakalorya”
Bakaloryans don’t get offended just yet. This term does not refer to just you, but actually to everyone who went to any of the schools that fall under the same category: New English, Baccalaureate, Choueifat, etc.
Although it might have been over a decade since they tossed their graduation caps, they still hoard around one another like no one else exists in this world. They are always very smartly dressed, whether fashionable or not. Their cars are nice, their houses are gorgeous, and they have a very refined taste in architecture, music, and about everything else. They all work at their families private businesses, making a lot of money doing so.
Usually, they hang out in each others homes, except for the few days a week when they meet at the nice places of Amman, like Nai, or Vy, or the Sheraton’s overpriced terrace (The Sanctuary).
Meet them at: Nai, The Sanctuary, themed house parties in Abdoun or Dabouq.
3. “Shelet il Arageel”
A drive through Amman on a nice summer evening will get you to appreciate the huge number of people who inadvertently belong to this group. The argeeleh crowd is also the most diverse, as it includes many people from the other crowds as well.
The argeeleh people love their nicotine, deliciously inhaled via waterpipes, flavored to death with the most unexotic Mediterranean fruits: peach, watermelon and mint, lemon, guava, cherry, melon, just to name a few. The argeeleh menu is often more comprehensive than the food menu, with season specials.
The plenitude of different places all around town that provide ample space for this group to come together also helps in establishing a very colorful population. This population includes people from all walks of life and with varying degrees of conservatism, liberalism, outfits, beliefs, and cash.
Meet them at: Tche Tche, Shahbandar, Talet il Jabal, Cafe Doner.
Abdoun places in a nutshell: born to blossom, bloom to perish.
All made true by the people who move from one new hip place to another new hip place, catered to by the coffeeshops, restaurants, and bars that open and close depending on the season. They’re cool today, gone tomorrow, only to be changed to a different place with a different name, a different menu, and a different look.
The Abdoun peeps are usually fashionable, although of course fashionable is not always good. They’re also usually under 20, meaning that they probably never really saw heyday Abdoun, when the city’s favorite form of entertainment was going round-and-round the roundabout.
Met/ Meet them: Prana, Irish Pub, Coffee Nation, Leymoun, Houston’s, Broadway, Mirador.
5. Shabab Abdoun
Not to be confused with the Abdoun Peeps, Shabab Abdoun are usually college-age guys trying to find cheap entertainment. The entertainment usually consists of parking their cars somewhere with a view in Abdoun, and buying 15-piaster coffee water from street vendors strategically parked next to them. Then, they’d spend hours coming together and just chilling out.
Shabab Abdoun could also be from any other group, they might just be broke or not in the mood to put on the whole act.
Meet them at: The hill behind Blue Fig, the new ring road.
6. La3eebet Il Shadeh
With a couple more JDs to spend than Shabab Abdoun, La3eebet Il Shadeh ensure they have a whole night’s entertainment with their deck of cards.
They conglomerate at “guy-only” coffeeshops to smoke, drink coffee, and lethargically kick each others asses, while discussing the problems of the world. They know each other’s weaknesses and strengths (when it comes to cards of course), and generally only look up from the table when there’s a really cool goal on the football game being shown on tv. This is also the most mysterious group to myself, as I do not know how to play cards, and generally cannot see the entertainment factor.
Meet them at: Don’t really know, I know that my brother keeps referring to a place called “So7beh”.
Which do you belong to?