A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: December 2015

The Best Indian Restaurant in Amman

I do love making blanket statements about restaurants that do one thing really, really well (for example: Brisket makes the best burgers in Amman). Rest assured that I only make these blanket statements after I’ve tried the same place over and over and over again, and only if I always leave with happy birds in my tummy. Every. Single. Time.

Okay. So, Indian food. Such a tough thing to get right in a country whose idea of “spices” is bland bharat, a safe concoction of black pepper, cinnamon, and nut meg. Indian restaurants in Jordan seem to stick to the “exotic spice” that most Jordanians are used to: kabseh spices. Don’t get me wrong, I love kabseh, but I definitely don’t want my Indian food to all taste like kabseh.


The only exception to the rule is Tandoori Oven, hands down the best Indian restaurant in Amman. While it is not cheap, their food is so good that I’ve never left unhappy about the amount I’ve spent (around 17JDs a person, inclusive of appetizer, main course, and soft drink). They have a wide variety of dishes for you to choose from, and even with the unpleasant decor, it still maintains a nice ambiance. Definitely avoid their stall in the mall though. Hindi is much better at fast-food Indian.

What to try:
My favorite dish there is matar mushroom. I also like their panak paneer.
Where to find: Next to Second Cup Abdoun

For the love of white noise

I complain about noise a lot. During my last bout of complaining, a reader actually recommended something that turned out to be really useful: an app that generates white noise. See, it’s good to complain sometimes.

White noise is amazing. It neutralizes everything, creating a safe wall of noise consistency that you can safely latch onto in your head. It’s so lovely, and definitely my best discovery in 2015.

(P.S. Thank you Hani for the comment!)

Security Threat Milestones

Jordanian kids about to start college have no memories of a world that was ever safe.

Let that sink in for a second.

They grew up getting frisked at hotels. Their parents’ cars strip-searched before entering the mall. People they don’t know rummaging through their backpacks and belongings before going into concerts, restaurants, supermarkets. Embassies surrounded by jungles of Czech hedgehogs and concrete.

Can you imagine being a 14-year-old teenager who can’t keep any secrets, because your privacy will certainly be violated while your mom’s standing over your shoulder peering into the guts of your open backpack? Can you imagine never ever having been able to sneak anything anywhere, or having no idea what it feels like to just walk into a goddamn hotel? Can you imagine not being shaken when you see huge, ugly police dogs going around sniffing the stalls inside a bazaar?

I remember a world that was safe. Yet, even I can’t get over not having my luggage x-rayed before I walk into a hotel or mall when I’m traveling outside Jordan. Are you serious? There’s no one here to search me? What about that creepy-looking guy who just walked in? I don’t feel safe with him not being searched. At least have a security guy stand by the entrance so I feel a little bit better.

Sad, isn’t it?

That’s the bleakness of our reality.

I would not feel comfortable without all the security precautions. I am more than just happy to give up some of my privacy for the safety of my loved ones, and the safety of my country. I am thankful every day to the fact that Jordan is a country built on security. I pray that no harm comes to anyone within our controlled borders, shoved between Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Palestine.

But I, at least, know what the awful political situation around us is making us give up. I remember a world that was safe.

Our neighborhood’s convenience store has a parking lot with two entrances: one is on the main road leading up to a traffic light, and the other is a smaller one around the back, leading into a small side street a few meters away from my home. Ever since I started driving more than a decade ago, I have always used the convenience store as a shortcut, going through the entrance on the main road and out into the side road. Last week, I was shaken when I found a security guard searching all cars before they entered the parking lot. The store has been around since we moved to Amman, and through all the shitty events that have happened in the past 15 years, it was never big enough to warrant a security detail.

So much for my shortcut.

Incredible video of snakes, Nokia Snake, and physics

What happens when you put snakes and boards successively closer together in a box? This video.

It is really amazing – I feel like I’m watching a real-version of the Nokia Snake game.

For an explanation of the physics, head on to io9.

On September, October, and November

I can’t believe I missed three whole months of photo posts. I thought I missed only one.

In my defense, I haven’t really been taking many pictures, because my phone’s camera is stupid. It turns everything that’s not shot in broad daylight into red, and with me spending all day-time hours on my desk at work, it just doesn’t make sense to take pictures. How’s that for an excuse?

So… my past three months. They were full of puzzles, Lego, model-building and home-cooking. Ready for a photo dump?

family picture



















Pictorial Archive of Life

2007: On March | On April | On May | On June | On July | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2008: On January | On February | On March | On April | On May | On June | On August On September | On October | On November

2009: On July  | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2010: On January | On February | On March | On April | On May | On June | A Captioned July An UnCaptioned August  | On September  | On October | On November | On December

2011: On January  |  On February   |   On March   |  On April  |  On May  |   On July

2012: On April | On May | On June | On July | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2013: On January | On Februaury | On March | On April | On May | On June | On July | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2014: On January | On Februaury | On March | On April | On May | On June | On July | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2015: On January | On October | On February | On March | On April | On May | On June | On July | On August

Genius Marketing from Kalamazoo Grill

Being Allergic to Chicken
Discovering that my Chicken Allergy is Gone
This Was the First Bite of Chicken in My Life
Second and Third Experiences: Good and Not So Good

Look at what I received today:


Is that genius marketing, or what? Genius!

To update you, I haven’t yet had any chicken after the painful allergy I got with my last try (when I ate the carrot – THE CARROT!). I need to chicken-up (ha, get it?) and try something soon, though.

Future Visions

I’ve come to deeply respect Microsoft in the past decade, not only for their world-changing technology, but also for what they stand for, and the culture of change and experimentation that I started seeing around the same time they launched the xBox.

Today, I’ve been reading a science-fiction anthology they published a few days back called “Future Visions”. They invited some sci-fi heavyweights to speak to Microsoft researchers at their research lab, and to understand the problems they are trying to solve… In the future.

The result is several genius short stories that I strongly recommend you read. The anthology made me feel fuzzy inside: what came first, the science or the science fiction?

It’s for free, you can download it on their website.

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