Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Happy, Harried Day

We decided to tackle a shopping trip today, to the main souk (market) in downtown Amman.  It's less of a "souk" in the sense of open-air market and more of a centralized shopping area with tons of tiny shops all crammed back to back over several streets.  The shops seem to be organized by items sold: there's a street of scarves, a street of clothes, a street of toys, a street of mechanical needs, etc.  The main goal was to find the street of fabric shops...we did not find a whole street lined with said shops, but we did find several within a close vicinity, and got some beautiful prints (well, we think so, at least!).  I'm excited to delve into these projects when I get home!  I was hoping for a few more Middle-Eastern prints, but the ones available were...well, kind of ugly.  Oh well.  I'm happy with what we came away with. 

sheer fabric...perhaps matching skirts/dresses for me and Fia?
sheer undecided something for Fia
turquoise seems to be a popular color here, and I love how they use it; this is not quite what I had in mind, but I'll use it!

The fabric store shopkeepers were all middle-aged men, which was funny but not out of place here, and added to the fun experience of buying fabric in another country.

We also happened across an amazing little store called "City Rose Souvenirs"...wish I would have thought to bring the camera, because the store itself was a delight to the eyes.  And the prices were so reasonable!  We found a trove of treasures from our "Jordan wish list" there, and had them all piled up at the front counter, ready to pay...when we realized to our horror that the money we thought we had brought was not, in fact, anywhere to be found.  As we were scrambling for what to do, we asked if they could hold it all for us while we went to get our money and come back.  It was extra confusing because our day was already jam-packed and there really was no time for coming back.  They counter-offered that we should just take it all with us, and come back to pay later.  No matter how many times this happens, it always takes me by surprise--it's so trusting!  We offered to just leave it all there until we came back, or to give them the money we did have, or to leave our phone number, but they refused it all and insisted that we just take our purchases and pay later.  Amazing!

my favorite buy: it's a hanging candle-lamp
isn't is gorgeous?  and so reasonably priced!

It took us 2 hours to wind our way out of downtown, a combined issue of terrible traffic and getting lost.  For some reason, we can never seem to find our way out of what I've come to think of as "the black hole" (city center).  And then I thought, it was extra trusting of those shopkeepers to have such faith in us that we could even find their shop again!  Maybe they thought of that after we left, as they did seem happy (surprised, even?) to see me again.  But thanks be to God, I did; and even more thanks to God (and the shopkeeper's directions), I found my way out in about 5 minutes! 

The days here have been over 100F lately--sweltering!  So today we had a refreshing invitation from some friends who work at the US Embassy in the swanky part of town to come swim with them at the embassy pool.  The embassy is like a fortress, or a town to itself, and everything inside is kept up really nicely.  After a harried (though good) day, soaked with sweat, it was delightful to dip into the refreshing water and just float awhile. 

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