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A City Called Salt

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6 photo journalists, and one print journalist boarded a bus and headed an hour outside of Amman to a village named Salt- 9am

Prior to our departure, I chatted with my host mother over a nice cup of tea about her city of origin. She told me a story that you don’t hear too often- it goes a little something like this:

You know habibi, I am from Salt. My family comes from Salt. Salt was originally supposed to be the capital of Jordan, but when the soldiers came to scout it out- they saw that the prettiest girls came from Salt. But this became a problem, and the men of Salt did not like this. So they started throwing tomatoes and onions at the Soldiers to make them leave. Now the capital is Amman.

I must say- when I went to Salt, I wasn’t scouting the girls. I’m sure they are pretty, but I don’t bat for that team. And since I bat with players that are of the same sex – I couldn’t really scout that out here either, since technically it’s illegal. But no worries- a 22 year old still has other interests! And that my friend, is food.

A friend and I decided – after taking countless pictures of scenic views and sheep – to explore the local restaurants. We stopped at this one place and entered saying my favorite phrase:

“Marhaba, keef halek? Moontazz. Speak English?”

Translation: “Hello. How are you? Good. Do you speak English?”

To our surprise – and I only say surprise because we weren’t in a metropolitan city – did a man step up to the counter and say, “Yes, what do you want?” From there we dipped around looking to see what we could order. Was anything in English? No. But no worries, I’ve gotten around a city for the past two weeks without speaking much Arabic, needless to say, it wasn’t that difficult here. Therefore, the man showed us delicious meals that was already prepared and awaiting pick up.

We decided to order a half chicken, with pita, and humus, all for an amazing steal of only two dinars! For those in America, the exchange rate of the US Dollar to a Jordanian Dinar (JD) is that of $1.40 = 1 JD. Pretty good huh? They even liked us so much, they gave us a free lamb kabob.

As we were waiting, we started snapping pictures of the setting. Entertained by our enthusiasm, the cooks decided to let us come behind the counter and into kitchen. It was here we were able to really see the preparation deliciousness.


Written by ryanpaynesblog

May 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Posted in Food

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