Friday, August 11, 2006

Amman Photos, Part 3

Scene from Quraish Street (Sa'f Al-Sail), downtown Amman

Scene from Quraish Street (Sa'f Al-Sail), downtown Amman

Jordanian traffic policeman writing a ticket for an unfortunate driver

Jordanian traffic policeman writing a ticket

My favourite Jordanian dish: Mansaf, basically lamb cooked in sheep yoghourt, and served with rice and fried almonds

My favourite Jordanian dish: Mansaf, basically lamb cooked in sheep yoghourt, served with rice and fried almonds

This one deserves further comment. Those innocent looking middle-aged vendors selling souvenirs (beads, old coins, stamps, defunct Iraqi bank notes with Saddam's face) for tourists are a bit more than street vendors. Notice the bald fellow hiding his face from the camera? He turned out to be an undercover Jordanian security agent. Just after I took the photo, he beckoned for two other men to follow him and headed to the bench where I was sitting with another friend, sipping horrible tea made out of bags. He asked me, with authority in his tone, from which country I was from and why I was shooting people's faces. I told him I was from Iraq and offered for him to scan through the photos I took that day. He checked each photo closely while explaining that this was a delicate security issue and warned that I should be careful while taking photos, otherwise I would probably be taken for interrogation and my camera confiscated. I was watching the group of Japanese tourists all over the place with video cameras and resisted the strong urge to point out why they weren't stopped and questioned. Anyway, I can now officially announce that this was my third encounter with undercover Jordanian security agents over the last three years. They seem to be all over the place.

Undercover Jordanian security officers sell Saddam souvenirs

Saddam memorabilia sold at souvenir shops in Amman

Saddam memorabilia sold at souvenir shops in Amman

Scene from the old quarter of Amman (Wast il balad), near the Hussein mosque

Scene from the old quarter of Amman (wast il balad), near the Hussein mosque

An old hotel at downtown Amman

Cairo hotel

The 'New Yourk Nigt Club' at Shmeisani, central Amman. Judging from their spelling, I'm sure they serve great bloody marys.

The 'New Yourk Nigt Club' at Shmeisani, central Amman. Judging from their spelling, I'm sure they serve great bloody marys.

Pilliards?

Pilliards

A lone saxohpne player at Suweifiya, southwest of Amman.

Lone saxophone player at Suwaifiya

Fast food chain restaurants are all over Amman. This is the Arabised Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Fast food chain restaurants are all over Amman. This is the Arabised Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Popeyes, Burger King, and Hardees at the Sixth Circle, near Suwaifiya.

Popeyes, Burger King, and Hardees at the Sixth Circle, near Suwaifiya.

Pollo Ranchero at Al-Medina Al-Munawara Street: latin flavour.

Pollo Ranchero at Al-Medina Al-Munawara Street: latin flavour.