Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ikea in Jordan

An Ikea opened along the road to the airport just two months ago, or even less.

It's an Ikea just like any other Ikea. There were lots of kids walking around with long, twisty balloons and things painted on their faces. Some of them had 'Ikea' written in blue on a yellow background, and others had pink and white butterfly wings all along their cheeks. There was as always the Smålands play area with a red, white-dotted mushroom.

It was pretty busy, though I'm pretty sure the prices are out of reach for most Jordanians. There were sofas for over 1000 dinars, and cabinets for 100 dinars, and the best deal I saw was a pretty, round little table with glass panes on a black frame for 55 dinars.

There was the restaurant as usual on the second floor. It sold meatballs and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, and fish and vegetables, and French fries; and it also had haloum sandwiches, and something called muhalabiya, which I think is a milk and almond pudding dish, and for deserts they have kanafas. I think I had a kanafa once and was sick, so I don't think that is an improvement.

I think the Swedish meatballs with the mashed potatoes was around 5 dinars. That's about $7. But someone told me that the average salary in Jordan is between 300 and 400 dinars, so of course you would not go out to eat at a place where you have to pay 5 dinars per person.

They had organic orange or strawberry or mango juice for 1.5 dinars (maybe $2), but the mango was kind of sour-tasting.

There was a smoking and non-smoking section in the restaurant, and beautiful big windows that looked out on the sunset and on the Ikea flags and on the hills surrounding Amman. And the same regular signs about 'please return your dishes to the counters so we can keep our prices low.'

The best part was the little grocery store by the cashiers. It sold Daim! You could get a single stick for 0.55 dinars, and the sticks with the double pieces for 0.90 dinars, and finally, you could also get a cinnamon bun for 0.75 dinars (1.50 dinars with coffee) but they were out. There was ice cream for something like 0.66 dinars.

As for the music they were playing: it was all piano music. At one point, it was Disney songs redone in piano: Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, and Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas.

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