Last night I took my first walk of the summer. I have been meaning to do that for nearly two months but I finally found the time and energy last night. My route is in Jabal Amman. I love the area. I love how pedestrian friendly it is, how familiar it is, how cozy it all is. But this was my first walk after the renovations of Rainbow Street have been completed. Walking in my favorite streets I noticed the difference.  


Rainbow street now has wider pavements, seating areas and in general more pedestrians. People are now walking, sitting, playing and using the whole street. It has brought some life back to the area. But I do hate how there is too much lighting in the street every few meters there is a big bright yellow light bulb. I am someone who likes light but this is too much. I enjoy walking in the dark for many reasons including the privacy it offers, especially since I sing and talk to myself during my walks. Now I feel like there is a spot light following me whenever I am walking down Rainbow Street. And don’t get me started with how eco friendly this all is! The explanations I have heard are that this way immoral behavior can not take place on this street. Laughable no?


But back to the walk, the neighborhood should be renamed Jasmine because of all the lovely jasmine trees planted in just about every house. The streets all have their own smells but the small delicate flower of the Jasmine and its heady scent somehow manage to over power these smells and it makes my walks all the more pleasurable. So come walk with me and smell the jasmine in Jabal Amman.



I started to cook at age 12. It was out of necessity and so not a joy. I was taught to cook over the phone and with notes left in the kitchen with instructions from my mother. I went from using precise measurements and exact steps to my own style of throwing in handfuls of things and using my eyes to measure out salt and spices. I would prep my foods in the morning before school and return to finish off the meal in the afternoon before everyone else came back from school. I continued to cook for our household until I was 22, at which point I hung up my apron and said no more.

My relationship with cooking was formed by obligation and not out of love for the kitchen. But once I stopped cooking out of obligation, I realized that I liked to cook and feed people. So now when I cook it is because I want to. I also recognized a couple of years ago that when in distress, I cook. 

There is a sense of accomplishment, there is acknowledgment, and a sharing of joy when you cook for people. Yesterday, I cooked for three hours and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I loved thinking of the menu, setting my shopping list, prepping, frying, chopping, cooking, baking, all of it. My favorite part of the meal was when I laid out the table with all the cooked dishes, their smells, and flavors wafting up to us. Our mouths watering in anticipation. Our eyes feasting on the colorful array of foods. It was picture perfect. We dove in, tasting all dishes, leaving nothing to our imagination. 

The satisfied looks and the full bellies told me the meal was a success and that is the reward of a pleasure afternoon in the kitchen. 

For those that are curious our menu was:

Sweet Corn Chicken Soup
Musaka (Greek Style)
Spinach Artichokes with chicken and ginger
Ginger Jasmine rice
Baked Chicken and Potatoes
Vanilla and Chocolate Ripple Ice Cream

As I waited at the doctor’s office a couple of days ago I saw a blind man. As he walked and took a seat, I started thinking of the things I would miss if I lost a sense.  

If couldn’t see, I would miss the colors. I would miss the light. I would miss the intensity of a lovely gaze, and the nuances implied but the flick of a head or the twitch of an eye. I would miss the smiles. I would miss the sight of children playing in a park. I would miss the beauty of fruit stand. I red desert and the blue green ocean. I would miss the faces of those I love. I would miss the sunset and the moonrise. 

If I couldn’t hear, I would miss the music. I would miss the conversations. I would miss the sound of birds in the morning and the tinkling of water. I would miss the ocean surf. I would miss the whispers of sweet nothings. I would miss the cackling of fire. I would miss the purring of a happy cat. 

If I couldn’t feel, I would miss the touch of soft skin. I would miss walking on freshly cut grass. I would miss the soft fur of a cat and the warm fleece of a blanket. I would miss the cool summer breeze on my face. I would miss the ripple of silk in my fingers. I would miss the coarseness of a man’s beard. I would miss the ticklishness of breath on my neck.  

If I couldn’t smell, I would miss the mustiness of the earth after the first rain. The smell of a warm kitchen, and freshly baked bread. The heady jasmine of the summer will be sorely missed. I would miss the salty sea breeze. I would miss the smell of freshly peeled oranges. The smell of freshly cut grass. I would miss the whiff of the heady perfume of a beautiful woman and the ruggedness of men’s cologne. I would miss the smells that trigger memories. I

f the sense of taste was taken away, then there would be no more chocolate melting in my mouth. I would miss the heartiness of good broth. I would miss the tanginess of labneh. I would miss the breeziness of a fresh mint lemonade. I would miss crisp salads and creamy sauces. I would miss the richness of a chocolate mousse and the lightness of puffy croissant. I would miss homemade Arabic foods and spicy Indian curries.  

I am thankful for my faulty eyesight. I am thankful for my ears that I abuse every weekend. I am thankful for my fingers and the touch of things on my skin. I am thankful for my constantly clogged nose. I am thankful for my taste buds. I am thankful that I can experience the wonder that is the world through all of them. I hope that with age they don’t dull and loose their luster. I hope I never have to miss anything.