I am reanimating my Fridays away from the doldrums of boredom and into the throws of liveliness. Right now, while the weather is harmonious, I’ve found a haven of colors and sounds in the middle of Amman. Rows and rows of clothes, along rows and rows of fruits and vegetables, beside rows and rows of bazars and the odd treasure. The smell of mashawi (barbecue) floats through the crowd. The sounds of street vendors calling out in mathematics. One JD, two JDs, three.
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I’ve created myself a new personal tradition: visiting the Abdali Souq every Friday after prayers. For every Friday the Abdali station that is a stomping ground for many a weary traveler that passes through Amman; the station gets a little bit smaller. In the place of buses, taxis and service cabs is a souq where sellers and buyers meet.
If you really want to break the monotony of Fridays in Amman bring 5 JDs and take a stroll through this outdoor souq. Not only are the fruits and vegetables the best in town (in my opinion) but you are bound to find something worth while. Clothes are all between 1 to 3 JDs. Amongst someone’s old no good throw aways you’ll be surprised at the amount of brand new brand name clothes you can find there. Everything from original Levis to Ralph Lauren and Polo shirts for 2 JDs. You’ll have to go looking through the rows and rows of racks but that’s the fun part I suppose: there’s a bit of adventurism to it. There are also a lot of vintage goodies. I managed to find a Reading Festival shirt someone bought and never wore.
In any case, a visit to the Abdali Souq guarantees you an interesting story to tell.
Buyer Tips: When it comes to the clothes check to see first that the neck label is not worn out in any way, which is an indication of it being new or old. Also check for rips and tares. You should buy with an ‘outlet store’ mindset.
The perfume and colognes being sold for 1 JD are of course not original and sometimes you’ll end up with an old bottle filled with smelly water.
I recommend the 4 JD sneakers if you’re looking for something you want to wear twice a year for a local outing to the Dead Sea for instance.
Local delicacy is a mashawi sandwich; might be a bit dry.
If you go by car I recommend you park either by the Mitsubishi showroom or park all the way downhill where the souq ends. Do no park on the other side where the cars are going back up town as you will get a ticket.