Kan Zeman

Our International Study group took a trip to a fancy restaurant called Kan Zeman on Wednesday night. At first, I was really excited, thinking we’d get a great meal of Middle Eastern food. But then we found out that the 5 JD price quoted included only “three small sandwiches,” whatever that meant. Nonetheless, I was determined to still be excited about the experience, even if it meant Miriam would stay up waaaaay past her bedtime.

The restaurant is a good twenty minutes outside of Amman somewhere off the Airport Road. After mingling outside the restaurant in a prettily landscaped garden area, the staff invited us in for a tour of the facilities.

The guide gave us a quick rundown of the restaurant’s history, but to be honest I can’t remember what he said the building originally was. In any case, the main dining area was housed in what used to be the stables, which once fit 2000 horses (it only fits a couple hundred diners, though). After giving us a little time to look around and salivate at the food people were eating, we were ushered into a souvenier-type shop. At this point, I cut out to go to the ladies’ room to nurse Miriam, so I’m not sure what happened next.

I caught up with the group as we exited the dining area and entered what was, essentially, a modified barn. There were long, low tables under a thatched roof. We sat on low stools with woven straw seats. And then we waited.

What we were waiting for, I wasn’t exactly sure. I knew there would be food involved, somehow, eventually, but in the meantime, we enjoyed some live traditional music and admired the dancing talents of one grown woman and several young girls who imitated her technique adorably.

After about two hours – no exaggeration – the waiters finally appeared but alas, they were not bearing food. Instead, they danced the debke for us. I had really never seen this done in person, so it was quite fascinating. Near the end, they even involved a few of the students (whether they were willing or not).

When they were done dancing, they finally brought out our “sandwiches,” which turned out to be some mediocre fetayer. But by that time, we were all so famished that they tasted delicious.

I think Miriam had the best time of anyone – she enjoyed dancing to the music and running around the cavernous dining area. And even though the food was skimpy and extremely late in coming, it was worth the experience just to hear the traditional music and finally see the debke danced in person.


SUCH a difference