Neighborhood Explorations: Abdoun

Abdoun is a neighborhood in southern Amman.  And from what I've seen so far, it's full of palatial villas, embassies, and apartment buildings.  There are shops and hospitals and malls, of course, but it's what Americans would call upper-middle-class to wealthy, i.e., posh suburbia.  

So, on the surface, it's not really that interesting.  However, once you know what to look for, Abdoun becomes a life-sized "Where's Waldo", only you're not looking for a gangly guy in a striped shirt.  Instead, think Dr. Seuss-like foliage and creative faux finishes. As you drive around, you can certainly become numb to the rows upon rows of beige villas, with periodic splotches of green bushes and trees.  These are really the only two colors in Amman.  But the next time you're at a stop light, blink a bit and refocus and check out the bushes around you.  Do they look a little... wacky?  Like maybe Edward Scissorhands is Jordan's Minister of Foliage?  Or maybe "Dr. Seuss's Guide to Pruning in Whoville" caught on here with a vengeance.  The zaniness of the bushes cannot be explained; it must be seen.

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If the foliage doesn't amuse you enough, then start checking out the villas.  All of the villas and apartments are made out of the same beige-colored cement, creating endless rolling hills of beige.  Some are just jaw-droppingly palatial, replete with ornate gates and probably an elevator or two.  Granted, there were palatial villas in Kuwait as well, however, they tended to be just big, beige, bland, and blocky.  Here, however, they've taken the time to embellish, sometimes to an extreme degree.  So, again, blink and refocus and look beyond the beige; you may find faux wonders beyond your imagination (but lucky not beyond someone else's).