Friday, April 30, 2010

What Would You Do?

Alright people, let's see your different opinions on something fun for a change:

Let's say you and a friend (or more) were eating at a café or restaurant, you had a good meal, the service was not bad and generally it was an OK experience, the bill comes and they've added sales tax, service tax, a cover charge per person and all that's there to add, the bill totaled 18.25 JDs, you hand them a twenty, and they return 1 JD instead of 1.75 ignoring the whole thing

Give your two cents.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do You Speak Arabish?

This post is dedicated to fellow blogger Joyce: your wish, my command my friend :)
*if you’re not Joyce you can still read the post you know.

So I guess a lot of people would like to know how to read “this Arabish language” (Arabic written with Latin letters and numbers), I wish my mom would master it because it takes me ages to write her or dad a text message in Arabic (For those of you who will say “just call her”, this is in cases of meetings, parties and situations where I can’t call). Plus Arabic characters take up more space so a text message can only have 70 characters as opposed to 160 Latin characters.

Anyway, some people use numbers to replace letters that do exist (or are close enough) in English, I don’t like that, I think it makes the written word an eyesore (you know what else is bad for your sight? WrItInG LiKe tHiS, I hAtE iT aNd iT tAkEs mE aGeS tO rEaD iT), back to the point, here’s a list, of course, of the numbers and their uses:

2” is used instead of the Hamza, or the glottal stop, the best example I found was on Wikipedia: it’s represented by the hyphen in uh-oh! So, if uh-oh was an Arabic expression, it would be written like this: uh2o (usually the h in the end is dropped).

3” is used instead of the letter Eyn, as in Arabee (Arabic) or 3arabee, and 3eraq (Iraq).

and 3’ (with an apostrophe) represents the letter Ghain, as in Ughneyeh (song) or u3'neyeh, and a lot of people use "gh" instead.

5” not as popular as the 2 and 3, it’s the substitute of the letter Khaa, similar to a Spanish J, as in Julio (not Hulio), a lot of people just use “kh” instead, for example “sabaah al 5air (khair)” (good morning), some people like to use this: 7’ instead.

6” also not a very popular one, sometimes used instead of the letter Ta, with a heavy T as in Tareq = 6areq.

7” is used instead of the letter Haa but with an intense H coming from further down the throat (imagine an English person saying something is hhhhot, kind of) for example, habeebi and habeebti are written like this: 7abeebi or 7abeebti.

8” is sometimes used instead of Qaaf, a more intense Q, as in 8atar = Qatar but it’s also not that popular.

9” is used in two different ways, in the Middle East, it’s a heavy S, the letter Saad, as in 9adeeq = sadeeq (friend) while in North Africa (countries like Tunisia and Morocco) it has the same use as the “8” above.

10” is used… no I’m just kidding, that would be too much now wouldn’t it?

Also, it wouldn’t be unusual to find words without vowels, since short vowels in Arabic are represented by Arabic diacritics: Harakaat (or tashkeel) and they’re not always used because mostly they are there to show the correct pronunciation of the word, for example my name, Rand, is written in Arabic using three letters only, R, N and D. Now how you read a word that is vowelless and unfamiliar is your problem not mine :)

I think these numbers were chosen based on their similarity to the letter they are replacing in Arabic, as you can tell from the pictures.

That’s the best I can do in explaining them, I hope it was helpful. Yeah Joyce?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do You Watch Syrian TV Series?

I like Syrian TV shows, I find them more realistic than American shows (what with the lack of people jumping off buildings and landing safely, plus in a Syrian show, when you’re shot you’re shot, end of story) and they’re the perfect Ramadan accessory after Salat El Tarawee7 and all the food before that.

The thing is, I don’t know how some directors seem to miss (or ignore) some tiny yet important details, things like women waking up in the morning with every product in the makeup family on their faces, the awful wigs that they make the actors and actresses wear, particularly when they need a blond girl for some role, and close-ups of bad teeth, very bad teeth.

My favorite is when the show’s events take place in the early 20th century or so like Bab Al Haara for example, and everyone in the cast is wearing, let's say, clothes that are suitable for that period of time, females wear long modest dresses, traditional Syrian costumes and veils that cover most of their hair, yet, they have tattooed eyebrows! Now correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think women in the 20s of last century had their eyebrows tattooed, I can turn a blind eye to the sculpted nose and collagen (or whatever it is they inject these days) injected lips, but the tattoos? Can’t they just fake them? They fake moustaches!

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Got something else to share?

UJ Website Fail

This is from the University of Jordan's website, the Faculty of Graduate Studies specifically. I wonder when we will start taking these details seriously.
Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jordanian English, and Things That Make Me Go Ugh!

We all know there are slight differences between British and American English, some words are written differently, some words that are used in the US are rarely used in the UK and so on. But, were you aware of the existence of Jordanian English? Yep, it’s there, and it’s agreed upon, Jordanian English words are being used by almost everyone in the internet world, and are also used in everyday talk, you might argue that they are not purely Jordanian and are used in other places, but what the hell do I know I don’t have many connection outside Jordan.

I’m listing some words and phrases, you’ll figure out the rest by yourself, and I skipped the P, B thing because it can’t and won’t be changed, it’s ok now:

1. Alot equals a lot

2. Thankx, it’s either thanks or thanx but the more letters the better

3. Birsday, you know cause we’re too classy to say “th”, oh that’s birthday by the way

4. Am, either I am or I’m and don’t ask where I went, I is out

5. The plural of friend is friend’s, yeah we use apostrophes

6. “There going to the mall”, instead of “they’re going …”

7. “We where there” instead of “we were there”

8. A magriphone is a microphone

9. We don’t use helping verbs, we won’t use helping verbs, we don't need help

10. “Sorry for late” equals “sorry for being late”

11. “when will you back” and “when you will back” both equal “when will you get (or come) back”

12. “Is it have…?” means “does it have…?”

13. Very common in Facebook, “thanks for add me”

14. “These stuff” instead of “this stuff”, similarly, “these kind of people are annoying”

15. You can forget about the difference between “specially” and “especially”

16. Angel and angle are used interchangeably, that's your guardian angel in the picture above

17. We write is’nt not isn’t

18. A low is what you call a “law”, lows are there to make our life better (not)

19. Unlike the alot case, you’ll find words like “a bout”, “a gain” and so on.

20. We say “another things”, “another days” … instead of “other things” or “another thing”

21. Weird, wierd, wired, weired… all lead to the same thing

22. “Paolo Maldini you are rock”, personally I find him more R’n’B than rock but whatever

23. We replay a message or an email, and we reply a song because we like it so much

24. “You will loose your mind if you keep reading this list you looser”

25. “oh shoot, I should of turned left”

26. Whole, hole and hall are also interchangeable

27. “this is a good news”

28. Datas! Yes datas!

29. Informations too!

30. Mash potatoes, no you mash them

31. Girls wear “leggins” instead of leggings

32. But they don’t care because they have high “self-steam”

33. “Your self” instead of “yourself”, again, the more characters the better

Do I need to continue?

On a relevant subject, these things drive me crazy:

1. “She changed 360 degrees” what the hell people! If you turn 360 degrees then you’re back where you were!

2. An email is not a website!

3. “Almost exactly the same number” is it almost or is it exactly?

4. As once heard from a well-known Jordanian football commentator “al la3eb raqamoh taqreeban thamanyeh” (the player’s number is almost 8) is it 8.2? Or is it 7.9?

5. A photocopy machine does not print documents; just like a printer doesn't copy papers

6. A cube is not a square, a sphere is not a circle and so on

7. It’s Barça (pronounced Barsa), not barsha! Just say Barshalona as it is called in Arabic, and by the way in Castilian Spanish it is pronounced Barthelona, like someone with a lisp would read an s

8. While we’re on the subject, it is AC Milan not EC Milan, can you say A?

9. Not all 4x4 cars are a Jeep! And they’re certainly not a “Jaib”

10. Where the hell did the W in BMW go?

11. Asses is the plural of ass, “to assess” something is a whole different thing, unless you’re assessing asses

12. If the 2 in net and text lingo is used instead of “to”, then why would you write 2omorrow? What kind of abbreviation is that?

13. I will say this for the two hundred millionth time and I'm not even a doctor: an antibiotic won’t cure a virus, a flu is caused by a virus and you can take as many courses of antibiotics as you like, it’s not going away unless it decides to. Also, when you feel like you’re coming down with something, those black and red capsules are most likely not the answer to your problem!!! And don't say "eza ma nefe3 ma bedorr" because it does

14. If it ain’t a question, don’t use a question mark!!!

15. To call someone and hang up before they answer (ya3ni te3mallo missed call) you need to have as much credit in your account balance as you need to actually make a call! If you don’t have enough to make a one minute call, you definitely don’t have enough to make a missed call! (unless of course you're with Umniah)

16. If you’re using MS Office Word and you need to put what you wrote in two columns, writing the first sentence and then typing space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space and then the next sentence is not the way to do it

17. Also, you don’t draw rectangles and use a straight line to divide them to make a table, yes I’ve seen that

18. No I can’t edit the writing in a table if it’s been saved as an image

19. Shaving hair will not make you hairy if you’re not already! New hair follicles will not be created just because you used a razor to cut the hairs that are already there, similarly, by pulling out a grey hair you will not get 5 grey hairs in the same place! If this were true, people with very thin hair should pull it all out, then they’ll have hair that is 5 times thicker!

20. Eating lots of sugar will not give you diabetes! No it won’t. No it won’t.

Ok you’re probably board now. Have a nice rest of the day the whether is lovely today

Saturday, April 24, 2010

10 People You Can Find in Any Training Class

Last week I had a training course that lasted 5 days, it's a 40 hour course over 4½ days so it was a pretty busy week (hence the lack of posts and comments). The course was about quality auditing and ISO9001 if you care but anyway, I like this stuff and because I studied industrial engineering, I found it easy to understand and very interesting (plus the instructor was nice and funny), however, some people didn't, and they found it hard and stressful, usually people who are new to the concept will find it complicated, and overall the quality assurance thing is still new in Jordan, in my opinion, everything that involves improvement in products or services, plus IT and design should be dealt with by young people, I don't mean to sound cocky but our old 3ammoyat and khaltoyat haven't been doing very well providing good services (picture a Jordanian public institution that has employees with an average age of 52 years, or try to lose your ID or passport and get a new one issued to see where I'm coming from).

Now being me, I came up with a new list: list of people you find in any training class: some of these characters can be combined into one to give a whole new idiot:

  1. The arrogant-proud-of-his-company guy: usually keeps talking about where he works and how important his job is, brags about big accomplishments (which turn out to be performed by a consulting company or something), hates working in groups and is always on the phone during coffee breaks, usually talking loudly to make sure people know that the guys at work can't do anything when he's not around.

  1. The quiet girl: pretty shy, when you work with her you'll find out she knows a big deal about the whole subject but is keeping quiet, she gets a lot of text messages and is very hard to approach.

  1. The knows-the-answer-to-a-lotta-questions guy/girl: a work nerd. You know the type.

  1. The "please repeat" man: ugh! This one waits for the instructor to finish a whole big fat idea and start another one then goes "wwwhaaat? Can you repeat that I didn't get it" or to put it in Arabic "keeeeeeef? Ma3lish t3eeeed?" usually consuming half of the course time cause he's too busy searching for what the instructor is saying in his course notes.
  1. The asking-irrelevant-questions guy/girl: I seriously don't know where they come up with these questions! Sometimes it seems like they're attending a whole other class.

  1. The nervous-about-the-exam guy/girl: all this person cares about is how many marks they get on the exam, usually asking questions like "how many marks out of 7 would I get on this question if I wrote bla bla bla instead of yada yada yada?"

  1. The complicate-it: this person really likes to complicate things and especially hypothetical situations "tayyeb what if OutOfThisWorldThing happens? What if I fix OutOfThisWorldThing but then a dog comes in and messes it up all over again? What if the security guy got shot and everyone else there is scared of the dog and I can't get rid of it on my own? What should I do then huh?"

  1. The comes-in-late guy/girl: usually comes a few minutes after the class starts, looks like he/she took the stairs all the way to the 13th floor and when they sit and try to take out all the course notes from the bag, everything falls and each paper goes in a different direction, they finally pick them up (with some help) but then drop their pen under the table.

  1. The first-to-get-to-lunch-table person: and fill up their dish with all sorts of food :)

  1. The class-ha-ha: makes the worst jokes, and laughs at them alone, out loud! This however doesn't stop him from making them over and over again. Neither do the blank stares from other people in the class.

I hope I get the certificate :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dear Sir...

Dear Sir,

I’m writing this letter, filled with hope that you will maybe, just maybe take a couple of minutes out of your busy day to read it. I’m desperate, scared, and constantly worrying about this issue that keeps me up all night. Nobody will listen to me, they all think I’m being silly.

But this thing has happened before, so my worries and concerns are all justified, I’m just speaking for the sake for everyone, see you’re the only person who can make this thing happen and the only one I could turn to so please, please try to understand. You’re the only one who has what we want, or to put it right what we need, because we need it, we really do.

We have nothing else but this to hope for, it’s been the only thing that can put a smile upon the faces of the people recently. You know how things have been, disaster after another, crisis after another. We don’t need another thing this year.

You know you can help us if you keep this for us and not let anyone else use it or break it until we’re able to have it. I promise we will return it come August but I’m afraid if people have constant access to it right now, that it will need to be put to rest by the time we need it.

And if you really still need it right now, please take good care of it, protect it with your life sir, it is our last hope, no one believed that such a miracle could exist in real life after the last one ended, and when it came people were trying hard not their hopes up because we didn’t want to be disappointed when it all turns out to be an illusion, but after seeing it day after day, we couldn’t help but believe, wish and pray that this is the answer. This is what will make our dreams come true.

We beg you Mr. Guardiola, don’t let anyone break Messi. Argentina needs its savior.

Sincerely yours…


Dear Xavi Hernández,

Would you please move to Argentina and apply for a citizenship there? You look better wearing blue with Messi in front of you. I’m sure the officials won’t have any problem giving it to you. I know that not so many people give you credit for all those victories, but those who know best really do.

p.s. I think I may have developed a crush on you lately. I apologize in advance for any stalking I might be doing. Be sure that absolutely no harm is intended.

Truly yours…

**For those of you who will be saying things like, you’re Jordanian not Argentinian, I promise I will support the Jordanian national team next time they’re in the World Cup, it’s such a shame they didn’t make it this year, we got so used to them being in the Mundial that this just feels weird.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Ugly Duckling Goes to the Doctor

Yesterday I was at the ENT doctor’s office with my mom, you’re supposed to come to the office between 4 and 6 PM and register your name then wait for your turn to come, to be honest this is better than making appointments, because this word’s definition in the Jordanian dictionary is still vague, anyway, after 6 PM they don’t accept any patients but those who are already there might stay there until 8 or later. Here are a couple of things about the oh-so-fun adventure plus some general observations:

1. I arrived at 5-5:10 but got to see the doctor at 7!

2. It’s an EAR-nose-throat doctor but the doctor’s assistant has the lowest voice that even someone with perfect hearing can’t hear.

3. As I sat and waited for my turn, people who came after me got in before me, I still have no idea how that happened, the assistant seemed to be very strict.

4. After I registered my name and turned to sit down on one of the chairs, this woman quickly put her hand on the chair and called her (probably 2-year-old) daughter to come sit on it. The girl ignored her mom and so did I, but after I sat the little girl was about to cry so I got up.

5. Anyone who wants to see a doctor in Jordan has to bring as many family members as he\she can, infants, children, young, old, male, female, brothers, sisters, nephews, grandmothers, grandfathers. It’s what your extended family is here for so use them.

6. The people in the waiting area are the ones who want to hear your symptoms not the doctor inside, so you need to describe exactly what you’re going through, preferably with a little (or not so little) drama. Hell I just went there to hear some stories about snot.

7. While my mom and I were sitting there, this woman came and sat next to us, for 90 minutes she was on the phone, apparently she had been to another doctor’s office earlier because her arm hurts, and she told him that she’s unable to carry her handbag so he joked telling her to get someone to carry it for her (don’t know about you but I love a doctor with some sense of humor -regardless of its quality) so this pissed her off and she called everyone in her contact list on her two phones to tell them, according to her, she wants the whole country to know how stupid this doctor is, and she’s going to get the newspapers to write about him. What’s worse is that she repeated the damn stupid story twice in each phone call, so you can only imagine how many times I had to hear it, along with other stories of how last night she was bleeding and “crying, crying, crying” and was "almost dead". Her voice is of that scratchy type that eventually gets on your nerves. She was also saying that the doctor’s assistant had a "dog face" in a very loud voice, the assistant finally let her in before people who came earlier but I think that was just to get rid of her. She was annoying everyone there and I don't believe she doctor she needs to see is the ear-nose-throat doctor!

8. After 3 seconds of peace and quiet another one came in, same thing she was on the phone the whole time but this time it was work, she made about 40 phone calls and each lasted 30 seconds or less. It was the first time in my life that I hear the word “router” a hundred times in one session. Apparently she remotely diagnosed a connection problem they were having at work and was working to solve it. Her genius diagnosis was that the router was unplugged!

9. A woman and her brother, husband whatever came in at probably 6:30, the assistant said she can’t let them in because it’s past 6 o’clock, then she asked them whether or not they had insurance and the guy said that they don’t. Why waste 20+ JDs in cash here? She let them in.

10. I have to admit that medicine in Jordan has reached very advanced levels; the doctor knew what was wrong with me before I told him the symptoms! I was at his office for 5 milliseconds and he had already written the prescription and decided that I don’t have a sinus infection. Ibtasem, anta fi 3asr al sor3a.

11. He told me that engineers are cheapskates! Apparently the Jordan Engineers Association health insurance pays doctors fees according to old prices, I smiled and left, but I’ll tell you one thing: for a half minute visit to a doctor that doesn’t want to hear me out, 20 JDs are more than I would be ok to pay, even if I weren't an engineer, that is without considering the 2-hour long headache that I got there.

Wishing all the readers here a happy, healthy life!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sometimes Looking at the Bright Side is Not the Right Thing to Do

Warning: this is not a funny post, if you feel like reading something more upbeat, try reading the other posts :)

People are getting used to giving the same advice to everyone through different situations, sayings like “look at the bright side” or “try to see the glass half full” are becoming things you hear every single day from every single person who thinks they know every single thing about life. It’s always the same thing, the same lines, and they’re so overused that you feel people are saying them without even hearing the story.

Sometimes the situation calls for something other than seeing the bright side, maybe you do need to look at the dark one, what if the bright side is so small and so narrow but the dark one is consuming every last drop of your soul? And what if the glass is full, but is filled with tears instead?

I’ll get to my point here, when it comes to relationships, and marriage in particular, people seem to go by the rule above, if a man is not abusing his (let’s say) significant other, physically, then she has to look at the bright side; as long as he’s not hitting you, you should compromise.

Most girls become so weak when they fall in love, to the point where seeing the man’s flaws becomes impossible, their vision is clouded, and the smallest nice gesture that he makes can become so big that it obstructs vision, and the woman no longer sees the bad things as flaws. He could ignore her for days, and she would hurt, but upon the first bit of attention that he gives her, all that is done will be forgotten, “well he asked about me eventually”, what about the days you spent wondering whether or not he would notice you’re not ok?

Another thing is making excuses for him; she’d say “he’s going through a tough time and I should support him and be as understanding as I can be”, is going through bad times a good enough justification for treating people the wrong way? Does he treat other people that way because he’s having a rough time? No? Then why you? And what does the amount of money you have (or don’t have) in the bank have to do with him being cruel to you?

When things reach the point of emotional abuse, there should be no looking at the bright side, because chances are, in a few months or even years, there will be no bright side to look at. It’s amazing how we can become so blind that we don’t realize how miserable this person is making us and how numb we’re becoming inside, how one sick person can make a woman feel worthless, guilty and responsible for everything wrong going on in their relationship.

If you used to be a happy person, one who people look forward to see and have a laugh with, if you used to be like the sun, shining its rays and warming other people’s lives, but now you’re just a cold dark planet, because you are so consumed, so busy worrying and wondering how to please someone who just won’t be pleased no matter what, then maybe you should look at things from a different angle, and really think why people around you have changed, if you are who you used to be around them.

There are signs that can signal you being in an emotionally abusive relationship, these are some from you should check out the whole list there:

1. Your mate is angry or upset with you often, and you find yourself questioning everything you do as you do it, lest it angers him.

2. He refuses to discuss upsetting issues with you, and possibly accuses you of starting up a fight when you try to. Your issues therefore are never resolved.

3. He frequently misunderstands your intentions for something bad.

4. You often worry about him misunderstanding something you say or do that you are distracted from other important issues in your life.

5. You feel that there is something wrong with you.

6. Your mate rarely shares his thoughts and feelings with you, or refuses to.

7. He almost always disagrees with you.

8. You feel obligated to 'give in' just to keep peace.

9. You feel like your mate holds all the power in your relationship, and that you need to ask for permission to do things all the time.

10. You gradually see less of your family and friends; he often criticizes them and complains when you spend time with them.

11. You think that everything is your fault and that if you can somehow fix your flaws then everything would be okay in the relationship.

12. You would feel frightened if he knew you are reading something like this, or taking this test.

It only takes three of the above points to mean you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.

If you think this is not as important and dangerous as physical abuse then you’re wrong, because it can get so bad that some women contemplate suicide, some also suggest that it usually ends up with physical abuse after all. 

Where’s the bright side in that?

You can read some more here if you’re interested.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

15 Reasons Why I Should Have These Guys' Job

1. I would be the first female sports commentator in the Arab world.

2. I love football, but I’m not one of those girls who watch football to look at the players, true, it started out that way when I was 13 but then I discovered my love for the game.

3. I would kill to go to Italy,

4. And watch a game at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in San Siro,

5. And talk while I’m at it! I love to talk, and once I start there will be no stopping me.

6. I speak Italian so I can interview Italian players :)

7. I also speak a little Spanish so I can interview Spanish players too :)

8. I’m Paolo Maldini’s biggest fan so having his father Cesare as a guest would be so cool for me.

9. I’m very lazy so I don’t mind sitting in the same chair for two hours.

10. I’m probably the only Valencia CF fan in Jordan and the only girl who wouldn’t mind watching Valencia vs. Sporting Gijon in the middle of the night.

11. I might also be the only girl who ever watched a Bayer Leverkusen match, and hoped they win.

12. It’s not official but I think I set a world record with the loudest screams during the WC2006 game of Argentina vs. Serbia and Montenegro (it ended 6-0 so you can imagine why). I also skinned my knee after Italy’s 2002 defeat in South Korea, by South Korea. That’s how excited I can get.

13. I’ll say the players’ names right and I won’t mention the fact that David Beckham is married to Posh Spice “motazawwej men moghanneyat fareeq fatayat al tawabel” unlike all other Jordanian commentators (but that’s a whole different post I’m writing someday).

14. I won’t talk about pasta or pizza in an Italy match because I understand the fact that pasta has nothing to do with Italian football just like Mansaf has nothing to do with Jordanian football (except that maybe you should play a game after a Mansaf meal in order for you to digest it) and just like no one mentions sushi when Japan is playing.

15. And finally because I really, really want to :(

Friday, April 9, 2010

Men of the World: Flaunt Your Facial Hair!

Have you guys noticed that lately it is becoming more acceptable for guys to care too much about their looks? A man's, ahem, "beauty collection" now is more than just his shaving cream, now they have facial scrubs, masks, sunscreen lotions, moisturizers and even toners! Hell I never use all those and I'm The Body Shop's biggest customer! Besides, who on earth uses toner?

Anyway, you can call me old fashioned but I liked it better when a guy had no idea what a scrub was, and thought an exfoliator was one of them car parts.

And that's not the worst part of the story yet, at least to me it's not. The thing that bugs me the most is that more guys are plucking their eyebrows now! Oh my God I have to say that I have a serious problem with a guy whose eyebrows are perfectly shaped like a woman's, you can call me an eyebrow-ist, a facial-hair-ist or even a plucko-phobic, but I can't stand it, guys are supposed to have bushy eyebrows, well not as much as this guy below but come on! 

Facial hair is one of the things that make a man's face, well, manly! Just leave it there.
If someone showed me this guy's face with longer hair for example, there's no way I'd believe he's a guy (and what's with the pouty lips?).

As usual, some slightly relevant Seinfeld scenes…