Friday, July 30, 2010


I saw her lying there, next to her friends. I was watching them from behind the glass, no one else was looking, everybody seemed to be focusing on other things. 

Some of her friends looked darker than she was, and they were sticking together, but she had her own gang.

I watched as she remained silent, she didn’t move, nor did her friends, they all seemed to enjoy the cool breeze, I stared for a while and then asked him:
“Who’s she?”
“She’s French”
“Yeah you wanna meet her?”
And without waiting for my answer he grabbed her, I reached my hand.

She was so soft, so attractive, her colors blended together so perfectly; cream and rich, velvety brown have never been so beautifully combined. I thought to myself “there has to be something wrong, she can’t be that perfect, maybe she would be different on the inside”, but deep down I knew, she was as sweet as one can be. 

I looked around and then decided to give it a shot, what do I have to lose anyway?

I pulled her closer to me, she wasn’t scared, she was millimeters away from my lips, and she did not blink.

I opened my mouth and took a bite; she was the most delicious chocolate cookie I have ever tasted, I bought her and some of her friends and went home.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Characteristics of a Jordanian Cab Driver


**For the record I have nothing against cab drivers, kol el nas khair w barakeh and I’m not generalizing, let’s just say most of my experiences weren’t good.

If you are Jordanian or know someone who lives in Jordan, chances are you’ve heard dozens of cab driver stories and adventures, these guys are the only variable in a daily routine sometimes, if you take a cab to work or university on a semi-daily basis, you know what I’m talking about.
So a cab driver can either add a hilarious twist to your everyday ride or he can make you, well… miserable!

Here are some of their common characteristics:

1. All cab drivers must be stored dry below 25° C, keep them refrigerated in the summer, because they will rapidly spoil in the heat. University students who take summer courses know this very well; if it’s hot outside, a cab driver will refuse to pick up passengers. Although he may agree on condition that you change the location you’re going to, for example, if you live in Shmeisani and are now at University Street, when the cab driver tells you you’re living in Khalda you have to agree, otherwise you, my friend, are sleeping in the classroom tonight, so either find a relative or a friend that lives in Khalda and go visit them at 1:00 PM, or call your parents and tell them to move to Khalda because that’s the only way you’re coming home. (Khalda residents don’t get so excited you have to move to Marj Al Hamam if he says so).

2. They all have a great grandfather who owned a huge piece of land in Jordan, died and passed it on to his 10 sons who fought over it, then they divided the land and each got his share and sold it to different people who are now really rich because that piece of land is worth millions now. It was the worst mistake in their lives. They could’ve been filthy rich by now.

3. A cab driver is your go-to guy when you’re not feeling well, he will diagnose the case and prescribe some medicine for you to get well, he’s also your guy when you need legal consultation, es2al chauffeur taxi wala tes2al 7akeem, he’s the politics expert, the religion expert, the ethics expert and the businessman.

4. If you’re a girl, then all guys are jerks, if you’re a guy, all girls are “easy and cheap”, if you’re old, the youth of today is so immature and so on.

5. If he’s not listening to Mohammad Al-Wakeel, he’s not one of them, get out of the car and run for your life NOW! He could be a serial killer dressed as a cab driver.

6. And speaking of dressing like a cab driver, it’s not a dress code as much as it is a rule: always wear the same thing you wore yesterday, tomorrow you can wear the same thing you wore today. This actually reminds me of a day I was driving home from work, it was 5 PM and really hot, at the traffic light there was a cab next to me and you know how long the light takes to go green :S there was this girl inside the cab who had a tissue in her hand and she was covering her nose with it the whole time :) yeah maybe she just had a runny or bloody nose, maybe she just really likes the smell of the tissue or maybe she doesn’t like anyone to see her nose, you never know, but refer to #1 for more options.

7. No, I’m sorry but your driver cannot close the window, where would he put his arm if he closed the window? You know I never understood why drivers in Jordan stick their arm out of the window, however, here’s Ahmad Hassan Al-Zou’bi’s guide on how to analyze characters based on what their arms look like.

8. Finally have you noticed how they’re all over the place when you don’t need them? I’d be walking in the street, maybe even heading to my car and a taxi would drive by, stick his head out the window, have that “hey do you want a taxi?” stupid look on his face and honk his horn. No dude, I don’t need a taxi, if I needed one, believe me, you would know, and where were you when I spent all noon waiting for one of you to show up?


Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Ugly Duckling Goes to a Wedding Party

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Family weddings are all the same, same people, same songs, same food, only the bride and groom differ. My father’s family is a big one, so I have more cousins than I can count but still, all weddings are almost identical.
Female guests in my family’s weddings, as is the case in many Muslim weddings, are usually seated separately from the male guests, this is because many female guests wear the Hijab and can’t take it off in front of male strangers so to give women the freedom of wearing (or taking off) the dresses they want and baking their hair into cakes or growing it into trees, they separate them from the men.

This results in a very girlie atmosphere, and by girlie I don’t just mean dresses, makeup, jewellery and flowers girlie, no I mean jealousy, fakeness and gossip girlie as well, so here we go, another Ugly Duckling list;

Females you find in any Jordanian wedding:

1. The mother/sister of the bride: bossy, all over the place, busy as a bee, usually wearing a very sparkly dress with sequins of all colors, you can find her giving orders to the wedding photographer or the DJ and running around from table to another making sure everything is okay. Don’t get upset if she yells at you because she usually has no idea what she’s doing and most likely she won’t remember a thing she said after the party is over.

2. The aunt: sitting on a table close to the dance floor, with an “I’m not liking this” look on her face, although she’s enjoying every minute of it, criticizing the girls is what she’s there for, “her dress is too revealing”, “her makeup is too slutty”, “she shouldn’t dance when the groom’s still here” whatever she sees, she discusses.

3. The bride hunter: you know the type, she’s searching for the perfect wife for her son, she wants a girl who’s beautiful, educated, modest, kind and most importantly, obedient, oh and willing to marry her pathetic excuse of a son who lets his mother choose with whom he shares the rest of his life, also found very close to the dance floor because she needs to see girls dancing and showing off their, ahem, assets. She will push you if you stand in her way, and tap on your shoulder and tell you to move if you block her vision.

4. The “fishing for a husband” mother and daughter: the mother brings her daughter to attract the attention of number 3 above, the girl is dressed up in her best outfit, wearing really high heels because number 3 looks for a tall girl for her son for some reason. If you’re a woman and you say hello to the mother, chances are she’s going to bring her daughter and introduce her to you. While the girl acts shy and innocent, she probably has her eyes set on a certain guy already.

5. The outcasts: sitting on a separate table away from the rest of the family, usually hated because they’re either quiet, don’t like to participate in gossip sessions or unsociable (I’m usually with those because I never talk, this blog is different case) they enter the hall quietly and leave quietly and then numbers 2, 3 and 4 above start talking about how arrogant they are and how they think they’re better than everyone else (we don’t by the way, but now that I think about it, we kinda are better :P).

6. The little ones: oh God, girls under 12 years of age trying to act like grownups and have really long tangled hair, they dance between tables and get in your way whenever you try to move, their mothers will give you a lethal stare if you try telling them to move so try to find another route to wherever you’re going.

7. – 12. The opposition: all the 6 above only on the groom’s side of the family. The only thing different about them is the names. Oh and they hate 1-6.

**Update: apparently the lovely
Whisper was at a wedding party recently too, for more on weddings click here :) told you Whisper, el 2loub 3nd ba3dha ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Poll: New Commenting System, Hot or Not?

So I was thinking Blogger's comment system is blegh and I want threaded view, I searched a little and dug up this tool for a better commenting experience, you can reply to comments, insert smilies, embed YouTube videos and show a link to your last blog post if you have one. Oh and most importantly: check spelling ;) (I swear that's not my secret reason behind the whole thing).

But since I'm the one writing the posts and you guys are the ones commenting on them, it's up to you to decide if I should keep it or lose it, so post a comment, any comment, here to test it and tell me what you think by taking the poll after you try to comment. 

Thanks a million!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Trouble with the Troubled.

If you’re the kind of person that people feel comfortable talking to, then you’ve probably had your fair share of midnight venting calls, depressed text messages, cancelled days out with your friends, you get the picture.

I agree that putting friends first is a really noble thing to do (if and only if they are willing to return the favor, otherwise it’s just stupid) and to lend a listening ear sometimes is the one thing that your friends need most when they’re going through a hard time.


The thing that your friends need to understand is that listening all the time is not that easy and that it shouldn’t be compared to their original problem regardless of its severity. Sometimes they need to consider your feelings too, and what you’re going through in the first place.

For example (and I know this might sound selfish to some people) if a friend sees you having a good day after a series of bad ones, a good day that you’ve been waiting for, wouldn’t it be better if they just avoid, or at least put off, dumping all their troubles on you? Especially when you can’t help?

Also, what if you’re the kind that likes to keep things inside? Shouldn’t they at least consider the possibility that you might be facing some serious issues right now? That the last thing you need is more things to worry about?

The thing is, I was never the kind of person people like to open up and talk about their problems to, but in the past year or two things seem to have changed, and now I’m a troubles dumpster! I really don’t mind giving advice or listening to my close friends when they’re feeling down, but I find it really inconsiderate when this happens:

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(I'll be pink because it's really hot in Amman right now, and she'll be blue, because that's what she is, blue) 

[My phone rings]


-Hey Rand, keefek what are you up to?

-Oh hey I’m at my aunt’s, my uncle came from [wherever] and everyone’s here [noises from kids playing around and jolly family members laughing and talking all at the same time]

-So you won’t believe what happened at work today

-What happened? [Rand how do you like your coffee? Oh thanks khalto I don’t want any coffee now I’m okay] yeah sorry continue.

-I hate this job, that bitch ratted me out today, then we got into a fight, I think my boss is gonna…

-Hold on just a sec sweetie [can somebody hold this baby? he’s playing with the TV] okay continue

[She continues…]


Another case:

The Girls having lunch!

[I’m at a restaurant, having lunch with some friends just like the lovely ladies above, phone rings]


-Hey Rand, ooh what’s that music around you?

-I’m having lunch with the girls hey come join us!

-No I can’t, I’m not feeling so good

-Why what happened?

-I got into a fight with my husband, he wanted to [do something that women hate] but I said [wife rejection] and he [husband angry action] and now we’re [couple trouble].

-Oh, well, it’ll be okay [Raaand, what are you ordering? –just a sec, umm, I want the grilled chicken] yeah you guys tend to work things out in no time don’t worry

-Yeah we probably will, okay thanks I don’t wanna keep you from your friends

-I hope you understand

-Laaa walek of course I do, yalla bye

-Bye bye

[Hey what did I order? -You said you wanted the grilled chicken! –did I tell him I don’t want any garlic on that? –ummm no! –crap!]

Half an hour later, I get a text message: “I feel horrible, I’m so blue, I don’t know what to do, I’m miserable, he sent me this, what should I reply… etc”


A different one:

[Again, phone rings]

-Hey Rand

-Hey [sniff, cough, sniff, moan, cough]

-What's wrong? You sound sick!

-I am, I was at the hospital a few hours ago

-Yee salamtek! I’m so sorry what happened?

- [This and that and then I got the other]

-Oh salamaat!


-So I feel awful

-Oh no don't! I'll be fine, I took my medication and the doctor said it's...

-You know how Whatsherface and I had a fight the other day? [Oh...] She’s been telling everyone that I said [stuff girls say when they’re mad at each other] so what does she think like I'm gonna...

-[oh God]


You see some people just talk about their problems because they want to talk, they don’t want help because they know you can’t help, they don’t want advice because they never take it, they don’t want an opinion because they already know what you think and they don’t want sympathy either! And that’s the type of people that can have such a negative effect on my day and mood, so you’re having a problem or you’re sad, I’m having fun, you don’t want advice or an opinion, you want someone to listen, maybe you should let me have my well-deserved good day and postpone this, or maybe you should talk to someone else, if I’m not going to be able to help with that problem, why dump it on me? I know you always have a hard time at work, poor you, but so does everyone, and I don't want to sound insensitive here but sometimes the listener needs to stop listening and start talking, so make sure you are there for your friends when they're the ones in need, or at least make sure they're ready to listen before you dump your load of problems that can't be fixed by them, on them.

**Stories in this post were twisted and turned to avoid hurting people's feelings, but they're so close to what actually happens so who cares yeah? 

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Levantine Guy's 5 Worst Bride Choices...

Seleucid and I decided to collaborate on a "for him/for her" kind of post, we're listing the 5 worst choices you can make when choosing a life partner, his guide to the Levantine girl's 5 worst nightmares pretty much sums guys up, in my opinion.

But a guy can make bad choices too, it takes two to make a relationship or marriage work but it only takes one to destroy it, and sometimes that one is:

The Perfect Housewife ACEO Collage
1. The "perfect wife" prototype: this girl was fed "how to get married" ideas with her Cerelac, her mom's top advice was probably "always be prepared because you never know when the right guy sees you", she goes with her mom to every social gathering where there are mothers of marriage-ready sons looking for the perfect wife for their son. You never see this type with no make up or with unstyled hair, her mother promotes her like she's a commodity and she's known among other women for being a good cook.

My verdict: be prepared for the shock of your life when you eventually marry her and find out what she really looks like, her cooking is still good though, but you probably forgot what it tastes like since she hasn't cooked in months. Also, get some training on how to handle serious mother-in-law drama. Good luck with that.

Peach Paper Mario
2. The daddy's girl: of course! Most guys try to avoid her and her infinite demands, the spoiled girl wants to continue living the princess life her daddy always provided, only now with a loving husband, oh yeah she wants the whole deal, an upgrade to her previous life. Some guys still like the type, she'll probably cast the same spell on you that she cast on her dad when she was 4, batting her eyelashes and whatnot.

My verdict: sure, why not, if you like the type, but beware, if you can't afford it, your life can turn into living hell and she can be really mean if she doesn't get her way.

3. The "romance is for stupid people who are not serious about each other and are only in it for the saga3a": this one will show little or zero appreciation to nice gestures, you get her flowers, she says thanks, you ask why she's not swept off her feet, she goes "well what am I gonna do with a bunch of flowers? Wouldn't it have been wiser to get a new teapot with the money instead? You know our teapot's handle fell off!" … yeah she's probably been married for a while but there are lots of girls like that too, you try to hold her hand and she says you're both too mature to be doing that kind of things, you write her a poem and… khalas you get the idea.

My verdict: she'll get you frustrated if you're a romantic kind of guy, stick to someone sweet (which should be easy because sweets are sticky) or at least someone who appreciates a nice gesture, if you're not the type, she can be perfect for you and a very good financial manager to your home budget.

4. The "in it to win it": this girl wasn't a spoiled daddy's girl, but she heard from her friends that guys tend to shower girls with presents and that the more you demand from a potential husband, the more happy you're gonna be later, you make him realize that it's his duty to provide what you ask for and otherwise you're gonna say no and look for someone who will. So she goes too far, she wants the fancy wedding, a car, a maid, diamond jewellery, a lavish honeymoon destination, anything that she hears about but haven't ever tried having, she sees the engagement period as a chance to get as much as she can from you.

My verdict: don't fall into the trap and hand her your credit card, she won't be shy and she thinks you owe her (because she agreed to be with you), still, she can't stay that greedy for long… I think.

5. And finally, the nagger: who doesn't know her? You haven't complemented my new dress you always hang out with the guys when I need you most you don't care if I have a headache you think I'm too fat you think I'm too thin you don't like my family your mother hates me your sisters talk about me when I go you haven't said you liked the food you watch football too much you ruined the couch you spilled the juice you left the toilet seat up you flooded the bathroom with your shower water when are you coming home when will you start loving me as much as your friends.

My verdict? What verdict? RUN!

Don't forget to check out Seleucid's list for girls! :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Figured Out Why I'm Happy!

Girl with money Pictures, Images and Photos

I haven't been eating falafel!

The other day I was at my office tweeting the day away (since I had nothing else to do and since the biggest task that can be given to me would take 2 hours tops including other things I might be doing while working on it), anyhow, I'm happily reading everybody else's tweets and then BAM! I see this:
1 thing a gf must understand .. no work = no gifts no good restaurants .. so stop naging a falafel each day wouldnt draw a smile on ur face*

Wow! I re-read it, but it remained the same, then steam started coming out of my ears to the point that the headscarf I was wearing went wrinkle-free.
So apparently, guys (some, I hope) think that fancy restaurants and nice gifts are key to a girl's happiness and that she would not smile if she had to eat the same meal every day.

Okay I admit I'd get sick of falafel if I had to eat it every day, but is good food something I look for in a life partner? Girls? Anyone? Didn't think so.

And does that mean that couples who were having dinner at Hashem last night for example are unhappy couples?

So we do appreciate a nice gift every once in a while, so do you! We like a good meal as much as you do, we want a nice house just like you do! Or are you telling me that guys never care about those things and it's just us girls that make your life impossible because we "nag" and are never happy unless you give us jewellery?

To every idiot who thinks that way, I hope you earn billions, all the cash you want, marry the girl of your dreams, shower her with presents, take her to every restaurant on earth and give her the extravagant life you think she dreams of, and then she leaves you for your driver who has been giving her a falafel sandwich every day since you started making her feel miserable.
No hard feelings I hope.

* Note: As much as I would like to correct the spelling and punctuation mistakes in the guy's statement, I can't because I'm quoting :(