Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do You Know This Guy?


I call him the Random Arab Dude, in case you don’t know him let me give you a few facts about him:

a. There’s really nothing, and I mean nothing special about him, he’s just a guy and he exists.

b. He hasn’t been to the barbershop for a while now.

c. He’s not happy, nor is he sad, he’s just, well, he’s fine.

d. He doesn’t wear colorful clothes and prefers beige.

e. He’s not tall, not that short either, but he’s below average.

f. His clothes are one size larger than they should be.

g. He hasn’t bought a new pair of shoes since forever.

h. In general you can say he’s not that financially stable or at least he doesn’t seem like he is rich or wealthy.

i. He’s kinda ok with all that and you can consider him “at peace”.

So where do you find this guy? (I know you’re not really interested in finding him but I’m just saying), here’s where to look:

1. Go to the ATM with a friend or so, let them get some cash and stand a couple of meters away. That dude trying to figure out how much money your friend has in his/her account is a RAD. Is he squinting? There you go. Now he’s not some thief who wants to get the PIN in order to steal the card later, he just wants to know how much money people have, how much they need, how much they took and maybe if they want a receipt with that transaction.

2. If you’re standing in a queue, let’s say you want to pay bills and you have the invoice with you. Can you feel someone breathing down your neck? When you look over your shoulder do you see someone’s head? Another RAD. He’s harmless; he just wants to know how much you’re paying for electricity or whatever.

3. You find a parking spot that is exactly the size of your car so you’re trying to squeeze it in, and while you’re not that good at parallel parking you can do just fine when you don’t feel like someone is watching you, except RAD is right there watering the plants and paying attention to your every move, until you step out of the car.

4. You’re walking in the street and get your skirt (sorry guys) caught in some bushes so you trip and almost fall flat on your face, you pull your skirt, pick up what’s left of your dignity and pray that no one saw that flower you doodled on your leg when you were bored and forgot to wash, think again, RAD is right there, he even feels sorry for you.

5. Your friend bought something faulty and wants to get a refund and they’re having an argument with the salesman at the store while you’re standing there, the RAD is the audience, he will probably go home and tell his wife about this fight he saw today at that store and what was wrong with your friend’s item.

6. Now you have to watch Jordan TV’s 8 o’clock news cast to get this, the correspondent is reporting from a street in some Jordanian city about how, let’s say everyone is really happy that it snowed (classic JTV news cast where they show you clips of kids playing with snow from the 1991 season) who’s there to demonstrate those feelings of joy? Around 10 RADs standing behind and next to the reporter either waving at the camera (maybe with a victory sign or two), smiling goofily or being all cool and laid back staring at the camera with absolutely no expression on their faces whatsoever.

Please don’t tell me you still don’t recognize the guy! He’s particularly everywhere! (Either that or I'm going insane.)

Disclaimer: I'm not really talking about this particular guy in the picture! He just happens to look similar.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Driving Me Crazy

There are 10 types of drivers you are bound to encounter when you are driving in the streets of Amman, now when I say Amman it's because I’ve only ever driven here so these are probably everywhere, but I’m going to list them from my point of view:

1. The Bully: a guy driving an SUV, he chooses when you stop and when you move, especially if you are a type 2 (see below), he couldn’t care less about car accidents so move out of the way for your own sake.

2. The Bullied: a male or a female in a small car, or a female in any car but with a look of hesitation on her face, type 1 guys always bully this driver, you’ll know what I mean if you ever see a scared girl in a hatchback waiting for drivers on the main road to let her merge. But you know what happens when the bullied kids get some extra cash don’t you? (No, they don’t found a stratup) they, become, bullies.

3. The Multitasker: sorry guys but this will never be a male, you just cannot do it! It’s a mom, with a kid or more in the back seat, they’re playing with their toys, one kid wants her to open that bag of potato chips, the other is holding the huge balloon he just made her buy in her face, she’s also on the phone planning for dinner with her sister-in-law, now supermom wants to get out of the Burger King Drive Thru and make the u-turn right before the 6th circle, familiar? Thought so.

4. The Married-to-his-Car: this dude spends more on his car than anything else in his life, he washes it more than he washes his hands, don’t you dare come near it, he’d be parked somewhere and your car is parked next to his, you’re getting out and he’s anxiously watching you like you’re going to smash his baby without mercy. 

5. The “they told me the streets come free with my Mercedes-Benz”: well they didn’t tell him but he just assumed, he either spent a fortune on his car or has made a commitment to pay over half his paycheck for the next 75 years of his life for it, so either get out of the way, or go buy a more expensive car. 

6. The Rich Khalto: oh yeah, they’re here too, Khalto has a brand-new BMW X6 that hubby just got for her on her 50th birthday, it’s 10 a.m. and she wants to go meet the “girls” at Starbucks, not a single hair is out of place, nails are perfectly done and the lipgloss tube was just emptied on her lips, don’t you dare honk your horn at her when the light turns green, or the mascara wand will go right into her eye you imbecile. 

7. The Stole-the-Car: either a guy or a girl, daddy’s out of town and they took the car, one little scratch and dad will find out all about it, you’ll have a heart-attack if you drive behind them at 20 kmph.

8. The Sexist: once this guy realizes you’re a female driving in front of him he goes insane, suddenly every move you make becomes wrong and stupid, he starts honking and cursing the person who gave you your driving license and the day they let girls drive, he’ll get even angrier if you smile so do just that. 

9. The Daredevil: as the name implies, it’s usually a reckless dude or a girl that started driving recently and has already been in a dozen accidents so one more wouldn’t matter, and they’ll admit it too, “Rand, wear your seatbelt” says my friend, as we were waiting for the red light to turn green, “you’re gonna need your seatbelt”. 

10. The Obsessive Compulsive: parks the car, gets out of the car, gets back into the car, brings the car closer to the curb, gets out of the car, gets back into the car, moves the car closer to the car in front of it, gets out of the car… you get it. 

Any types I missed?

* I’m probably more than one type of the above, but I’m not going to say which one(s).
** I love my daredevil friend, she is awesome and very pretty and her hair looked really nice that night :* 

Monday, November 1, 2010

10 Facts You Probably Did not Know About Jordanians

Let me tell you some non-scientific, untrue, totally made-up, I'm-just-kidding, facts about the Jordanian people, courtesy of the Department of Statistics in the imagination of yours truly.

  • 95% of Jordanians are Entrepreneurs; the other 5% are still learning how to pronounce that.

  • 99% of Jordanian Muslims know more about religion than you do, no matter who you are.

  • All Jordanians are environmentalists, they care so much about the environment inside their cars that they throw everything out the window to keep them clean.

  • All Jordanian girls are being chased by at least 5 guys at once, 75% of those girls are “tired and feel so pressured”, the other 25% “got used to it with time”.

  • 15% of Jordanian boys enjoy playing football, the other 85% don’t own a PlayStation.

  • All Jordanians care about cancer awareness, they just don’t like to talk about it. (seriously I heard that last week, they think if they talk about it they will “catch it”!)

  • 70% of Jordanians who have been involved in car accidents say it was the other driver’s fault, the other 30% were unconscious.

  • 99% of Jordanians will tell you what’s wrong with you just by looking at you, the other 1% are blind.

  • 1% of Jordanians are overweight, the other 99% just have “thick bones”.

  • And finally 100% of Jordanians are experts in one area or another, but of course you knew this, you’re an expert after all.
Welcome to the country of the people that knows it all!

* As usual, before I start getting lectures about how I should love it or leave it and whatnot, my love/hate relationship with my country is none of your business. Thank you :)