Sunday, October 9, 2011

10 Things to Tell Your Salespeople.

I wonder if we’re ever going to stop writing and talking about horrible customer service experiences here in Jordan, I haven’t been feeling like blogging lately but each time I go out shopping for something, anything, I get this urge to (not exactly blog, more like blow up malls all at once).

Please, if you’re the owner of a store or any business that requires direct contact with customers, please tell your salespeople and customer service employees (actually everyone) the following:

1. The customer is not your enemy, they’re here to buy and they’re the reason this business is alive so you treat them like your source of living depends on them. (It does).

2.  If the customer is on a budget, they’re on a budget. If they tell you how much they’re willing to pay for a certain thing, do not try to convince them to pay more and get something fancier, and you most certainly do not make them feel like the cheaper object is not good. Just tell them the features of both, be objective and let them decide, their money is none of your business.

3. The theft alarm can go off for reasons other than theft. If it does, apologize, sincerely. You don’t take a customer’s bag/handbag/purse and go through their stuff, make the customer feel like a thief and then act like nothing happened. This is not okay. 

4. Don’t follow customers’ every step inside the shop! It’s annoying, it makes the customer feel like they’re being followed because you suspect they’ll take something and not pay for it. And don’t just walk away and have the customer search for help either. 

5. If you look like you don’t feel like helping, the customer will not feel like buying, yes, this is how businesses fail in Jordan. 

6.When it comes to feminine stuff in general (undergarments in particular), a female will feel more at ease asking for help from a salesgirl than a salesman, don’t put them in an awkward position.

7. Female fitting rooms are for females and male fitting rooms are for males, if you’re not letting other guys inside the female rooms, why would you think it’s okay for you to go in?

8. Don’t “what’s your size” a customer when they haven’t asked you to get them their size, sometimes customers just want to look at things on display. 

9. And speaking of size, maintain a poker face after hearing a customer’s size. if she’s a size 20 and asks you for a size 10, it is none of your business. 

10. Don’t offer help if you can’t give it, especially when it comes to electronics, the customer has most likely done their homework and you’ll look like an idiot.

Shoppers, anything else? 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reform What: Businesses; Production & Services.

Charles Montgomery Burns

I don’t know if this happens with you guys, but when I think of evil businesses, telecom companies are the first to come to my mind, it could be the numerous complain-about-your-ISP tweets that I read every day, maybe because I spend a lot of time on the internet (and the phone). It could also be THAT THEY WON’T STOP REMINDING ME OF THEIR UNFORTUNATE EXISTENCE IN MY LIFE, yes, spam SMS! No, I do not want to subscribe to your SMS channels, I do not want to visit your café, I don’t want you to tghanili, nor do I want to asamm3ak, I’ll watch the discovery channel on TV thank you very much and I most certainly do not care about my horoscopes, I know; Monday will be dull and boring, how about you do what you promise, and stop ripping me off (two totally unconnected things).

Ok, forget telecom, let’s discuss quality of products and services here, I’m pretty sure people will jump and defend businesses by saying that Jordan is not an industrial country, and that we’re not developed. When you get the chance, take a look at products that were made in Jordan and exported to Europe or the US, quite impressive and at the same time frustrating, to realize that your country is in fact capable of producing high quality products and crops (from apparel to fruit and vegetables) but that ‘they’ don’t think the Jordanian market is good enough for such products.

Moving on to after sale, how many positive experiences have you had with customer service in any company? One? Two? Out of how many? And why are there even any bad experiences? Ever tried to fix an appliance that still had its warranty valid? To return something that still had the tag on? Has your internet service provider ever fixed your problem after your first call? In fact, have they ever done anything over the phone except telling you to visit their shops and that this call is recorded for quality assurance purposes? How many times have you decided not to return something faulty just so you do not go through the experience with a grumpy employee?

This is nothing. What about if the service was medical care? With the degradation of ethics that reached even the profession where ethics are most needed, hospitals and even clinics are nothing but businesses now, with money as the ultimate target; you’re sick? Here’s a bunch of expensive unnecessary tests that your insurance should pay for because they’re jerks. What? You don’t have insurance? Here’s a trial-and-error prescription, try that and if you die, come see me, but please make an appointment. The Hippocratic Oath now means nothing to a lot of doctors and malpractice is yet another issue that needs a dedicated post.

I can go on and on about this. Bottom line: business is yet another sector that is in a dire need of reform.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reform What: Streets and Traffic.

Amman Flag, Amman, Jordan
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: Jordan

Because Amman’s streets look like this:  
Which is already messed up, especially when you try to use logic to find your way (I’ve learned, the hard way, that when your brain says go right, you go left because this is not a rectangle!) and since we cannot do anything about the geography of Amman, how about we make those streets safe? I have some requests, I know I’m being very demanding here but please bare with me, dear reformers:

1.  We need sidewalks, ones that you can walk on.

2. It would help if you paint lines on the streets because many people don’t know what lanes are.

3. More garbage dumpsters, for people who litter “because there aren’t any trashcans around”. Ma3lish, bare with them.

4. Traffic signs that are not hidden or facing the wrong way, because it is not supposed to be a trap you know.

5. Pedestrian bridges and tunnels. Ah, I know the concept might be hard to comprehend at first, but you see they help people cross streets (especially when drivers think zebra crossings are decorations) and for those who insist on crossing the street without using them, you can build fences.  وإذا ضل متنح وتعربش عالسور، الله لا يرده. 

6. Some other way to handle accidents that whatever is being followed right now, it is ridiculous that main streets are being blocked for hours because a car’s bumper was scratched.

7.  Parking spaces would be nice.

8. I’d love a tunnel and a bridge instead of Hada’eq traffic lights for example, but I’m just dreaming.

9. Turning some really bust streets into pedestrian-only streets, Hamra, Rainbow… etc. they’re disgusting.

10. Street vendors who take up huge spaces on the sidewalks with their bastaat could be either moved or limited to a small area. It doesn’t make sense that people need to step down and walk in the middle of the street because of those!

There, pretty difficult list isn’t it? We still need solutions for people who jump in front of cars intentionally to get ‘compensation’ money, motorcycle drivers that pass between cars like they’re in a video game, the crying 3elkeh kid in Rabyeh, actually all 3elkeh kids in general, mentally unstable people roaming the streets, beggars, people who honk when the light turns yellow, people who won’t budge when the light turns green, nose pickers at traffic lights, people who take the space of three cars when they park and people who hang so many flags and pictures on the rear window that it makes it impossible for them to see through it.

Reform streets.

Reform What: Education.

I’m in my helpful mood, so I decided to help the officials in the government with their reform plan, because as it appears, they’re lost and in need of guidance, or maybe their vision is blurry (or blocked) and they cannot see what’s wrong here. Anyway, number 1:


The fact that anyone who majored in math can become a math teacher is the biggest part of what’s wrong with our teachers. You study history in college, you graduate and ta-da! You’re a history teacher. Well I’m sorry government, but that’s not the way it goes! 

I finished school 8 years ago and from what I’m hearing, thing have gotten a lot worse since then. Teachers lack the necessary communication skills that are needed to educate. Some teachers treat students like they’re their opponents, some use foul language with them, that is if we decide to turn a deaf ear to the physical abuse stories. 

One of the most basic things the government (represented by the ministry of education) should provide is proper education in a suitable environment and public schools’ environments are as far as they can be from suitable. Heat, ventilation, space, minimum first aid requirements are all in miserable shape and I’m not even getting into toilets and sanitation because I just ate. 

Universities might be in better shape when it comes to the overall atmosphere, but the psychological pressure professors put students under is another huge problem; from racism to just plain douchebagness, every semester is like a battle. The common conversation during registration period is about how to deal with this professor so that you stay on his good side (and therefore pass) and what not to do around that one so that you don’t end up on his bad side and fail. And yes, it is personal and has nothing to do with your grades.

Beside the instructors, there’s always the eternal problem of administrative issues, registration, fees, registration, credit hours, fees, fees, registration and fees. Let’s say you need to register for 15 credit hours this semester, you go to find only 2 out of the 5 subjects are available, you temporarily settle for those until you find a solution, that solution being a week-long battle (sometimes more) with the grumpy employee at the registration department plus the head of section or the dean at your faculty, after you get the (not really) necessary paperwork done through the agonizing bureaucratic process, you go to register for the rest of the classes and whaddya know! Your previous registration has been canceled, because the minimum is 12 hours and you didn’t reach those. And that was only one of the simple and common cases.

I’m also not getting into the issue of high fees here, you know because of the quality of the service you’re bound to receive. 

So, number one: reform education, reform schools, reform universities, reform colleges, reform teachers, professors and anyone in the sector because people have had enough.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Professional Tips for an Uglier City

Let’s face a painful truth; when it comes to nature, Jordan is not exactly the prettiest of all countries, first of all, it’s beige! We have no water, and we choose to build cities (or academies?) on fertile land and leave the desert. But you know it’s still not ugly enough for some people’s taste. So here’s how we make it uglier.

1. Litter, litter, litter. Wherever you are, I’m sure you have a paper tissue in your hand, just throw it out. You can do it subtly by pretending it fell from your hand (no, no one falls for that by the way), or you can be bold about it and proudly throw it as far as you can. Either way, the contrast of white tissues on black/grey streets makes a great big picture.

2. Litter some more, shawerma Arabi meal boxes also look attractive on the side of the road, but don’t forget to leave that can of Mountain Dew next to it. You know green is the trend.

3. Cut down trees. Forget that green thing I said earlier, beige is the new green.

Double parking, Chicago style

4. For more beauty inside the city, double park, triple park, hell park over parked cars, on sidewalks (pedestrians never use those anyway).

Election banners
(Just for the record, this is not Amman)

5. Banners. Because we need more of those and because no one heard of that offer you’re giving on haircuts, highlights and eyebrow tattoos. Make sure they’re colorful too.

Crayon on wall....very nice face by a 3 year old Elyse
(A baby drew that, apparently. It looks like troll face!)

6. Graffiti. It’s okay if you cannot draw to save your life, next time you’re waiting in line at a public place (preferably a governmental organization, or when you’re paying bills) bring your crayons (or just a BIC pen) and let us know that wall belongs to you, and your love, Nawaal.

How do you keep your city beautiful?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spam 101: Where not to Click

Alright kids, this spam situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better, Facebook spam, Twitter spam, email spam, SMS spam. So as a part of my ongoing invisible anti-stupidity campaign, I’ve decided to write this post. Here’s what you [insert negative adjective that doesn’t offend you so much but makes you feel stupid here] should know:

1. Do NOT click Facebook links that appear to be videos of babes in bikinis or skimpy clothing, a) no it is not awesome, b) no it is not OMG so funny, and c) no your friend did not like it, they’re just as ‘curious’ as you are.

2. That teenage girl did NOT kill herself after her dad saw this video of her. This has been going on for what, three years now?

3. No, you will never know who visits your profile, I don’t want to know who visits my profile, I know that you did not manually post that on my (and 30 other friends’) wall, but you clicked the damn link and so you technically did just spam us all.

4. Hotmail is not “going crazy” and you won’t be able to see what other people write about you in their emails and MSN chats.

5. And there definitely isn’t an app that shows you who blocked you on MSN.

6. Or removed you on Facebook.

7. Yes, I have heard of your special ‘event’ what with the thousands of tweets and retweets on my timeline, no, I’m not interested; stop sending out event links to everyone on Twitter. You cannot just shove your spam into the conversation. Imbecile.

8. And I most certainly am not going to send you my number in a direct message so you can spam me there as well.

9. I will not like your friend’s page if it’s not something I like; I’m not exactly interested in dishwasher spare parts.

10. If anyone from any telecom company is reading this: a) who the hell gets their breaking news by subscribing to your SMS service? b) I will not send you an SMS that costs me 1 JD so that you give me “saving” tips that cost another 1 JD/SMS. (Tip #1 should be: UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS CRAP) and c) I think people already have access to أسماء الله الحسنى and do not need you to send them one each day.

Bottom line, nobody likes spammers, so don’t click on anything that says “OMG!” on it.

Now comment on this post and win a free trip to Hada'eq el Hussein. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

10 People the World Would be Better off Without

Much better, actually close to awesome. So if you see or know one, help us save Jordan’s future and smack them on the head until their malfunctioning brain shuts completely and then try to talk some sense into them. Or better yet, kill them.

1. The texting street-crosser: I almost got into an accident the other day, the car in front of me stopped suddenly, the car in front of him stopped suddenly, the reason: girl crossing the street at 1cm/hour speed while texting. What’s worse is that she couldn’t even bother to turn her head and look at the car that almost ran her over. I wanted to stab her with that heel she was wearing.

Salary. Business People
2. The salary investigator: what difference on earth does it make if I (or anyone else for that matter) get paid a hundred JDs or a thousand JDs? As long as I’m not taking your money, not working for you, not stealing... etc. is it really your business? Those people go as far as making friends in payroll departments in their companies just to know how much everyone gets paid and where their salary goes. Curiosity? Okay, but when they start nagging each time someone in the company gets a 5 JD raise, smack them on the head etc. Or better yet, get a hold of their salary slip and ask them about each and every detail on it.

Jason and Jody 100
3. The family package wedding guest: really? You couldn’t find someone to babysit your 5, 3, and 1 year-old kids so you brought them with you? Oh okay, they’re so cute and quiet anyway. What? I can’t hear you with all that crying! I can get it when it’s a close relative (who should call and say she won’t be able to make it because she has no babysitter to which the host will respond that it’s okay if she brought her baby, and who will leave the moment the baby starts getting grumpy) but when you invite someone, and they tell you that they’re bringing their kids period, or when they won’t even bother to tell you in advance, hire a bouncer that will smack them on the head etc.

Food delivery
4. The delivery guy in the car that is small enough to fit under your right side mirror, they are getting worse than taxi drivers, and you thought no one can beat those. Suddenly they’re all so dedicated to delivering fresh, steaming hot meals that they would be willing to endanger everyone else’s life. The problem is, you order some food, and it always arrives cold! Take off their cap and smack them on the head etc.

On the phones talking to voters
5. People who talk to you while you’re on the phone: what is it? Is it that you think you and your stupid topics are more important than anything else? Is the phone somehow invisible to you? Or do you think I’m holding the phone close to my ear as an accessory? I should smack you on the head with it.

hannah eating mess baby
6. Moms who only ever talk about diapers, babies, diapers, milk, formula, diapers… A lot of my friends happen to be moms, yet their conversations aren't limited to the baby and the baby only! Sure, babies are cute, but when you only have one thing to talk about, you, my friend, need to be smacked on your baby-spit-covered head.

7. People who click spam links on Facebook: for crying out loud, you will never be able to check who viewed your profile, I don’t want to check who viewed my profile, I don’t care what happened to that girl when her dad ate her sandwich, and Facebook will not make an app that makes your friends send you links to let you know they added a dislike button! Yes you will say that it was sent automatically on your behalf but guess what? THAT IS WHAT SPAM IS ABOUT. Just DON’T. frickin’. click. the. damn. link.

8. This guy.

9. People who bring their kids to the mosque: you want to teach your kids how to pray then good for you! But disrupting other people’s prayers is just wrong, whether you’re a man or a woman, if you have no place to keep your baby, STAY AT HOME. You’re doing more harm than good. I’m pretty sure I will nag about this more come Ramadan and Taraweeh prayers, since some women bring infants who won’t stop crying to mosques.

10. Men who will stare (gawk, actually) at any drop of estrogen that walks by: especially those with a girl (woman) sitting beside them! She wears skimpy clothes, they stare, she wears modest clothes, they stare, she wears a tent, they stare. I’m too disgusted to even smack them on the head!

Next time I’m in a whining mood, I’ll add another bunch of people to this list. We all need to take part in smacking those people so hard their heads will go to Greece and return, maybe in a couple of years Jordan will be idiot-free!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Street Talk

What’s with guys thinking that every girl passing by them in the street wants to hear and understand what they’re talking about? They’re usually talking normally but when a girl walks by it turns into “WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SEE SAMEER? MEEN SAMEER? ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE HIM HIS MONEY TODAY? IT’S ONE HUNDRED JDS RIGHT? I AM GOING TO PAY CONDOLENCES TO MWAFFAG AT SEVEN O’CLOCK”*. And they do this while looking at you, "Hey check me out having this awesome conversation".

 It seems that every time I’m walking in the street and there’s someone watching me, I trip. I never trip when there’s no one around, but if I catch a khalto staring or a random dude watching, my flat shoes suddenly become 10 inch stilettos! Is it the awkwardness? Or is there some secret factor in the looks of our khaltos?

 Beautiful sidewalk right? Well it's either this or the one on your right.

You know you’re in Jordan when you see people walking NEXT TO THE SIDEWALK, people even prefer walking between parked cars (I’m not getting into how well parked those cars are). I don’t really blame them, we’re not used to having sidewalks in Jordan, they’re usually either a pile of rocks, or have untrimmed trees, that not even a 5 year-old can walk under, every two meters. (This is NOT a request to cut down those trees dear government!)

Do you get the feeling that cats nowadays are braver than before? Some are even reckless sometimes! I remember how they used to run away if you came near them, but now it seems that they stopped being afraid for some reason. One of my friends is cursed with suicidal cats, they just jump on her car even when it’s parked! (Hey you think she has a dead fish stuck near the engine or something?) 

*CAPS lock indicates yelling (in case you've been living on another planet.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Talents You Develop Working at the Wrong Company

Hello. I’m back, sort of. I still have a lot going on but things at work are much quieter now than the past couple of months, except my mind feels really blank when it comes to blogging. But I miss this so let’s try to pick up.

Being so busy at work made me think of all the different talents that I developed lately working in the wrong place, or more accurately with the wrong people because nothing is wrong with my job, except for some shitheads that make going to work every day a huge pain.

Here’s what you learn when you work in such a place:

  1. Dodge ball:  yes, dodge ball, they like to play it a lot around here. This is your job this is his job this is her job. It’s anybody else’s job as long as it’s not mine. We dodge tasks like they were bullets. Because hey, work kills.

  2. Witty comebacks: I still need to work on mine to be honest, but if you’ve been in the “business” for a while you’ll know exactly what and what not to say to your coworker/boss, especially when they’re trying to shoot you, I mean give you a task.

  3. Time wasting: you managed to avoid all those bullets, you now have 8 (more?) hours to kill by sitting at your office, from shooting bubbles to Tetris to Sudoku, you’re gonna get good at every game there is.

  4. Social skills: of course you cannot possibly waste all those 8 hours shooting bubbles (because then anything you look at will be round and SO COLORFUL) so you’ll pay your other colleagues some visits. Bonding is important.

  5. Caffeine tolerance: all those visits mean lots of coffee, being bored means lots of coffee, so if you are caffeine-sensitive you might be able to improve this.

  6. Procrastination: procrastination is an art. And making up excuses for it is even another art. The creativity some people enjoy never ceases to amaze me.

  7. Acting: no classes needed, you’ll have the best models in front of you and all you’ll need to do is to pick up the gestures and body language basics to be ready to convince everyone that you’re a busy, busy person who doesn’t even have time to sneeze and that you’re the one who did all the work on that report you know nothing about.

  8. Sleeping with your eyes open.

  9. Some technology-related skills: proxies and whatnot, how to get to Facebook even when it’s blocked, how to unlock instant messengers, etc. I hadn’t even heard the word “proxy” before I started work (let alone blogging).

  10. Drawing: because you can’t possibly arrive to a meeting without your pen and paper, and what the heck are you going to write when you have nothing to do with what’s being said? You doodle.

Any other thing you learned at a lousy workplace? Share!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

أنا عنصرية

Jordan Palestine Flags Pictures, Images and Photos

كتبت مياسي بمناسبة يوم التدوين للأردن عن العنصرية التي ما زالت تقسم المجتمع الأردني إلى نصفين، ثم إلى نصفين آخرين وآخرين...

وبالرغم من أنني وعدت نفسي ألا أكتب في مواضيع متعلقة بالسياسة "لو شو ما صار" إلا أنني لم أستطع أن أكبت هذه الأفكار بينما كنت أقرأ مدونتها. واعذروني إن أدخلت بعض المصطلحات العامية في موضوعي فأنا لمّا أعصّب بصير ألاخم.

أنا أردنية، وأنا أفرق بين مواطن وآخر، نعم، أنا عنصرية... وأكره أكثر من نصف مجتمعي.

أنا أكره الشاب اللي بتسمم سندويشته، وعلبة البيبسي، ثم يلقيها في الشارع الذي أمضى عامل النظافة – الأردني- نهاره تحت الشمس أو في البرد ينظفه ويكنس آثار أمثال هذا الشاب. كما أكره الشاب الذي ينزل شباك سيارته ويرمي الكأس الورقية التي شرب فيها قهوته الصباحية. هؤلاء ليسوا أردنيين مهما صرحت بطاقاتهم الشخصية. وسم الهاري إن شاء الله.

وأكره الفتاة التي اتخذت مفتاحها سلاحاً اخترق جلد كرسي باص المؤسسة، بس هيك عباطة، فالكرسي سب أباها ويجب أن يعاقب.

كما أكره محمد، مين محمد؟ الدابّة اللي كاتب اسمه على جدار إحدى مؤسسات الدولة، ليش؟ هو ما في محمد غيرك بالبلد؟

وأكره حسام، الذي كتب –بطريقة ما- رقم هاتفه على باب دورة المياه الخاصة بالإناث. مع أني أشك أنها "حسامه" وبتتخوث وبمناسبة الحديث عن دورات المياه أعزكم الله، أكره البهيمة التي... خلص عرفتوا. وحسني، الذي أعجبته سيارة أحد زوار حيّه فترك توقيعه بمسمار على بابها، لأجل سمة البدن مش أكثر، لأن كل من يملك سيارة جديدة هو بالضرورة حرامي وسارق مصاري الشعب والله يجعله لا تهنى فيها لأنه سبب فقر الآخرين.

وأكره مشجع الوحدات، الذي أمسك حجراً كسر به زجاج سيارة واقفة على جانب شارع صدف أن مر به أثناء عودته من مباراة "الديربي" التي خسر فيها فريقه، لأنه رأى علم الأردن بداخلها.

أنا أكره الفلسطينية، التي سألت المتسول عن أصله قبل أن تعطيه، لأنها "ما بتعطي إلا فلسطينية"، وأكره الفلسطيني الذي يقول لي "لولانا ما كان في أردن وكان لساتكوا عايشين بخيم"، وأكره المدير الأردني الذي يحدد أولوية التعيين لديه بأصل طالب الوظيفة، لأنه "أردني حمار ولا فلسطيني شاطر" والله لا يرد الانتاجية ولا اللي بدهم يرقّعوا من وراه، وأكره المسؤول الأردني الذي يبرر فساده بأنه بده ينفّع ولاد بلده.

وأحقد على الفلسطينية التي صرخت بحفيدتها موبخة إياها لأنها تحدثت بلهجة "فلاحية"، كما أحقد على شرطي السير الذي يحرر مخالفاته لكل من لا ينتهي اسم عائلته بـ "ات" أو يبدأ بـ "بني" كما قالت مياسي.

ليس أردنياً كل من قطع شجرة، أو سرق فلساً، أو رمى ورقة أو حمّل البلد 60 جميلة إنه اشتغل ساعة، ولا أهلا ولا مرحبا به، أياً كان أصله، فالأردن غني عنه مين ما كان أبوه.

خلص فشيت غلي.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog for Jordan Day, 2011

Bloggers in Jordan decided to make March 12th “Blog for Jordan Day” every year. And while other bloggers are getting creative in blogging about Jordan, I’m gonna blog about something I only discovered last year in Jordan, its bloggers!

My blog turned one year old last January, and during this past year I have had the pleasure to get to know many amazing bloggers and tweeps, and actually meet some of them as well.

The first blog I ever came across was Hareega’s, and I think that had it not been this good, I wouldn’t have been interested to read any other blogs at all, I think I’ve read every single post there, Hareega’s sense of humor is my cup of tea and it kept me glued until the last post.

And what’s the Jordanian blogosphere without Roba’s And Far Away? Fun, versatile and professional, you can’t not read her blog.

Then I found Whisper’s “Things I Like to Whisper About”, a sweet Ammani girl blogging about her ever-so-eventful daily life, and while I’m not interested in knowing a random person’s daily activities most of the time, this time I found myself following her, always optimistic no matter what, you cannot but love this girl. (Although she’s not as talkative in real life, but maybe that’s because I’ve only met her once).

Ola’s Cinnamon Zone is one of my favorites. I think it’s because we have so many things in common when it comes to things that tick us off! (Not the creativity, unfortunately) Ola’s funny, warm, wise and she adores horses! Her LAYLA series will keep you checking the feed for sure, if any TV producer’s reading this, get this girl her own TV show!

You cannot mention Ola without remembering Serene, because Serene is a figment of Ola’s imagination ;) no seriously, Serene may be hibernating as a blogger, but she’s funny, fun and funny! You gotta love her.

And speaking of love, you know when you instantly click with a person without even getting to know them that well? Ayah’s environment-friendly tweets will do that to you!

It looks like I’m mostly mentioning girls so far, but that’s okay because most of my complaint-posts are about girls so let’s balance things out here.

There’s also Mayyasi, with her amazing style in writing that makes you feel you’re reading a book, especially in her Beirut posts, there’s Waed, and her ongoing list of addictions that make her so passionate and therefore so easy to like, there’s Jano that makes you remember why you love Jordan every morning, there’s the awesome Majd who will make you change your mind about the lameness of her generation, and the list of amazing Jordanian female bloggers goes on and on.

Then we have the blogger (and tweep) that makes me giggle at work every single time he posts something, which causes some really embarrassing moments but whatever: mab3oos “is pissed, because you suck and don’t know it” (and also because most Jordanians can’t access his blog thanks to a certain ISP, yes Orange, you suck and don’t know it).

We have Jaraad, whose posts (and the comments there) will always keep your mind busy, we have the eccentric 5hadz, who’s so good on the inside that he tries to make up for it on the outside (but fails, unless you’re stupid enough to buy it ;))

And last but not least, The Hamdanism, controversial, deep but at the same time so easy to relate to.

Because I can go on forever (well not really forever, maybe just till tomorrow) I’m going to stop here, hoping I didn't forget anyone from my "top people" list. To everyone I’ve mentioned or missed, Jordan, and the Jordanian Twitter/blogosphere is a great place because of you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's Springtime!

What I expect every year when I hear the word "Spring"

TILT (14/01/10) waiting for spring

Bounty of springtime

DSCF7901 - Bright sky

springtime tractor


What I get instead. Every, year:

Happy springtime everyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pan-Arabism: Is it Dead?

I thought so, but then a young man from Tunisia ignited a nationwide revolution (and by nation, I mean the Arab nation, regardless of the number of countries) and that made me think for a while.

I saw how Jordanians followed the events in Tunis day after day, I myself was plastered to my computer screen, had up-to-date info on the developments, the number of casualties. I was worried, I was hopeful, as if Tunis was my own country, and as much as I’d like to say that this was because I sympathize with human beings in distress, it wasn’t, because honestly, I would have cared if this was a non-Arab country, but not as much as I did here.

Now before people jump to the conclusion that I’m a racist and that I think Arabs are better than other races, let me ask you this: do you like your aunt more than your mother? Of course not! No matter how much you love your aunt, your mother will always be a special case, even if your aunt was a better person.*

As a Jordanian, I can’t say that I know much about Tunis, I’ve never met a Tunisian in my life, I’ve never been to Tunis, I just know its location on the map and that it’s a very beautiful country. However, a poor street vendor sets himself alight in protest of unemployment and poverty and Tunis is suddenly a part of my world. The joy I felt the first time I read the words “coup d’état” (even though that wasn’t true the first time) was like nothing I’d experienced before, and it wasn’t only me, I saw it in the eyes of every member of my family.

Ten days after Bouazizi passes away, the president flees the country. Again, plastered to our TVs, worried about the protesters, our brothers, being shot at by snipers, we were worried as if they were truly a part of my family, and when that dictator fled Tunis it was a victory for all Arabs, not just Tunisians, although we cannot and will never deny, that they were the ones brave enough to stand up for their rights and start this wave of new found self-respect.

Same goes for Egypt, except this time Egypt is closer, geographically and therefore culturally, and it could also be the fact that there are many Egyptian workers in Jordan, we’ve known them and lived with them for years, beside the “Umm el Donya” factor, of course.

Again, the Jan25 revolution felt like it belonged to the Arab world and not just Egypt, and the second Omar Sulieman (and the guy standing behind him of course) announced that Hosni Mubarak had “stepped down” [been deposed], sounds of cheering and clapping were heard in almost every house in Amman.

In the meantime, the pot that had been slowly cooking in Libya began to boil and that maniac who calls himself “Leader of the Revolution” panicked and started killing every living soul that came in sight. And like Tunis, my knowledge of anything Libyan approached zero, I’m not proud to say this but I couldn’t name more than two Libyan cities, I just knew they had a leader who probably contributes to 75% of creepy craziness in the world (the remaining 25% can be found in the mind of any Hollywood filmmaker).

The existence of dictators is not news to anyone, oppression has been there since the dawn of time but what amazed me was how much connected we, at least I, felt to Arabs through all of this, sure, I would sympathize if this happened in a country that I didn’t even know existed, but not to this extent.

It looks like we (Arabs) are united after all, the bond may be invisible, but no one can deny it, whose eyes didn’t tear up watching that Tunisian man wandering the street of Habib Bourguiba shouting that Tunisians are free? Whose heart didn’t break seeing the pictures of Qaddafi’s victims in the streets? And who of us didn’t wish to be in Tahrir Square with the Egyptian protesters?

Pan-Arabism might be dead, but at least the emotional part of it is still alive, even if it took hundreds of victims for us to realize it, I just hope things don’t go back to the way they were because I’d hate to think that we’re united in times of crises only.

* This argument is only valid for normal people.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rise and... Shine?

I usually check my Twitter in the morning after I get to my office and “settle”, if you will. It’s funny how the general mood of my timeline changes from day to day, on Sunday (first workday of the week here in Jordan) it’s usually people longing for their beds, bees looking at a busy week trying to sort their stuff out, divided between “still sleeping”, “hoping for a good week” and “let’s get to business” attitudes.

Now Monday is a different story, personally I’m not a big fan of Mondays, hell I’m not even a small fan, the attitudes of Sunday change, people who had had a bad Sunday would be whining about how the weekend is so far away, people who worked really hard on Sunday also wishing for the weekend to come just a little bit closer so they can rest, Monday is the weekday with the least hope in it, week has just started and the day just won’t seem to end.

Tuesday, on the other hand is somewhat better, half of the week has passed, and tomorrow’s Wednesday, and you know what Wednesday is? It’s the day before Thursday! And long as it may seem, the smell of the weekend is present, a faint smell, true, but it’s there. And then comes Thursday and all of you know what the mood is like then.

Of course all of that applies to the general mood, but then there are different types of people with different morning behaviors, list? I think so!

1. The morning person: extremely happy in the morning, it’s like they were reborn and now they’re this little kid that wants to wake his mom up so she can play ball with him, very talkative men saba7eyyet Rabbna, and can be annoying when you’re not one of them, and/or when they start singing.

2. The gradually waking up person: this person is neither happy nor angry when they wake up, it takes them a while to become fully awake, silent in the first minutes, then they start blooming more and more, until everything is okay and they’re ready to face the day.

3. The coffee person: don’t you dare and talk to them before they’ve had their coffee, I think everyone knows at least one person of this type. Coffee is the only alarm clock they respond to.

4. The grumpy person (otherwise known as abu/umm booz): very angry, if you’re about to wake one up then make sure no sharp objects are in sight. Try to joke and you’re dead (executed by the death stare), and you better not be hogging the bathroom all to yourself when they wake up, some grumpy people can be coffee people, those are easier than the rest, but it’s safer to keep your distance.

5. The late person: (usually a girl) she has either slept-in or is so clumsy in the morning that it takes her longer to get ready than in the afternoon, she arrives to work, parks the car in the middle of the street, rushes inside, records presence, goes back to park the car like a decent driver, then runs to the office, she sits, tries to catch her breath, wears some makeup, fixes her hair and then her morning begins like normal people.

Let’s see, did I miss anyone? 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It Starts Out With The Scent of Jasmine

"Having nothing, nothing can he lose." - William Shakespeare.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Meanwhile on Facebook,

While revolutions were (are) being planned on Facebook, the rest of the citizens in Facebook society were busy, errmm, “supporting” the revolutions, or at least standing with their Egyptian* brothers and sisters in a way or another, here’s how:

1. The profile picture change: of course, the first sign on support citizens of Facebook tend to show, and believe me it means a lot coming from someone who feeds on compliments on their display pictures so don’t take it lightly!

2. The songs: Giving up the daily secret song dedication that no one is supposed to know whom it’s intended for, just to post a dedication to Egypt or the revolution is, again, not to be taken lightly.

3. The Qathafi Posts: the dude never ceases to be a source of amusement whenever something big is happening in the Arab world, just sit back, enjoy and wonder if he’s next.

4. The groupies: yes! Believe it or not, they’re here too:

5. The obsession with #TheGuyBehindOmarSuleiman: and I’m probably the most severe case! I featured him in my profile picture, posted his song… etc. some people did the opposite and were attacking people who passed the jokes (which had nothing of offensive nature by the way).

6. Even the photo-tagging group was showing support:

7. And in the midst of all this:

* Because of the bigger portion of media coverage given to Egypt. Tunisia came as a surprise to my news feed.

Disclaimer: posts and comments are semi-made up, Wael Ghonim didn’t really post that, and I got most of that stuff off my own profile so no offense intended :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Mystery: Why Can't We Walk Straight?

A friend posted a link to this video, I just thought everyone should watch it:

The Life is Good Award

I’m always excited when bloggers tag me in these interview-like posts. The “Life is Good Award” is actually a scanned Hallmark greeting card that comes with some questions to answer, it was given to me by Hamdanism, and I happily answered :)

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you aren’t anonymous, do you wish you started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?

I was actually anonymous for like one post, but then I thought it would be too hard to keep up and changed my mind. Sometimes I wish I stayed anonymous but most of the time I’m happy this way, I got to meet a few people and got to know some more and I’m glad I did :)

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.

I don’t think I have a stubborn side, some might disagree but that’s just because they might have given me advice that I did not like. But I would say that I am very much like Kinzi, really stubborn on the road when it comes to idiot drivers.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

Myself. Also some stuff around me. Where do you guys get those mirrors that tell you who you are anyway? Mine doesn’t do that.

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?

Watermelon smoothies! Actually I love all smoothies. It helps if they have bubbles.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

It’s a different thing every time, sometimes I enjoy some girlie self-pampering, other times I’m just Googling stuff (or should I say Wikiing?) you might even find me cleaning my room to the point that you can eat off the floor. Also, if quality time with friends is considered time for myself then that too.

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life?

Of course, who wouldn’t at 25?

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

I was all of those, but not at the same time of course, I had a different character each year, I was the overachiever clown, the shy overachiever and I ditched some university classes (but not school because I couldn’t).

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?

Yeah I did not see that question, woah look I’m already answering no. 9.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog, or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people and events?

I prefer writing about people and events, but that is my true self, I’m not the easily-talks-about-her-feelings type of girl and that is probably what you see on my blog.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

This highly depends on the mood I’m in at that moment, right now I think I’d talk on the phone, other times I’d feel like I want to be alone and not around people so I’d read, but I’m more into articles than books.

So, I'd like to give this award to the following bloggers:
The super talented Ola from Cinnamon Zone
The ever-so-friendly Whisper from Things I Like to Whisper About (I know how she loves tags ;))
My corn flavored peanut Mayyasi (Mayyasi hada dala3)
The always interesting Jaraad
And as much as I'd love to tag melicieuse, the girl is nowhere to be found, if you see her tell her we miss her!