Friday, May 22, 2009

Two weeks in heaven, Day Six

At about 10 am, I woke up on the noises of ne of my nieces yelling at the door. The smell of freshly made coffee was allover the place. I can’t open my eyes as I woke slowly toward the bathroom. I needed a shower so bad, and that’s not because I stink. It’s just the power of shower water on the mind set of a man. Water here in Jordan flows little compared with the water in the states. I can easily spend 30 minutes under hard flowing water and never feel a time lost. But here, the water looked like barely flowing from the shower head. I felt bad for the people in Jordan and wished they enjoy the hard flowing water as w do.
The deal was that I go pray with my brother in law in the nearest mosque, and then head to my other sister’s house. So my brother in law and I left to the nearest mosque. My brother in law wasn’t enthusiastic that we were gonna be on time as he called the imam of that specific mosque “abu sree3” for he finishes prayers quickly. We drove to another mosque, a couple of kilometers away. We got there in time. We spent about 15 minutes listening to the lecture and then there was the prayer call. It feels good to be in a mosque that is crowded and no room to sit. Mosques in America have barely few rows filled.
After the prayer was over, we walked outside the mosque into the main street that connects marj el7amam with amman. I could see the signs on the road directing cars to amman, airport, and madaba. There were plenty of cars parked on the street selling vegetables and fresh produce. There were also sellers having their goods on the ground. Toys, plastic products, and even apparel products were amongst the main products sold. Another guy with a station making karabeej 7alab. I couldn’t smell the aroma, it was too much for me visioning deep fried dough. Yet, there was a long line for that.
We continued to his car and drove back to his house. My sister was waiting for me to drive to my other sister’s home. So we said good buy to the family (and the three little angels) and drove to our next destination. It was about ..umm…about 4 km away. On the way, we drove through marj el7amam. I liked the outlay of the city (except that one small round about I think on main street there). As we passed the market place, where they sell fruits and vegetables, I saw a shepherd with his sheep grazing around the market. At last, I saw what I missed the most. I used to see the same in tabarboor in the past, but not any more. It’s a shame, if you ask med.
So we arrived at my third sister’s home. She is older than me by about 4 years. Heck, her oldest daughter has two twin girls that were born 2 years ago. They don’t look like each others that much. Maybe when they grow a little more, they may develop a more look alike faces. Sat down in the front yard and started talking. My niece married this dude from hebron. So I have to not joke about khalayleh at all in his presence. He is nice, but his accent is funny. No offence to my beloved khalayleh friends of course. There, my parents were also waiting. My brother dropped him off and went to his in laws in na3oor.
Here is a thing about my nephews and nieces of this sister. They have adopted their father’s family name (which is normal of course) and they have developed this pride and ego that such name carries. I don’t wanna mention the family name, but they hold higher status (not in my opinion as I see them thieves in the west bank) amongst others. So, they brag about that name. I on the other hand, find that to be always an opportunity to hammer them and point how such name is associated with corruption. Even my brother in law is leas was in the past at a minimum. Still, those are my family…my blood..even if they felt that the other family’s name is bigger, or better.
Food time has come. Here is the thing. I’m not a foodaholic as I may have sounded in these posts. No…but my family is. Somehow, food has become the main reason to get family members around to see each others. So, we go inside to this big dining room table..I mean big…I mean it served 12 chairs on a normal setting. The main dish was “msakhan” as my sister perfected the dish. There is a saying in the family that when we wanna eat msakhan, we go to marj el7amam to visit my sister. There were regular flat taboon msakhan, and there were the rolls msakhan. There was also kaftah (for the khaleeli dude as he doesn’t like msakhan). On the far side on the table, there were the other regular small dishes that my family have consistently put in every food invitation. Grape leaves/zucchini and kebbeh. There was also a lamb magloobah for those who didn’t like chicken in msakhan. I got to try all of course. I don’t wanna go in details about what I did on the table, but I’m sure the picture is already developed clear.
My sister also makes great knafeh and gollaj. Figure…my day can never be easier can it now. I couldn’t eat a lot so she made me take a dish home with me. But I wasn’t going home yet. Of to Na3oor now to the in laws of my brother. We got there few minutes later. I remember visting this family 4 years ago when I last visited. Very nice family, and very basic. The father greeted me wonderfully. He started showing me the two stories he built for his two sons. Beautiful. Very respectful man. We went all the way to the roof, and wow, he prepared a beautiful setting for the family to get together in summer nights. He pointed across the street to this beautiful home/palace, and all the gardens around it. It’s supposed to be for an emir from Qatar, and a TV producer as well. The hills around. the scenery, the wind, the fresh air..all was good. I wish I can go back and live in Jordan…one day.
Couple of hours later, his brother came to visit him. He started introducing me to his brother and family so honorably as if I was his kid. As if this man is taking honor of being related, via nasab, to me. I never felt so special in my life, as I did there. It bothered me as I am not used at such treatment. Again, topics like the swine flue and the aggression of America dominated the discussions. His brother then started talking about the 67 war. My father got incolved as well as both started reflecting on the past. I needed to smoke, so I winked at my brother to call me to the kitchen.
I went there, and there were two beautiful girls. I turned around and excused myself, but my brother told me that it’s ok and not be shy. I lit cigarette and started chatting with the young girls about everything. The two were in the university. Smart and educated girls. My sister was there and so was my brother and his wife. They asked how much I gained over the past 5 days, and I said maybe 2 or 3 kg. One of the girls got me a scale and said here prove it. All laughing, I got on the scale, and bam….4 kg….oh my God…how can that be. Mrs bo3bo3 will kill me. I had lovely 10 minutes and smoked 2 cigarettes, then went back to sit with the guys. They are still talking about the war.
The night was almost over, and we excused ourselves. My sister wanted to drive her car, but my father said “you wouldn’t know your way through these narrow streets, so let me get you to the main road. After trying to convince dad to drive all the way to tabarboor, she gave in. She suggested to him to go and ride with my brother, but he refused as well. I was wondering why wouldn’t she want him sitting next to her. He drove like crazy through the dark small streets. I got scared myself, especially when he says “or those lights of a car, or a house on the side of the road”. That is scary. Is he able to even see the road, if he can’t distinguish the lights?
We got to the main highway, and I was relieved. My sister was not. So as she took the wheels, he started telling her to go to the left lane..then right lane..then avoid a speed trap by the bridge..then take the left lane to avoid the traffic coming into the highway..then take the right lane..then take this side street to avoid traffic..then…then… Now I know the rest of the story. We got to the house and she told my father “please, never ride next to me again” smiling of course.
It’s about 11 pm now. I have no schedule tomorrow. My sister wants to take me to carfour mall and then to visit my uncle in jabal alqosoor. I also wanted to relax a bit. So, we’ll see what tomorrow holds for me. But now, I’m tired knowing that I just gained 4 kg in 5 days.

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