Tuesday, November 23, 2010

repeat customer

Really I have nothing important to say about Sunday. I lazed around my nice hotel room until the last possible moment, then I left my bags there while I made one last visit to the Hashem restaurant. I saw my waiter and gave him the "I'm baaack!" smile. He remembered my entire order from yesterday. "Hummus, bread, coke and falafel?" Then an old man that I have never seen before came up to me, smiled, pointed at me and said "I remember you!!". It actually looked like the same cast of characters as yesterday. The fact that they remembered me, remembered my order and weren't annoyed to see me return with all of my confusing questions completely warmed my heart.

another view of the Hashem restaurant:

you can actually see the same waiters in the photo today as yesterday. The guy walking in the door to the right was the old man. After that, I returned to Habibah, the delicious pastry place.
I had to go up to the north side of town for my night before group meeting. I stayed up there too because that's where everyone else was staying, and it was super cheap. I even had my own little balcony:

This new hotel (which was super gross compared to the Hisham hotel) was one block away from the largest mosque in Amman. You know what that means!

It means that at 4:45 AM, I am going to be woken up by this:

And being one block away from the King Abdullah mosque, it was exactly as loud as I had imagined it would be. But I am getting much better at going back to sleep. And it does add some local flavor to my morning!
I had an hour to kill and my alarm clock is on its last legs. So I walked down Al Nubulsi street to maybe look for a shop that could have one. I saw a watch shop that was closed, with a connecting convenience store and adjoining travel agency. I bought some water and asked the man if he also owned the watch store and how I might find an alarm clock. Of couse I did not learn "alarm clock" at the discovery center, so I personified an alarm clock by pretending to sleep on my folded hands, then screeching "beep-beep-beepbeepbeep!!!" He knew exactly what I was looking for. He found me an alarm clock that was gigantic. It weighed a ton and was just too big. So I asked about a watch. Just then, a fistfight spilled out of the travel agency. I told the man I'd be back and walked down the street so that the men could cool off. I returned, and they were still fighting near the convenience store. The man (who had a 8 year old son with him working in the store) had me come into the travel agency to get another key to the watch store. This was all getting too confusing so I almost left, but he said he might have a smaller clock. Ok, whatever. He shut the door so that the arguing men wouldn't bother us, then he asked me where I was from and if I had a husband or boyfriend. Yes! is always the answer to that one. He tried to get me to go into a back room of the travel agency. I refused to go in the room with him. My bullshit meter was way up and it was time to leave. The man shook my hand goodbye and did not want to let my hand go, and he said "I kiss you. I kiss you now". HA! Hell no. I was smart enough to stay by the door at all times. I shouldn't have even shaken his hand. No more handshakes alone in a travel agency with a strange man, even if his 8 year old son is right next door. "he's climbin' in yo window, he's snatchin' yo people up!"

I met with my group, who all seemed very nice and for the most part up for a good time, then we all went our separate ways before our first day tomorrow. I took a taxi down to a different neighborhood for dinner. It was really quiet and I mostly talked to one of the employees of the restaurant, named Sultan. He was a sweet, very young looking 26 year old. We talked about the world cup, food, education, customers that come in the restaurant. After that, I had a taxi drive that used the meter and tried to refuse money when I over-tipped him.

1 comment:

Kate C. said...

Just think if the Hashem Restaurant had a frequent program, you would be well on your way to a free falafel.

Tick tock, tick tock, you got out of that shop just in time. Although I guess you could have gotten your birthday kiss...

Sounds like a blast! I love the updates.