The World of The Brits

When people ask me about my last trip, they tend to ask the wrong question. Its not about what I did. It is about what I did NOT do. Yep, that really sums up my trip to UK where I spent 8 days in London and 2 days in Manchester.

Many factors have been taken into consideration before I finally decided on my destination. I got a couple of friends in London & Manchester. I got a good deal on my airline ticket. Sterling Pound is at its lowest in a couple of years (talk about taking advantage of the financial crisis) and most importantly, I could feel the winter there where I'd be doing my favorite hobby; walking and walking and more walking.

On the day of my arrival, I couldn't control my excitement and I spent more than 13 hours exploring London and its underground subways. I started with Baker Street, the home of the legendary Sherlock Holmes to Madam Tussod's wax musem ofcelebrities. From there, I walked to Portland Street all the way to Oxford Street – the haven of all shoppers around the world. The size of each store outlet is equivalent to half the size of a mall here in Jeddah. What stroked me the most about those stores is how it is a condition that they must have all the sizes. In one of the stores, I was checking one of the jackets but when I couldn't find my size, I just went on to see other models till the saleswoman approached me: "can I help you sir?"

"oh thank you. I was hoping to find my size but didn't. Its ok. No big deal, I'll check other stuff"

With an astonishing look she goes: "Oh no sir, we must have your size" and she commands 3 other salesmen to check the inventory and stock till they replenished the missing size. In the end, I didn't buy it. :P

Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street

From there, I went to Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Marble Arch and Edgeware Road (a.k.a as the Arab Centrals Street) all in one day.

In the next days, I explored the Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. I took a city tour ride on the THAMES river where I went all the way up to the London Tower then to Greenwich. I wanted to go there just to stand on the infamous imaginary Greenwich line.

Buckingham Palace

I took great images of London when I went up the London Eye. London Dungeon is another great experience that shouldn't be missed. Unfortunately, the host chose me as a candidate to demonstrate on me the different types of torture equipments. The attraction includes going through, the Labyrinth of the lost, The Great Plague, Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper, and the Great Fire of London. Nothing describes this ride better than Wikipedia.

You can never be bored of London. Each road & each station has a distinctive feature & flavor either in the architectural design, location of exits, graffiti, or tunnels. So there is always something to explore. Unlike other countries, I got lost many times and actually enjoyed. Once, I got lost for more than 3 hours. I went to Sloane Square in Chelsea and was planning to walk all the way up to Knightsbridge. However, I kept on walking for more than 2 hours till I discovered that I was going south rather than going North. Later, I discovered that I walked out of zone 1, zone 2 and all the way to zone 4, passing through fulham all the way to Putney train station.

I was wrong to assume that I could cover the British Museum in just few hours. Out of the dozens of exhibitions there, I only managed to see the Korean Exhibition (unfortunately nothing exciting there), the Islamic Literature Exhibition (they had interesting history about calligraphy), Ancient Egypt & Sudan (surprisingly, its much better and more descriptive than the Egyptian Museum in Cairo) and my favorite on the Aztec Era.

Rosetta Stone

I kept on touring and visiting the major streets that I could recall from the MONOPOLY game. I even went to Fleet Street – famous for its new agencies and the road took me all the way to St. Paul's Cathedral, where it was time for the afternoon prayer. Whereas the others were sitting and listening to the prayers, I kept admiring the splendid design and the beautiful architecture while trying to imagine how long it took them to build this magnificent cathedral that was among the most beautiful buildings I saw in my life, when I got the sudden urge to…


I quietly left the cathedral trying not to cause any form of disturbance to my fellow believers who were communicating with their Creator at a higher spiritual level. As I get out, I quickly unravel my London map to locate the nearest Underground station. They have wahsrooms there. St Paul is my target. 10 minute walk. When I reach there, I follow the signs for the washroom. When I reached there, I see a huge bulletin board saying: "30 pence". What the? Are they kidding me? They are charging me to use the washroom. Ok, nevermind. I inspect my wallet while trying not to control my laugh at the silliness of the situation. My cynicism is over when I discover that I only have a 50 pound paper and 25 cents.

"Oh God, you can't be doing this to me. I was just in the cathedral". If the cinema refused to change my 50 pound paper the other day, then no way the station people would change it. I storm out of the station to scan my surroundings. I see Starbucks. I speed up my pace as I walk to it. Trying not to look suspicious, I order the Grande size of their hot chocolate and the triple chocolate muffin (talk about chocolate overdose) which should be enough to change my 50 pound. My misery was over when I finally relieved my bladder muscles while pondering and appreciating why they are called "rest rooms"

So enough about London. In my 8th day, I took a train to Manchester that lasted for only 2 hours and 20 minutes. The city of Manchester is small that you can tour it all walking. Compared to London, cabs are affordable means of communication. You call a cab and in 5 minutes max, he'll be at ur door step. During my stay, I dined the Curry Mile (known for the variety of restaurants which are majorly Indian). I visited my friend in the small town of Bolton which is known for having a huge population of muslims. They have a great & a proper mosque there unlike the rented community center in London where we had the eid prayer at 10:30 a.m. because this is the only timing they have.

On my first night in Manchester, I went to Old Trafford to watch the last game in Manchester Utd vs Aalborg in Champions League. I got a good seat (3 rows from the manager) after extensively searching the net. For a while, I thought I fell for a scam because I didn't get a ticket through the mail. I got a membership card under the name of "Mr. Aalborne". I had to sign a confidentiality agreement that I have to return the card after the game is over. The directions were provided with the letter. Thankfully, the card got me in and as promised, I got the desired seat. I was happy to watch the game for 1/3 the price I would have normally paid. After the game, I followed the directions till they have led me to a dark alleyway. I was inspecting my surroundings and hoping I won't be assaulted by any hooligans especially since man utd drew 2-2 with such a weak team on home turf. On the corner of the street, I see a hooded man, he looks around: " who are you?" 'hamza, I have a card under Mr. Aalborne". I hand him the card. "Cheers Mate" he said as he crossed my name off some list. I don't wanna imagine what would be the consequences if I have retained the card much longer.

The icing on the cake for this vacation was in…*drum rolls*..going to the COLDPLAY concert. :D. It was on my last day. My friend persisted that there is no need to book our places in advance. The concert was at 9 p.m. and I was still in Bolton at 8 p.m. I almost gave up on catching up the concert. By 20:15, we ordered a cab to Bolton Station. From there, we took train to Picadilly where its next to the M.E.N Arena. Its 20:50 p.m. Almost everybody is seated. The ticket booth was closed. We were still waiting while I decided to leave the matters for my friend to take care of things. 20:55. 5 minutes are left and we are still outside. What are we waiting?

"here they come" my friend said as he spotted 2 guys shouting "tickets tickets".

AHA….black market. I thought this only exists back in the middle East.

The official cheapest ticket goes for around 50 to 55 pounds where you'd be seated at the top, farthest from the stage. After a long debate, we managed to bargain down to 15 pounds/ticket and we were seated 6 rows from the stage. It can't get better than this.

This was by far among the best trips in my life.

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What's missing in those pictures?

It is missing ME.

London..I am a couple of hours away from you. Wait for me. :D

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Random Timestamps from Last Week

Date: Saturday, 22 Nov 2008

Timestamp: 22:22 – we are 8 minutes away from the start of the derby d'italia of Inter vs Juventus. I need to rush to reach the coffee shop where I am supposed to meet my friends. I am on the road driving in the middle lane. As I slow down to stop at the traffic light, I hear the car behind me skid..Damn, he is gonna hit me….no, he is back in control. He switches to the left lane and stops next to me. The logo on his car says it all. "Royal Guard"..You definitely don't want to be hit by this car. By default, the 3 lane street converges to a 2 lane street where my middle lane will become the utmost left lane. And anybody on the left lane would by default turn left. The traffic light switches to green. I keep driving straight. Apparently, the royal guard is in the mood of racing. By the time I reached the converging street, I see that car going straight to the central island separating both streets. He freaked the cars waiting on the other street. And then in the middle of the highway, he reverses and gets back to my lane and starts chasing me for 2 to 3 minutes before Making a U-turn and goes back to the traffic light we were at. What's wrong with that guy? Was he drunk?

Timestamp: 23:10 – the game is still in its first half and I am already yawning. 2 guys enter the coffee shop; Or let me call them transvestites as they lack any masculinity features with their hairless body, white powdered face, eyeliners, soft voice and plastically deformed nose. I couldn't help myself from getting distracted by them and watch them every once in a while.

Timestamp: 23:50 – one of them winks me..OOOOOOOOOOOKAY. this is the first time this happens to me since grade 5 when black Mercedes cars used to chase me whenever I went to the grocery store that's 1 block away from my house. I changed my seat

Timestamp: 00:21 – "you freaking kiddin me? WHO PLAYS RACKETS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET AFTER MIDNIGHT?" as I shout at the 2 women standing in the middle of the street playing. This was some really fudged up day.

Date: Monday 24th Nov 2008

Timestamp: 23:50

*sighs*. This day would mark as a major milestone in my life. I finally did it after I had waited and tormented myself for months and even years. Let's hope it’s a step forward in my life. I dim the side lamp next to my bed and I close my eyes to go to sleep.

Date: Tuesday 25th Nov 2008

Timestamp: 20:10

16 – it was the number that marked the table allocated for us to watch the play hosted by the school. It was the "Glass Menagerie" play. The play was set in the 40s and it might have been boring since it only revolves around 4 characters only. But I liked the American southern accent and the performance of the girls who depicted the mother & daughter roles. Overall, it was a great night since this is the first time I attend a play in Jeddah

Date: Wednesday 26th Nov 2008

Timestamp: 22:15

I sat there trying to relax. I've been a bee running around all over the place helping in arranging and organizing up this BBQ event. I look around me to see my colleagues who showed up. I put the people on 'mute' and pondered on the thought of how are we united here yet many of us have dark secrets behind us and past lives that we are not willing to share and explore. I look at the right and I see the "Raven" and Mr. "Big Chin" voraciously attending to their cigars while they are engaged in a conversation with the "African Cinderella".. Lying all by himself, I see the 'hyena' sitting and admiring the stars of the night. On the other side, I see Mr. Twinkle Eyes talking to the Falzou3a. I keep on scanning the landscape around me and I reach to 'bagera' and his gang who are engaged in an intense conversation involving a lot of hand gestures. I got interrupted by her:

"shu bak? You ok?" - she said.

I paused. I smiled…Then I went up to attend helping the only guy on the BBQ after I archived this snapshot in my lane of memories.

Date: Thursday 27th Nov 2008

Timestamp: 23:15

Was the time that was displayed on my watch. Too bad I'll be missing the acmilan vs portsmoth UEFA cup game. But it doesn't matter. It isn't like everyday that I spend one last evening with 2 of my friends who are getting married next week. The 'comrade' and the 'raven' will have their weddings on the same day. It would be a difficult decision for "Big Chin" to choose which one to attend. It is not going to be a problem for me as I won't be in the country to attend any. It is funny how one of them will have his wedding and then go to Mauritius for honeymoon and the other will be spending it in mecca for Hajj. I wonder if it is as cute idea or not. 7ajj as in honeymoon sound so awkward.

So, I am sitting with them on the table having 'the last supper'. Home cooked Fish Salmon with garlic sauce and zucchini strips, grilled chips, chicken soup and rockets salad. It is indeed a healthy menu. By the time the four of us sat on the table, we raised our glasses: "Cheers"…

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A prisoner in my own shell…

What I have been up to…

Socialwise- Other than one soccer game with the guys and a couple of birthday parties I attended, I am not socializing as I used to. I attended an "all you can eat dessert" hosted at coffee shop near my house. The event was announced on Facebook and I found it as a creative approach to publicize and advertise for the coffee shop. Kudos points to the genius owner. I have been on a boat trip in the red sea where I went snorkeling at 3 different reef sites. For a while, I didn't feel I lived in Jeddah. Our boat was full of foreigners who were open & friendly and have enlightened me about the basic dos and don'ts when it comes to diving. This is the next thing on my to do list: learn diving. The best thing about the whole journey was the company of dolphins. :D

Workwise – I was in the office for a total of 4 days in the last 5 weeks. My boss is definitely not the happiest person as I was out of the office most of the time. I enrolled in 4 back-to-back training courses where each one lasts on an average of 5 to 10 days. Covering a wide variety of topics such as banking instruments, project appraisal, logical framework and international trade finance made me feel as I was in an intensive post-grad program. Other than the random nap attacks I unexpectedly experience, it felt good to be a student once again and be on the receiver side for one more time. This had served as an additional motive to…

Careerwise – study CFA. After my Eid vacation, I committed myself by registering for the June 2008 exam. Over the last 8 months, I barely managed to complete one out of the 6 books. Over the last 4 weeks, I picked up the pace and finished 2 books totaling 976 pages (the original one and the revision material). I am surprised at my achievement yet it is understandable considering the effect triggered by the surrounding environment ; whether it is the attendance of the above training courses or other factors that have been affecting me…

Personalwise- on personal level. A hidden side of me is coming back to surface, an old feeling that I concealed because I couldn't interpret it. All I know about it is that it consumes my mind and tires my soul. One of its major side effects is becoming extremely intolerant to human presence around me. I am hating people yet I am incapable of communicating my anger and thus I end up diverting the shock to my inner core. It is the same core that is becoming ultra-sensitive to the changing variables around it. It is yielding a hurricane of endless thoughts, ideas, interpretations, and conspiracy theories that leaves me to question my own established definitions of what's right and what's wrong. The only remedy I found lies in sealing myself in my sanctuary that serves as my current study room. It is the same room that I have had many success stories in, especially during my O-level and A-level years 7 years ago. Everything about that room changed. The bed, the TV, the cupboards, pc, and even the AC. Trying to recreate the same ambience remained a challenge. I no longer listen to my favorite radio station that all it plays now is gulf music, yet Coldplay's latest album and couple of new Arabic albums (Asala, kazem El saher, nancy ajram and darine hadchiti) are doing their best in balancing my instable mental sanity. But all this doesn't matter now. My inner demons are on hold. Maybe they are waiting for my vulnerable moment where they'd feast on me. But for now, I am just a prisoner in my own shell…

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Cab drivers in Jordan

My last trip to Jordan confirmed my theory about cab drivers . I had many horrible stories with this unique class of the society including those of my brother that would just blow your mind away.

I could tell you about the time I came back home with my burnt tomato face. My mom would question me if I went to the pool or not because last time she checked, I was supposedly meeting up with friends in Jordanian University Campus. She didn't know that I remained stuck for over FIFTY damned minutes under the merciless sun of August at noon. Cab drivers would never stop for me yet they stop for the girls just waiting behind me. I reached a stage where I wished I was a girl and allow myself to be molested. Just get me home. Damn it.

After minutes of waiting, a cab driver would slow down and before I open up my mouth, he goes like: "isma3 ya khali, sweifeyeh bagarebesh 3aleiha, wil rabyeh bafoothash, wi 3abdun 7alef yameen ma afoootha, wi shmesani azmeh mosh tabe3yeh wil balad wi jabal il Hussein manteqa mal3ooneh..bansharet feeeha 3 marrat bi hal shahr. Allah la ywafeqha hal 7okoomeh 3ala hal torgat. 3al 3afyeh. "…and he left without giving me a chance to explain myself. Why the hell did you stop in the first place?

On other occasions, cab drivers would just pass by me and give me signals like tilting his head and putting it on 2 hands (note that he is doing that while driving) to signal me that he is going to sleep, or pointing his hand to his mouth signaling he is going to eat.

The other day, I tried imagining myself in my brother's shoes when he was with the 'high' cab driver. According to my brother's narration, the guy had red eyes and was so hyper and was dancing with his car on the tunes of George Wassuf. Windows are open and he screams to all the pedestrians on the street: "Allah ye7ayee aslak ya abu wadeeeeeeeeee3"…car screeches to scare some pedestrians on the side road before going back to main road etc etc. Must have been one hell of a death ride.

Or the other time, my brother was riding with the taxi of 'Abu Ahmad' (we figured out his name later). On the way to dropping my brother, the driver gets a call:

"ah ya um Ahmad…..aaaaaah..ya2alla kef nseet….khalas bamorrek hassa Kaman 10 dagayeg" ("yes Um Ahmad..ooh, how could I forget? I'll be there in 10 minutes")

So the driver changes his route and without even consulting my brother, he goes to his house and picks up his wife and 5 of his kids.

"Ma3lesh yaba inta wiya..o3od 3ala 7odon 3ammak hoan"

My brother shows up with 2 sore legs half an hour later than scheduled and vowing he'll never ever ride with cab drivers.

All of this and yet you haven't heard the worst story that I had around 3 years ago when I wanted to see my cousin in sweifeyeh. After waiting for 10 minutes or so, I rode with the first one who picked me up. He was jumpy and voluntarily offered to give me "panadol' pills for my headache. Of course, I am not a kid anymore. Who was he trying to dope?

Minutes later, he checks my cellphone out and winks at me saying:

"so show me what interesting videos and pictures you have"

"what kind of pictures and videos you want?"

"you know..illi bali balak"

"I have none"

"oh come oon. Send"

I take a look at his cellphone. His model supports Bluetooth and not infra-red

"I don't have Bluetooth. I only have infra-red."

"huh…what's that?"

Oh damn..I wanted to close the subject but now I had to explain to him about infra-red.

As we were in Abdullah Ghoshe's street, a lady walking her daughter screamed at the driver: "3ajebtak il bent ah?..wa7ad mabtesta7ee 3ala dammak ya aleel il zou2"

The driver got pissed. Instead of taking left, he took a U-turn:

"DUDE, sweifeyeh on left…why did you take left?"

"bedi arja3elha hal Ga7*** heye wi bintha il sha*****. Bedi arabeehom"

"dude, its ur fault. You started were the one STARING at the girl"

"its her fault. Mosh 3arfe trabee bintha illi btedala3 wi mashie bil zalet"

"DUDE, both of them are scarved. What are you talking about?"

He went back to swear at them and give them inappropriate hand gestures. I couldn't believe that I was seeing this. I wanted to leave the cab but I was already late. Finding another one would take me ages. Before reaching our destination, he stopped at HARDEEZ.

"that's not where we agreed to drop me. That's not sweifeyeh"

"I know..but sweifeyeh is 5 minutes walking from here. I gotta go."

"What do you mean you gotta go? I told you to drop me there"

"I promised to pick the lady standing there".

"what do you mean you promised? The lady just showed up. You know what? That's it. I am out of here" I stormed out of the cab not paying my fare.

15 minutes later, I see my cousin who bombards me with: "I have been here for 20 minutes. Why are you late? What's wrong with you? Why are you sweating? You look pissed."

"nevermind. I wanna forget about it"

3 hours later, I am in a better mood and as we decide to bid each other farewell, my cousin goes like:

"hey we could give you a ride. My friend has this CAB and he can…oh you are fuming again? Did I say something wrong…AAAAKH..stay away from…I am suffoca…eeeh"

Thank God I am not in jail.

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A week in the Land of the Black Irises

As some of you already know, I have decided to spend my Eid Vacation in Jordan. What was different about it this time is that I did my best to untangle myself from the webs of my relatives. I definitely left many negative vibes behind me yet I don't regret it

The best thing about this whole trip is meeting 2 bloggers for the first time. They restored my faith in meeting online people and actually having fun with them. Thankfully, Qabbani and faithnmystery did not fall under the stereotyped category that some may perceive against bloggers being boring, socially awkward and their online character is different than their counterpart cyber alias. The first time I got to meet the 2 of them was on Friday where we went to go pick up KJ, a blogger and a close friend who I know for over 10 years, from the airport. Although I rarely read to their blogs, I felt that the guys were talking to each other like they've known each other for years. You should have seen the look on my face when I enquired about how long have they been seeing each other and they were like: "this is the first time we meet"

Qabbani – sometimes I used to wonder how ppl in the past lived without TV and internet, but now I understand how possible it can be if you have a person like Qabbani. With 3 or 4 hours of sleep per day and a vast knowledge in most of the topics out there, Qabbani is more of a machine rather than a human being. Just press any of his buttons and you will get an infinite supply of information regardless of the topic.. He'd narrate for you the history of each store in downtown Amman or he could recite to you jokes for 3 hours during the journey from wadi rum back to Amman.

Qabbani is very resourceful. We have enjoyed this one week because of the spontaneity of our decisions. We never knew what the day was hiding for us. One minute, we are eating kenafet Habiba, and an hour later, we are on the way to the dead Sea to watch the sunset.

As for Maher, we only saw him for few hours. And I personally wished I spent more time with him. You can't help but burst into laughter when you see him. He is a hybrid of a typical American white boy accompanied by the Arab hyperness added with a flavor of Jordanian accent and attitude. Who else other than Maher who would keep smelling the butt of a camel doll..Oh well, what matters to me the most is that we managed to know the real real reason behind him joining the soft ball team. :P

KJ-well…I always experience and discover new things about this guy each time I meet him. Let's just say that in this week, he caused enough trouble between Qabbani and his fiancé who is starting to get jealous of him. One thing for sure, I am not telling him when I will get engaged.


Iftar @ Ponte Café in Abdoun – KJ got sick and we spent the next 3 hours baby sitting him til he puked out all the food he ate. What a waste

Walk in downtown and tea & coffee at GOUZA café


Al-Qal3a Castle

Roman Theater

KJ attempting Meditation

Iftar @ Quds Resturant - I went for their mansaf and the chicken KJ went for the chicken Kabsa

Balat Al-Rasheed Café – a café that's open since 1926. *rolls eyes*. We were their first customers for the day and let's just say that praying the maghrib there was such a memorable experience


Al-Hussein Gardens -

Walking through city Mall and Mecca Mall

Iftar @ Aunt's house

Qabbani & KJ's date – I went to watch the Acmilan vs Intermilan game at my cousin's house

captured one second before the.....nevermind

Bella Café in 5th Circle


At my house in the morning

Sweifeyeh and specifically Barakeh Mall

Msakhan at my house

A coffee shop that I forgot around University campus area

Wakalat Street

Milkshake at Gusto with Maher


Morning tour in Rainbow street and downtown

Kenafeh at Habiba

Sunset on Dead Sea

Horrible Shawerma Reem for dinner @ my house – why no body told us that they don't have chicken shawerma..for a meat shawerma, it was relatively ok but the meat was too dry.

The Class on 7th circle


Lunch @ tete's house

Tour in Webdeh and @ Chocoholic Café

Wild Jordan


Petra – we had to wake up at 4 a.m. We went through Seeq to the Khazneh and then we climbed for 1 hour till we reached the monastery. One of the most tiresome trips ever. This is the 2nd time I go to Petra and each time I go there, I hate it more and more

Wadi Rum – Al Zerb for dinner. If we ignore the noisy Jordanian music emanated from the camp next to us, I would say that the best thing about the whole journey was the time we went hiking at around 11:30 a.m. to watch the stars. We left as a big group of at least 30 people. Each one of us took a separate corner. Personally, I was annoyed by the ones who kept blinding me with the flash of their cameras. I positioned myself among 2 foreigners: an Indian guy and a Czech girl and started counting the number of shooting stars and discussing the wishes of each one of us. I recall KJ disappearing into the shadows and hearing 5 minutes later the groans of wolves and coyotes. Luckily, he came back in one piece


Marks our return to Amman and the end of our vacation. I discovered that my flight was earlier by 3 hours than expected. As my uncle was dropping me to the airport, I see 2 limo cars dropping Ragheb Alama to the airport.

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Jordan in a glance

Note: This post contains a lot of stereotyping and it might be offensive to many ppl. None of those are based on any scientific facts but more of personal experiences. Read at your own discretion

I will be in Jordan in a couple of days. This will be the first time I go there since 15 months. And it brings back memories. It reminds me that I have to re-adjust my mind to the dynamics that govern the Jordanian Society.

For those who don't know, like those who'll be visiting it for the first time (HINT HINT: to a fellow blogger), here is a summary about the different classes of the Jordanian Society

  1. Jordanians: those are the pure Jordanians. All of them are originally Bedouins and they tend to represent the rich high class society. Surprisingly, they are not that common in Jordan and believe it or not, they are a minority. They might represent around 20 to 30% of the society. Their last names would usually end with names ending with –neh, bataineh, tarawneh, zawaineh etc. The reason behind their high class status is that one of the family members, whether it's an uncle, a father or a cousin have at a certain point in time held a ministerial position in the government. I won't go far and I'll take our family as an example. My mom comes from a purely Jordanian family and guess what? her cousin is currently the Minister of Environment.
    1. How to identify a Jordanian guy: ask him: "we7dati or feisali?"….if he said "feisali" then he is Jordanian
    2. How to identify a Jordanian Girl: you will find them hanging around the 'posh' areas of Amman. Rabyeh and abdoun are their main chilling areas. If you try to make a move on her and it happens that her brother, or parent finds out, there are high chances that you will end up in a coffin and news being published next day about "further escalation in honor killing crimes in Jordan"


  2. Palestinians: and they are such a huge community. Surprisingly they are a majority in the Jordanian society. Many of them are Palestinian Refugees. Some of them are lucky to have Jordanian Passports and some of them are only identified by special yellow IDs or green IDs. Many of them are subjects to discrimination as they are always being mistreated by the former class society. They represent the poor segment of the society who always keep on complaining about the inflation and the rise in gas and food prices. They are the reason behind the infamous Jordanian Grin as they rarely draw a smile on their face because of the numerous miseries they face. You will find those ppl situated in the areas of sweileh, we7dat, zarqa, and rest of "mokhayamat" spread around Jordan.
    1. How to identify a Palestinian Guy: ask him "we7dati or feisali"? if he said, "we7dati" then he is Palestinian
    2. How to identify a Palestinian Girl : IF and it's a big IF she is out of the house and shopping, then she is in the local markets buying the necessity items of food such as meat, fruits, vegetables and abayas and scarfs. If you attempt at flirting at one of them, you'd wish you will have the ending of no.1. Under best conditions, your body will be mutilated (as the ppl can't afford kill you with shotguns and the tool of the trade will be the cheap and readily available 'white' weapon). The news being published next day will be about "Organ Trading is on the rise once again"


  3. Iraqis: ever since Saddam's era is over, Jordan was one of the countries that have embraced the Iraqis with open arms. Nowadays, they constitute a major segment in the society and they were the ones behind the skyrocketing of Inflation and the double and even triple of real-estate land prices over the last couple of years. Some of them are sincere and came to Jordan penniless with the objective of starting a new life. And many others came with fortunes of money that were stored God no where, or…were stolen from the vaults of Saddam's mansion or the banks after the invasion of Iraq. The Iraqis are still trying their best to find their balance among the Palestinians and Jordanians who despise them because of the imbalance they brought to the Jordanian Economy.
    1. How to identify an Iraqi Guy: ask him "we7dati or feisali?"..if he looked clueless or said "shinu?"..then he is Iraqi
    2. How to identify an Iraqi Girl: a …there are high chances that if you attempt to flirt with a girl then she'll most probably respond with: "how much?" - (Many girls have rediscovered their new talents in music, dancing and the so-called artistic pleasures of the body. Even the industry of prostitution took a major turn as the supply has increased significantly leading to a new equilibrium cheaper price and a higher quantity. This has encouraged the establishment of pubs, clubs and bars to add further immorality to the already corrupt society
  4. Expats: especially the ones coming from the Gulf region. Considering the standard of living in both Jordan and the gulf Region, you'd usually classify those among the rich and high class level of society. However, due to their ignorance of the internal dynamics of the system and because of the exploitation of both Jordanians and Palestinians in the way they over-charge those Expats, it'll be fair to say that they should come in the mid-range. A common feature among expats is that all of them have at a certain point in life been scammed or been victims of Fraud. Class no.2 have managed to sustain themselves by feasting on the expats and exploiting their naivety. The 3 months of the summer represent their high season as they tend to infiltrate all the districts of Amman without exception.
    1. How to identify an Expat Guy: driving a car with a foreign license plate or walking round the streets with wide open mouths drooling over anything they see as they seem to be amazed by their surroundings that for them have changed so much
    2. How to identify an Expat Girl: best girls to hang out with. They are here only for a small period and they are out for fun. Crazy about partying and alwaaaaays free and up to do anything. If you want a one night stand, this is the market segment to target.
  5. Cab Drivers: unfortunately this is true. Jordanian Cab drivers are so unique in their status that they deserve a class on their own. If there is any class that you must avoid interacting with, it is this one. It is the most dangerous class and the most powerful in Jordan. They are the reference points and an encyclopedia to everything that happened and will happen in Jordan. Most of the time, their forecasting is very accurate. They are the only ones who would dare to attack and insult the Government and nobody would dare to touch them. They are loyal to no one and their true allegiance is always in question and their identity is always anonymous. He could be a cab driver by day and a drug dealer by night. Working as A part-time cab driver to finance his medical college fees. Don't be surprised if a 'mokhabarat officer' worked as a cab driver at a certain point in his life. They always have some information to add about weather, sports, politics, economics, finance, biogenetics, medicine, solving crimes and anything. You name it and they know something about it. Just never ever trust them, but if they give you and advice, you better damn well listen to it.

I could rant on and on about the horrible stories I experienced with Class 5 that were behind my new fear.. xanthophobia. But I'd better save them for another blog post.

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Ramadanian Thoughts

Unfortunately, those are all thoughts I either had while I am at work or while I was praying Taraweeh.


In an attempt to congratulate my friend on Ramadan:
"Ramadan Kareem ya sidi"
"Allah akram ya DVD"

what is the true meaning of the "لا يمسه إلا المطهرون" ayah in Quran. Does it mean that you really have to make Wudu' each time I wanna touch the quran? Does it mean that it can be only touched by muslims and that muslims are not allowed? tab why? what's the point? is it referring to the reading of the quran? ok, so if I wasn't 'tahir', can I let a 'tahir' person open up the quran for me and let him flip for me the pages while I read the Quran so that I maintain the 'don't touch' rule

so I was in madinah around a month ago. It was the first time I go to madina in 13 to 14 years. As part of the things I did was my visit to the Masjid Al-Qiblatain. According to the Sheikh who was guiding me, it was where the Prophet was ordered by Allah to turn his face from Masjid Aqsa in Jerusalem to the Kaaba in Makkah while offering the Asr prayers; I asked a question:
"so...the prophet was praying in front and then he got the revelation DURING prayer to turn his head. In that case, he turned from north to south, right? does this mean that him as an Emam, he was actually positioned behind the ppl? I see it as kind of funny as how ppl were able to guess when the Imam is proceeeding in the prayer...or did he just walk and turn all the way to the front WHILE praying?

The sheikh looked at me and paused for few minutes before he said: "what are you trying to say? you are mocking our prophet? get out of my cab ya faseq ya ....."

so In Islam, a woman can only reveal her hands and her face. But they hide their ears. Are the ears part of the face or not? and what's the point behind hiding the ears? would I get turned on by seeing an ear? would ANYONE ever get turned on by an ear? I wonder

I spend the next half an hour googling images of women ears and I wasn't turned on

efff...I don't feel this ramadan is special. Many ppl use ramadan as a reference point where they quit a habit or start a new. i have no bad habits to quit. You know what? next year, I'll start watching porn 2 months in advance so that i have something to quit by the time Ramadan comes

Ok, I feeel bad. we have always been taught that if you get distracted in prayers or in life in general, it is because of the misguidance of the Devil. At the same time, they say that the Devils are sealed in the heavens. Ok, so why am I not concentrating in my prayers? I don't feel more divine in Ramadan. Its one of three things: 1- my devil managed to run away and stay with me (*rolls eyes*) 2- my soul is soo corrupt that it inspires evilness to my devil 3-Devils DO NOT exist (sorry God for this, but I am not convinced)

I always thought that between praying and fasting, praying is the most important. It has been stressed alot in the quran and ppl have to pray no matter what, whether they are sick, travelling, disabled. Those 5 prayers need to be done. But as for fasting, you only fast one month and if you are sick or travelling, then you don't have to do it.

However, in one of the episodes of the "Abu Jafar El Mansur" a good point was raised. A woman doesn't have to make up for the lost prayers she missed when she was pmsing. however, she has to make up for the days she was not fasting in Ramadan. So after all, which form of worship is considered better for God?

"LOL" is such an overused word. People are such hypocrites. I still remember spying on KJ while chatting with his friend. He keeps typing"LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL" yet he barely form a smile on his face. The same goes with my colleagues. We are at work and they keep typing "LOL" yet I know they are hiding in their cubicles and they would not move a bit. LOL should be banned from further usage in the cyberworld and I encourage the use of "loq" (laugh out quiet)

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A phonecall that made my day

It hasn't been the best of my days. My day didn't start up very well and i was not productive at work. I started my day with what I call my cup of coffee links where I check blogs that I missed reading over the weekend. Today, this process took around an hour..By the time I wanted to start working, I had to leave the office to go pick up my dad from the airport. His flight got delayed another hour. So by the time I picked him up and dropped him home, I ended up wasting a total of 3 hours.

Back at work, I worked for a couple of hours till I couldn't focus anymore. I got a phone call from my friend to join him for seafood lunch, again during my working hours. So basically, I stayed in my office only a total of 2 hours.

At lunch, while my friend was explaining to me how important it is that I should get used to drinking coffee and especially turkish coffee. He had a very convincing argument: "what if you wanna propose to a girl and visit her family and then she comes and brings you a cup of coffee? would you say no? they'd think you don't like her. and even if you drank the coffee and you showed up the facial signs that you don't like it..they'll assume that you didn't like HER coffee and they would consider this as a "no". and..."

I was in the middle of arguing why don't they become more modern and go and do NESCAFE or capuccino before my phone rang with the infamous metal gear solid ringtone.. I pick up the phone:
"Good afternoon Mr. Hamza Taha. This is the dental clinic calling"
"yes hi"
"how are you feeling today?"
"hm...pretty good"
"are you having any pain or side effects from the root canal treatment we did to you on thursday?"
" everything is fine. It only hurt me at night"
"you are taking your antibiotics?"
"ok...this was just a follow up call to make sure that you are ok. See you in your next appointment next thursday..Take care"
"ok..thanks for caring"

Did my dentist just call to check up on me? this is the first time that I have such experience. Doctors must definitely learn from him. I am definitely recommending this dentist to all my colleagues because he really made my day

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iTunes and MediaPlayer Tag

I don't wanna do tags but since I haven't updated my blog in a while. So I might as well do it

The rules are :
a) Put your iTunes/music player on Shuffle.
b) For each question, press the next button to get you answer.


Diana Ross- Ain't no moutain high [nice one]


Deff Lappard - When love and hate collide [good for describing my feelings]


Ragheb Alameh - yalla ya chabab [I don't wanna know what does this imply]


Westlife - Angel's Wings [totally not my ]


Leann Rimes - One of these days (yep, a normal life)


Westlife - Unbreakable [ oh yeaaaaa. ;)]


Mohammed Mounir - Ya Tayr ya tayer [why am I still doing this tag?]


Lil Mama - Shawty Get loose [ Love it! ]


Rihanna - Take a bow [Shaklo fee fight 3al 6aree2 :s ]


Jessica Simpson - with you


Kazem el Saher - Mashi Bi Share3 [yea...sort of ]


Ace of Base - Beautiful Life[ :D ]


Fadel Shaker - ya ghayeb [loooooool..considering I am never in the house..]


Kazem el Saher - Sayidati [naaaaaaaaaa]


Alisson Kraus - Baby, now that I've found you [who is singing this to me? the angel of death? :S]


Hani Shaker - Aeesh 3ala Hawaya [ aren't we all? :P ]


Lifehouse - Quasimodo[ huh? oh yea...that thing! ]


Lara Fabian - Je suis malade [:s...definitely the wron song for this question ]


Assi Hellani - Bhebek inti [ I think I am having the worst answers among you all ]


DJ Tiesto - Elements of Life

I am regretting doing this tag and you know what? I am not taggin anyone

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The dog & its nipples

for the rest of the week, I'll be attending a training course titled "Islamic Banking Instruments". Yesterday was our first day. and here is an example of some of the conclusions that our instructor arrives because of the weird wiring system in his brain and the burnt up fuses he has.

A colleague of mine is questioning the difference between how a form of strucuturing deals done in islamic banking is different than the way its done in Conventional Banking. Here was the professor's answer:

" many nipples does the dog have?"
WHAT is that related to the nipples of a dog?
"the dog has 6 nipples. Why? because usually dogs give birth to usually 6 dogs and it needs to breastfeed all the children.
Let's look at sheep. How many nipples does the sheep have? they have only one. Sheeps usually give birth to one sheep. Right?
How many of you eat dogs? if you live in china, you might be. But how many of us eat sheep? almost all of us. For example, we in Bahrain slaughter around 5000 sheeps a day. So imagine how many sheeps does saudi arabia slaughter..especially with saudis being more voracious and they always eat KABSA 3 times a day. So they slaughter sheep 10 times more than us.
The question that arises is how come there is more sheep in the world more than dogs...ha?????
The answer is simple. GOD BLESSED sheeps. He didn't BLESS dogs. Same for banking. God likes and blessed Islamic Banking. He didn't bless conventional Banking."

I am seriously concerned about the deteriorating health of my brain. It does not need more corruption. I wish I can lend it to someone till this course is over.

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NOOR (a.k.a as GUMUS)


and each day, it keeps giving me more reason to hate it, especially since it started to directly affect my life.

1- like many days, I'd come back from work and I want to sit in my room to read a book, watch tv or play music on my laptop. But lately, my brother would walk in like 3antar zamano and with few clicks on the remote control, he would ruin the whole relaxing atmosphere I have when he tunes on this blasphemous tv show that would distract me from reading anything, listening to music or doing whatever I want to do.

2- One of my friends who I keep calling to see if he wants to go out. Most of the time, he is ready to go out but there are times where he hesitates to go out and he keeps giving me all those excuses like: "I am doing my AC", "I am out shopping with my dad", "I am fixing my fridge" etc etc. Lately, he confessed to me that he doesn't 't show up because I call him when he is in the middle of watching NOOR.

3- Another friend who I regularly talk to. Whenever we talk and might be having a serious debate and our conversation is almost reaching the climax, I all of a sudden hear: "oh...Noor is on....bye"..tout tout...Later, we came to this arrangement not to talk to each other during this 'holy hour'.
Latest incident I had was yesterday. I just wanted to call to say hamdella ala il salameh after arriving from the airport yesterday, but what do I get in return? "watching you later"..tout, tout..

4- and Last but not least. I go out shopping with my dad. At around 9:45, I see him getting jumpy and is hurrying up in shopping. When we rode the car, he was driving faster and recklessly more than usual. When I asked him, he goes like: "Noor is starting in 10 minutes". That's all I needed. My dad to be brainwashed too.

and for the fans of Noor, let me tell you, I tried watching the show. I seriously tried...I watched a couple of episodes. I don't find anything extraordinary about it. Its like any of those long mexican guy, poor girl....breaking up, making out, breaking up, making out, somebody is paralyzed...not anymore...there will be a new kid...turns out to be his son...the story is such a cliche. You could watch an episode now, and an episode one month later, and you can easily follow on what happened because the progress in story is sooooooooo damn slow.

and seriously, I believe that this show might be the cause of many divorces and breakups. This Mohannad guy is such a pain in the neck. He unrealisticly raises the bar for the dream guy for the girls. Most of the girls would go like: "why can't you be like mohannad? see how nice he is"..."yeeee, dakheeelo shu amooor wi jameeel hal mohannad..yo2boshli albi" " aaaaaaaaah, look at his green sexy eyes"..."7araam hal nazrah il 7azeeeneh illi doesn't suit him"

oh, one more it me or am I the only person on Earth who finds Alma annoying? I wish I can mutilate her and cut her to pieces each time I hear her annoying voice. I can't handle her naive and stupid behavior. If there is a kid who'll ever make me a child mercenary, its her and she is on the top of my list.

ah look at me, I ditched work and wasted 40 minutes just ranting about this silly series....I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE IT.

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a O_o moment

I just finished texting a message to one of my friendsanswering the ultimate question that was raised 2 weeks ago in our social circle that day.

We just finished cleaning the mess left by the guests who attended the birthday party of one of our friend's daughter who just turned one. We decided to hang in the garage so that most of the guys could host their special closed session (similar to those in 70s show if you get what I am saying). There were two conversations going on. I was part of one that went like this (note: the following conversation have been modified where all the R-rated and swearing words were filtered, which were going at a rate of one x-rated word every 3 words):
"wow man, time flies by. You were the first among us to get married and look at you, you are a father with a cute little girl" - humpty
"yea man. I never imagined that I'll spend my morning blowing balloons. hahahaha" - birthday girl father
"hahahaha, I wonder who's gonna be the next guy among us who'll get married and screwed" - humpty
"man, it is a huge responsibility. My life has turned upside down. I miss the days I was single" - birthday girl father
" what are you talking about? if I were you, I'd marry two more. hahahha..especially since your religion allows for it" yogi
"oh man, trust me. You are lucky if you could manage one..hahahaha" - birthday girl father
"What you saying guy? screw management. I am talking about doing threesomes all the time" yogi
....We all stare at him till AKA said:
"is that even allowed in Islam?"
"I...I...don't never occured to me" - humpty

another moment of silence. eyes shift towards me since I am considered the most religious and supposedly most knowledgeable among them. heh, that was totally unexpected.
"well...I have no clue. as far as I am concerned, there is neither a statment that prohibits it nor a statement that permits it..Its just....hmmm...that would be a good justification for another wife plust it will spice up....aaah...WHAT THE HELL you guys are thinking? threesome with two wives.." - me

the question remained unanswered, but it left my mind churning for an answer. I didn't have the guts to ask a sheikh in a mosque or anybody if threesomes are allowed with two wives. They'd think I am some kind of pervert and that will fuel the debate that some have about my sexual preference that's already in question.

I could only search the internet for an answer, but I repeat that I am not satisfied since I question the validity of those fatwas on internet. I only came upon those three links (the rest turned out to be all ads to some porn movies)
1- IslamOnline
2- Aqoul
3- Threesomes - Halal or Haram?

in brief, the major view is that it is Haram for two reasons: a) Details of intimate relationships should only be kept between husband and wife only b) women are not permitted to look at the 'Awrah' of each other. Based on that, the other view goes to the extreme of saying if the two wives agree, and that it is done in dark (so that they dont see their 'awrah'), and they never discuss it after, then it is permitted.

Honestly, opening this topic and delving more into it left a O_o expression on my face.

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my Canadian Holiday

Its been almost a week since I arrived from my summer vacation to Canada and I can assure you that it was exotic and I relatively enjoyed it. With the exception of few moments and things that I did not achieve, like the fact that I got reminded by how much I hate the loonies, the toonies and their children, I am satisfied in total.

My checklist was as follows:

1- Walking - People back at work thought I got a tan from going to the beach. They don't believe me when I swear to them that I haven't gone to any beach and its just a natural tan I got from all the walking I did.

2- Reading - I stayed for hours in chapters just reading books. I finished the novel "coma" by alex garland that I started reading 2 years ago. I stopped at page 120. I resumed from where I stopped and finished it. loool. I even started reading another book by Ian McEwan called "amesterdam", but i didn't finish it yet. mind you that i did all that reading INSIDE the bookstore. hehehehe. But in the end, i bought up a nice collection of books which are as follows:

To tell you the truth, I am surprised how did the last 2 books got through saudi authorities undetected

3- taking a LIMO - for the first time...:D
4- Wonderland - I even rode on the infamous behemoth ride. 125 km/h, 70 m in height, descent at 75 degrees is more than enough to send an overdose of adrenaline up my body that kept it shivering for minutes.
5- Niagara Falls- priceless
6- walking in Downtown - and i even attended the American express show of dining in the air.

7 - Movies & Theatres -
A must see amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing movie.

kind of half half.. nice twist to the story but nothing exceptional..Wait for the DVD
character and acting is amazing. I feel it could have been better, but overall a good movie too.

8- Massage Therapy session - money well spent. The feeling i got from the massages I got for my neck, back and shoulders is overwhelming and I felt vibes moving in my body..oh and for those who might dare and ask me (coz I already got asked like 3 times)...I did NOT get a "happy ending". I did not ask for one.

9- Meeting a fellow blogger

There are only 2 things on the top of my head that I planned on doing and couldn't:
1- Going to a psychiatrist
2- Trip to Montreal (I so wanted to go on this one)

Most importantly, I got to spend alot of time with myself where I had to reconcile few issues between me and myself. Myself is demanding more rights from me. This means that I had to officially give more recognition to myself and live with 2 parallel characters. Anyway, I decided to do 3 things:
1- revive my quest that I had 4 years ago in unraveling the mystery behind "voynich manuscript" - whether by studying it more and more or donating money for researches. I will start doing this soon

2- Get a pet - I highly doubt that I'll ever do this coz I never took care of a pet in my life and I highly doubt that mom will allow me to..But we'll see

3- Start studying Tantra and practice it when possible - I think I'll start with textbooks and see what i can do to practice

4- .......(I'd rather keep it private and to msyelf)

Stay tuned for more funny and awkward stories about my trip. I so wanna tell you about the time i gave my roomate the talk, and the drunk guy who was trying to levitate, and much much more.

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The true meaning of a vacation

A vacation for me is not about doing as many different entertainment activities as possible. My vacations used to be stressful because I always thought that I am on vacation and I shouldn't waste my time on sleeping, relaxing and wasting time. I thought it was about utilizing time as much as possible.

But not any more.

This vacation, I decided to do two things, do whatever I wanna do as they come without overthinking about who to meet, when to meet and where to meet, what to do, when to do, and where to do.

So what was the first step?

Drop the watch.

You can't believe how relieving it is to live a day without having any sort of commitment to time. Without worrying about getting to finish a task before a certain time.

In those 2 days, I never made any commitment to see anyone. I always tell my friends to call me and i just keep updating them on my location like a GPS device.

So what have I done during my first day here?

Walk, walk, and walk. Yesterday I have walked a distance equivalent to what I would walk in KSA for 3 days. I started my day with a bagel of cream cheese and hot chocolate from TIM HORTONS.. I kept shouting in my mind: "TIMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYs....." oh how much I missed TIM HORTONS. I am definitely buying their coffee and bring it back to me to KSA (looool, I don' even drink coffee)

It took me a couple of minutes to try and remember the bus system. Ok, take bus 29W to south common mall. oh, South Common Mall is still the same. Not much has changed. I spent 9 months taking the 26 bus from sheridan transport to my college. The whole trip lasted 45 minutes. I then took 1E dundas to stop by Hurontario Street & Dundas.

Later, I went to square one and just walked and walked and walked. My friend called me and we went to watch the spain vs russia game in JACKASTOR's...a pub next to Chapters in Square one. Oh man at Chapters, I remember the days where I was bored and I used to sit all alone by myself hide in a corner and read the books inside the bookstore before the owners kick me out at 9 when they close. hehehehehe

Watching the game was fun, especially when you always have smiling waitresses who enjoy doing their jobs, no matter how clumsy you can get when you get superexcited and spill the jug of beer all over your friends and all over her. She doesn't complain. She smiles back, cleans the table and the floor and adds the icing on the cake with the wink telling you: "this one is free of charge". You can't help but be very generous in your tip especially since she constantly kept supplying me SPRITE refills. I drank about 4 cups of SPRITE that my friends thought I am getting drunk on SPRITE.

3-0 was the ending result. Celebrations all over the street. We drove to streetsville, bought a couple of jerseys, screamed and cheered with spanish fans who we don't know. People thought we were spanish because we were wearing spain jerseys (except me :( ) and because of our super hyperactivity in our celebrations.
Later, we went to an Italian restaurant to try their veal sandwiches. As usual, my rooomate and his friends kept making fun of the italian team and how they 'choked' in this competition. I was siding with the waitress and her friend who were making our sandwiches till I discovered that they were InterMilan fans.

What I still don't understand is how do all girls we asked (the ones we know and the ones we don't know) find Sergio Ramos to be the cutest guy on the spanish team.

I didn't do much later. Went home, chilled for a bit. Then asked my friend to drop me in ERIN MILLS mall. The mall that I usually visit to do all my shopping errands. Had to buy the things that I forgot to bring with me like a hairbrush, and a travel adapter plug for all the electronics i have from the Middle East.

Oh man, here I was, walking again through ZELLERS, WAL-MART and SEARS. Lol at Wal-Mart. I just remembered the campaign I did 2 years ago where I vowed to myself to try all the different candy types they have on those 3 different aisles. It took me over 5 months to try all of them. But hey I did it. am I Crazy? guilty as charged. My favourite ones are the sugary jelly worms

As I left the mall, the sun was setting. I wondered what time it is. and for the first time in this day, I loook at my cellphone clock. It said 9:10 p.m. Wow, the sun is still up at 9:10 p.m?

Went back home, tired and exhausted. I didn't feel like doing anything. I guess I still didn't shake the effects of jetlag yet. I played a couple of FIFA 2008 games with my roomate on his xbox 360 (yep, he still has it) before I decided to call it a day.

I woke up half an hour ago. Its 9 a.m as I write this. My legs are hurting me. I guess it is from all the walking I did yesterday. Its ok, I am gonna walk more and more. Oh how much I miss walking. Let's see what this day will unravel for me. :)

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