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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