Thursday, December 28, 2006

how is things?

ok the people who are meant to read this probably won't, but seriously, after living in the states, working with english every single day and reading hundred of reports and documents, does not one learn subject-verb agreement? i understand blunders mid-sentences or where scenarios are complex, but when the first thing out of a mouth is "how is things?" you need to wonder. it's like the friggin standard greeting in avaya. how is things?

of course there are other really annoying things. for example, articles (those are "a", "an" and "the"). unlike arabic, english requires articles before non-proper nouns. so, you say "i saw a car" not "i saw car" or "did you get newspaper?". there's also the 's which is always left behind when referring objects to others (like "jack's pc" not "jack pc"; jack is not an adjective). of course there is the fact that english sentences need verbs, but when they think in terms of mubtada2 wa khabar, it's bye bye verb. "you know the weather crazy outside?" (yes, i believe i've met her). or, my personal favorite, which mixes and combines mistakes, "nihal office empty" (translation: nihal's office is empty).

so how is things? good?

habby eid

habby eid boys and girls! i know it's still a couple days away but i won't have internet so have it now. he3.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

abdoun bridge

it was only a matter of time before i got in an entry about this. it just goes to show you that money doesn't fix nations.

note: this story is inspired by a friend, since i personally have not seen the bridge functioning yet.

now abdoun bridge is a truly impressive construction. it spans two hills in amman and is supported on large y-shaped blocks of concrete and has tension designs as well. brilliant looking, if you ask me. the bridge was constructed as part of amman's plans to create a ring road, and it really did solve traffic issues. of course, the designers didn't know the extent of our dear jordanian brothers' creativity.

as people driving from abdoun to the fourth circle will attest to, when the bridge first opened traffic flow was smooth. you can get from abdoun to all the circles in a matter of jam-free minutes. impressive. however, a couple weeks after the opening, you would notice a weird traffic jam there. of course, people were surprised. but as you drive by the cause of the jam (and you would naturally think it's a traffic accident), you will see buses, pickup trucks and old bmw's parked on the right side. a few meters further and you will see people having picnics on the bridge. they literally jump over the protective fence and simply sit there. those idiots think the bridge is there for the view.

burn 'em, i say, the whole lot. i've never seen anything more backward.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

20 top female athletes

click here for the top 20 female athletes.

thank you.

with the exception of number 17 (whom i find a bit scary) these are all very fine women. the baffling part is that they're all successful, top players who achieve a lot, and look really hot doing it.

for example, if you check out the golfer and tennis player, you'll see that having sexy bodies because of all the sports they play is not enough, but indeed, they have to wear the clothes to expose that. but, look at the top two (i won't ruin it by saying who) and you'll see that sometimes exposing the body is the whole point. i mean, who plays tennis dressed like number 1?

my dear readers, sex sells, let's just leave it at that.

p.s. for the ladies out there, there is a top-20 male list as well.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

i would like to post an idea here but i hope all you readers out there won't steal it and make it your own, i actually have the crazy notion of making money off of it.

i, as any typical arab guy will attest to, have a huge problem of meeting girls randomly (in restaurants, bars, clubs, etc). see in our region the percentage of assholes is higher than most, so when it comes to meeting girls the advances are usually shunned. i understand this attitude, since even the nicest of people on the outside many a time turn out to be assholes. trust me, i know. the problem, however, is that these assholes ruin it for the rest of us. so it's been in my head for a while that there can a solution for this: a rate my date (, please don't steal it) website.

this website will allow you to post your personal info (name, dob, job, money, etc), alone with a short profile (interests, hobbies, pastimes, etc). after that, your page will be open to rating by the people you know (friends, enemies, ex-girlfriends and boyfriends, or both, if you're so inclined). i think the ratings from ex's should be interesting (things like duration of relationship, reason for breakup, asshole meter, voodoo doll option (costs extra) and the sort) since it really highlights the person in the relationship area. i know, i know, ex's are usually disgruntled, angry people, but that doesn't mean they can't be objective. Besides, an ex must have his/her own page where YOU can rate him/her before they can rate you, so they should be honest. can i hear you say catch 22? i really like this idea. if you do, drop me a comment and i'll share some of the revenue with you.

oh, one last, totally unrelated comment: do NOT have falafel, shawerma, lots of pickles, nuts, seeds then fiteer mishaltit with cream and honey for dinner, it will make you sick the next morning.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

paki paki

so i went to pakistan. the country is dirty and shabby and they drive like there's no tomorrow. it was confusing enough to have them drive on the left side (like the uk) but it's really absolute chaos. i mean first there are around 5 motorcycles for every car in the street, and i'm not talking about sleek ninjas or classy harleys, i'm talking old 2 wheeled vehicles that usually carry two people with no safety equipment. now these snake between the cars and make driving there a nightmare. it's unbelievable.

i can go for a very long time on the signs of a weird country, but i would like to include this picture below to summarize my feelings.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

intermittent connection

at last! something to bitch about in dubai!

if you think that internet is bad in amman, come try working from our office these past couple days. we've had horrible internet, and worse, our emails are bouncing. just to understand the scale of things, i'm the only one left in the office (don't have internet at home, so intermittent internet is better than no internet). our work is almost entirely dependent on email and internet connectivity. everything we do is virtual. some people i haven't seen in a week yet we've submitted joint projects. right now we're bitching about it but nothing is being done.

and in all honesty this entry isn't near as heated as i would've liked it to be. i'm losing the anger.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


i couldn't resist sharing this joke.

that angry hater will love it.



A guy sitting at a bar at Heathrow Terminal 3 noticed a really beautiful woman sitting next to him. He thought to himself: "Wow, she's so gorgeous she must be a flight attendant. But which airline does she work for?"

Hoping to pick her up, he leaned towards her and said the Delta Airline slogan: "Love to fly and it shows?"

She gave him a confused look and he immediately thought to himself: "Damn, she doesn't work for Delta Airlines."

A moment later, another slogan popped into his head. He leaned towards her again, "Something special in the air?"

She gave him the same confused look. He then removed Singapore Airlines off the list.

Next he tried the Thai Airways slogan: "Smooth as Silk?"

This time the woman turned to him "What the FUCK do you want?" The man smiled, then lay back in his chair, and said

"Ahhhhh, Royal Jordanian!"


traffic sucks in dubai.

somehow, within the splendor of the city's design and planning, those on top didn't realize that if you put 100 towers on a strip of road and no alternative roads, it will clog up. i am fortunate enough to have my ride home never exceed 30 minutes, but those poor people who live further away sometimes spend a couple hours in a car.

near-sighted urban planners.

this is an atypically light complaint on my side. i haven't spent enough time here to discover the things that will really get me started at bitching.

Friday, December 01, 2006

ultimate irony

you know i am the biggest supporters of tourism in our dear country. i think that it's one of the few sources of foreign currency in jordan (which allows us to buy all the bmw's and mercedes we like to drive).

however, sometimes the efforts are just misguided. take, for example, the picture to the right. this welcomes passengers coming to jordan who come seeking medical treatment. they call it medical treatment tourism. tourism? it's like rubbing it in their faces: not only can your country not provide adequate medical services, we call what you're doing tourism because you spend money in jordan. we welcome you in jordan.

dear department of treatment tourism: stop calling it tourism: it's sick people coming for treatment. call it visits. call it consultation, cooperation, help, anything that isn't condescending.

blog comments

dear reader(s),

i'm really excited today! last night a friend told me that someone left me comments regarding my airport entry a while back. i'm excited because i write these blogs and i expect no one to read them. to read the comment please click here (btw, the guy/girl who wrote this is seriously pissed because i used the f word a lot in that entry. what does he/she do? use it right back at me! in fact, suggests that i perform the physically impossible and do it to myself to make myself feel better).

thank you, constant reader(s), you made my day!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

pics worth thousands of words

i'm not sure if these qualify as such, but you can have a good laugh. sorry about the delays in posting, been traveling and just settled (sorta) in one country.

in the picture below, taken right before i bought my ticket, you can see the creativity in choosing names and partners. i mean, really?


exhibit b shows us, other than the funny german english (i laugh at normal sentences there because they're structured in such a weird way) the difference between the care taken of european and arab citizens. if someone ever remembers the sopping of water for health reasons, please let me know.

last but not least, a silly typo from emirates. funny, had to share it. goods dinks. he he he.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

arabs in america

what happens to arabs when they hit the land of the free and home of the brave? i have been through the weirdest experience: in the airplane next to me sat a family who has obviously lived a while in the states. the kids speak perfect american and the mother hold this snobby know-it-all better-than-everyone-else attitude that only sorry arabs that have lived in the states can muster:

"you know, this crap they serve for food is so much worse than the gourmet meals they served in the states". superficial bitch. and the blankets were horrible, the service appalling, the ride too shaky, and her feet killed her.

anyway, that's not the weird part. the weird part was that all of the sudden she turns to her kids (3 girls, aged from 6 to 16, i'd guess, and a 10 year-old boy) and asks them all to start reading Quran. they all whip out their ajza2 and start reading Quran, and discussing it! and neither the kids nor their mother were veiled, they weren't even dressed conservatively. it was just too contradicted.

what is this? post your comments. weird.

Monday, November 13, 2006


believe it or not, the title of this blog is an acronym: it stands for queen alia international airport. i think the poor late queen is rolling in her grave being appalled at having something so shameful being named after her.

i have never been in an airport more depressing. shabbier, definitely, but none more depressing. and it's not the shabbiness. true, the sight of broken light fixtures, dirty floors, random wires across the ceilings are more than enough to create a serious down, but they are not enough to depress one.

i was pondering this thought while going up the squeaky escalator after the passport check (otherwise known as immigration control). it was a bit scary, with the ascent being a series of grunts, squeaks and surges. it felt like a smoker trying to jog. see when i look at a sign hanging from only one the cables that are supposed to hold it in place, forcing one to tilt one's head to read it, or notice the cleaning equipment that is stored in dark corners of unused areas rather than storage rooms, or even hear the very squeaks that may at any second lead to the failure of the escalator on which i was going up, I do not see signs of backwardness. what i see are signs of lack of money. now whether this lack is not enough funding or misappropriation of funds is not my issue of debate, but all these problems can be solved by spending money. what depressed me is the lack of response i got from humans.

after queuing at the check-in counter, i greeted the man behind the counter with a good morning. guess what he responded with.


not even a nod. he took my stuff, checked the visa and handed me my boarding pass after asking me a couple questions. hmmm, i thought to myself, he must've not heard me. very well. i moved on to passport control. again, i greeted the gentleman behind the counter with a good morning. he didn't even grunt. he stamped all the papers and handed them to me without the exchange of a single word. damn. i went up, felt hungry, so went and got me some cinnabon. again, i greeted the guy with a good morning, and got no response. now in all honesty i'm pretty sure he didn't hear me because he was busy preparing a new batch. i greeted him again when he was done, and lo and behold!, i got a response. he actually looked in my direction. i ordered, paid, and left. after the incident i started to wonder if i'd lost my voice and it was audible only in my imagination. i performed a test. i walked up and down the passageways holding a rather annoying tone as long as my breath would hold it, and surely enough, people were looking at me weirdly. seems my voice was working.

i simply had to place these observations in the blog. of course i didn't use the 8 dinar/hour wireless internet connection (thank God for gprs).

i think qaia is depressing because everyone there leaves you with the impression that you are about to enter a country stricken by 7 years of famine after 7 years of floods that were preceded by 7 years or drought. not everything, but everyone. now that is something you can't solve by spending money.

Monday, November 06, 2006

proof of my theories

you thought i was kidding here? well check out the following (from Alghad newspaper, Sunday Nov 5th issue, click for full-size).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

new serious post

go here. it's long, sorry. check the ones below as well.

the mystery of amman municipality

every november in amman's municipality...

"sir, i have some very urgent news!"

"what is it?"

"sir, the strangest thing is happening outside! this is in addition to the mysterious drop in temperatures that started around a month ago."

"damn! what is it now?!"

"me and the guys were digging another street, you know, the one we dug up last week, then closed, then dug up again because it wasn't closed right, then closed it, anyway, we were working on it when suddenly some of the guys started feeling droplets of water on their necks. they looked around, thinking it was another water pipe they'd broken by mistake, but there weren't any around. they started complaining that it was getting worse, and i started feeling them too. i looked around for the source, but it was everywhere! the droplets were falling from the sky! covering everything! it's happening as we speak!"


"i swear to you! out of nowhere these droplets started bombarding us! they were everywhere! it got so bad that we had to pack up and leave, leaving the street we were digging up half-buried. you know, we can't work under such horrid conditions! the drivers will have to swerve and try to avoid the hole, even if it filled with water and looked like the rest of the street."

"all right man. keep me posted."

two weeks later.

"sir, i have more disturbing news!"

"what is it?"

"sir, this onslaught of water falling from the sky was totally unexpected! i've never seen anything like it! it has flooded the streets and clogged up our drainage systems. if only we could've anticipated such sudden events!"

"what are you saying? what's the scale of the damage?!"

"since we weren't prepared for this, many of the streets we dug and closed have now collapsed because the sub-standard base we placed under the ill-sealed asphalt has washed away with the water! in addition, this downpour of water tends to form streams in the streets and carry sand and debris with it. since people use the roads and pavements as sand storage areas in construction sites, much of this sand has run and settled at the lower points of streets, forming small hills and valleys that rival those holes created by our worse street patching!"

"my God! was there no way to have avoided this?"

"of course not sir, it totally hit us by surprise! there was nothing we could've done. the best we can do now is to re-dig the streets, try to form new drains, and hope to God that this won't happen again..."


"the only thing that can happen worse than this is if, and God forbid, this is to freeze on its way down."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

no life?

i hate those people who call the radio. i mean, how little life must they have such that calling the radio is a fun and exciting thing to do?

"hi, i wanna dedicate this song to hana, lana, jeina, leen, marwa, jalal, ali, jamal, mousa, abbas, omar, amer, lina, zeina shatara, zeina omari, jack, mo, sameer, ali ahmad, ali nayem, a big shout out goes to lama, rania, rand, dina and big mo. and for the class of mutran school. woooooowwww, go shilleh! i also send this song out to the orthodox club people jane, issa, awwad, mark, i miss you man!, suha, fun randa, slow randa, dima, dana, oh shireen, where you at girl? call me! and the rest of the crew. you rock guys! of course the gym girls are in this as well, jana, nai, lecusha, i know you're in the states but i miss you!, layla, sameera, marwa h, sandra and cindy, i miss you all! woooooowwww, this is dima, i miss you all! also all the listeners and dj's! wooow! go! go go!"

it's almost as bad as those who write blogs informing us of the exciting events in their lives:

"i went to the store today. was torn between buying spearmint and peppermint gum, then decided to go crazy and get both. when i got home, i watched the tv for two hours. it was a m.a.s.h. marathon."

can you feel the rush? i can hear my heart beating in my ears.

birth of an omplette©

this morning i prepared a nice big breakfast (i woke up early and had time to kill). the meal was a mushroom omelette, covered with cream cheese. i invented that. i shared the invention with a friend (including the typo) and decided to christen it as the omplette©. so next time you prepare an omelette with cream cheese (or any soft cheese on top), know that you're preparing an omplette©.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

the cold of winter

winter is just about here in amman. winter tends to have some pleasant associations for most people: hot chocolate, watching the snow while cuddled with sahlab on a day off, fireplaces (thanks to the american movie industry) and other sorry-ass illusions.

winter sucks.

were it not for the water we need from rain, i'd contently live in a winter-free country (as i will very soon). most people know it's winter from the clouds and rain and lower temperatures. i know it's winter when my toes start getting cold. they get cold (never to retain their normal temperature) till the spring of the following year. i've tried socks, double-socks, insulated boots, etc, but nothing works. i think it's a sign my body gives me.

then there's the rain. rain is nice from behind a window in a well-heated environment. rain is not nice when you're trying to cross the street to get to your car. rain is even less nice when you need to cross an area that was once dirt (dirt+water=mud). rain is absolutely depressing when it gets one soaked. rain also causes wet interiors of cars. snow isn't better. it clogs the streets, makes people lazy and turns into ugly gray slush in a couple days.

cars are always filthy during winter (on account of rain and snow and dirt form the roads). days are very short, it's always dark. then there is, of course, the more expensive winter clothes. why they cost 4 times as much as summer clothes is beyond me. i know there's more fabric, but that's the least cost in clothes.

need i go on? winter sucks.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

stupid design

ever seen the motorola pebl phone? it looks cool, flips open and shit. but the flaw you can't see in any pics or reviews is the way it closes: idiots have a magnet to close it! and when it opens it's loose. it felt disgusting in my hand.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

pedestrians are at fault

as you may all know, driving in jordan is very close to a nightmare.

i personally think that when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the pedestrian should always be at fault. the law, unfortunately, does not agree with me, but i do have very strong reasoning backed by many, many examples.

the reason is quite simple: no sane person would do anything less than the absolute limit of what is possible to avoid hitting a pedestrian. i do not think that someone being hit in the street is a driver's fault: streets are for cars, not idiots jaywalking.

this morning, on my way to bakehouse, i had the unfortunate experience of almost hitting 3 people on the road. it was, of course, a direct outcome of shitty thinking and shittier planning.

if you know the area, there is a tunnel connecting dawar dakhlieh to the third circle. right before the tunnel, coming from dakhlieh, there is a slight tunnel which goes under the bridge which connects one part of abdali to shmeisani (right next to abc bank). now coming out that first slight tunnel, you can't really see the next tunnel because the road falls again to it. there i was about to hit the people.

you see, those idiots decided that they need to close the tunnel for work (maintenance or something) and to do that place the red cones across the entrance. this unfortunate morning i came to that tunnel around the time they were placing the cones. i hit the brakes but they screeched. the three idiots working there looked up at the source of the noise, froze for a sec, then ran away from the street. thinking back, it was kinda comedic, but at the time, it was really serious. thankfully my right was empty and i had slowed down enough to avoid hitting anyone or anything (although i might've annoying some drivers since although i did not get any honks one guy did dim his lights at my way).

why the fuck didn't these guys place a warning sign that people can see? they were working in the street in an area that can get them killed. it's no rocket science: if you can't see the cars coming, there is no magic way they can see you working.

idiots. those guys deserve to be hit by cars.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

fucking airport

note: this entry is very heated, please read at your own peril

two days ago i had the displeasure of flying out of queen alia airport. i'm a jordanian who's proud of being jordanian but constantly ashamed of jordanians all over the world. the source of my displeasure is the unfortunate fact that the airport was run by jordanians.

my flight was at 8. , so we aimed to get there at 6. we got there at 6. unfortunately, iftar was at 6:10. guess what. the fucking workers there decided to close the fucking gate. not the boarding gate, not the check-in gate, but the fucking entry gate right after the doors. there we were, with at least 100 other passengers, waiting for the fucking workers to finish eating, praying, jerking off, whatever, and kindly doing their job and letting us in. i understand that after a long day of prayer and hunger they would want to eat, but to leave their fucking jobs is fucking ridiculous. the gate opened at 6:40. 6 fucking 40. it took them 30 minutes! 30 fucking minutes to eat! man i could have had three meals in 30 minutes! what the hell were they doing in there? what kind of 3ibadeh were they doing that justifies leaving 100 people waiting for them to eat?

fucking idiots. fucking morons. i was never more angered or ashamed of being jordanian in the 25 years of being one. fucking investments. how the fuck are we supposed to attract investments if we can't keep our fucking airport open? how are we supposed to attract tourism? i don't mind bending over every time i have to deal with the government in jordan, after all, it is my government and i have to bear it, but when it comes to places that are public, that interact with all sorts foreigners, can we not be a bit more civilized? a bit more compassionate? a bit more dedicated to our jobs? a little less jordanian? fucking airport.

fucking airport.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

implausible scripts

in "john tucker must die", the extremely hot brittany snow (oh watch the movie if you appreciate hot girls, especially her in the red underwear) suffered from being a loser that no one noticed in school. if there was a school that did not notice a girl that hot, the guys there are either all gay or suffering from severe eye sight problems. imagine what would happen if a girl like that walked into my school. i think after the ensuing riots, civil unrest, suicide attempts and general chaos the male students would've dusted themselves and put hand in hand to build her a shrine.

hideous scarlett johansson

in "in good company", topher grace is standing opposite scarlett johansson (more pics of her here and here as well :) in her dorm room. the wallpaper was blistering and he was getting a tan just standing opposite her: she's that hot. she acted rather horribly in that movie, but that scene, she dimmed the lights, put on some soft music, and was seducing him. he was understandably attracted and dry-mouthed, but for reasons you'll understand in the movie, he knows he shouldn't touch her (fag). so he looks at her and says "if only you weren't so beautiful" and she goes "i'm not". gaagh. scarlett not beautiful? now that ugly broad from "my big fat greek wedding is not beautiful". scarlett johansson is breath taking (lousy acting aside). the lines should be like "if only you weren't so beautiful" and she goes "but then you wouldn't be in my dorm about to do the nasty thing". much more plausible.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

arab tv series

this entry has been modified because sally pointed out that all arab series deserve bashing. indeed.

arabs have a proud heritage of producing top-quality tv series. i am sure that each of our great countries has produced similar series (i've seen my share of jordanian ones), but recently i have been forced to watch some. arghgh. see when my mom watches tv, she usually follows these shows. they're basically soap operas (with the exception that these series actually have conclusions, not ever-running like typical soaps), with plots that are almost always the same, and acting, well, fitting of soap operas. and as i like to pamper my mom, i am forced to watch these shows with her.

the series make me want to gouge my eyes out, turn them around, and pop them back in for the dark view of the inside of my brain. the disgusting love scenes between fat ladies (who actually tease! i would throw up if one them even came close to me) and old guys (somehow rich guys in these series always drive outdated benzes) push me to drive hot nails through my brain. and the original dialog and unexpected plot accompanied with the most heart-wrenching music there just drives me to pour boiling wax down my ears and lose my hearing for good.

i'd rather light myself on fire than watch these shows. at least it would be more fun. i'd rather get hit by a car, run over by a truck, spend a month in the hospital, two weeks of which are in a coma, then take a year to recover than watch them.

yes, i hate them that much

Monday, October 09, 2006

borderline ocd

a good friend of mine once pointed out that i have borderline ocd. i think she was right. below are some of the symptoms:

1. i can't see a twisted phone cord and leave it alone. i have to take the handset off (or unhook the cord), loosen it, then place it back
2. when i put away paper money in my wallet, i have them all without wrinkles (as much as possible), sorted descending with faces facing upward
3. i cannot sit on a rickety chair or at a rickety table without attempting to fix it (them). i use napkins that i fold many times
4. i can't see tilted frames and portraits and not fix them
5. you know when you buy a new phone or stereo or tv? it has all these nice labels boasting its features? i will promptly remove them
6. clogged salt shakers may not remain clogged
7. ketchup bottles are meant to be shaken
8. new phones or digital cameras are free game for exploring (even if they're owned by people i don't know)

if you know me and have noticed more illness symptoms, please post them in the comments section.

driving trips for jordan

don't be sick of me bitching about driving i jordan, but it really is horrible. in case you're a new driver, new to the country, or otherwise uncomfortable with driving, here are some tips to lead a successful and exciting ride:

1. there's a strict driving chain when it comes to right of way (see 2 below). from the bottom: there are learning females, scared females, learning males, normal females, males, crazy males, crazy females, cab drivers, small bus (coaster) drivers. break that chain and you're bound to get into an accident. or the finger.
2. right of way: you always have the right of way in jordan. whether you're entering or exiting circles, making u-turns, entering garages, changing lanes or otherwise driving, you always have right of way. you may need to honk, swear, give the finger, have close brushes with death, but that's the only way to drive.
3. the colorful circle, triangle and square shapes on poles around the country are used to post 3aza or wedding directions.
4. jordan has started a "1 million bump campaign" a few years back. we're currently at 718,345.
5. all driving rules go out the window in times or crisis. times of crisis are: a) wedding pr0sessions b) iftar time in ramadan c) when you're late d) thursday night e) out for knafeh
6. do not, under any circumstance, slow down for pedestrians. you will be risking one or all of: a) being hit from the back followed by a waterfall of swears b) hearing a scary screech before a waterfall of swears c) hearing honking followed by a waterfall of swears d) being passed by the car behind you while the driver gives you a good stare before speeding off e) getting stared at by the pedestrian
7. beware of disappearing lane phenomenon: right lanes usually just disappear in jordan. sometimes it'r streets where the right lanes keeps on getting smaller and smaller until you can't drive on it anymore. sometimes people decide that the right lane is a parking space and block it. most peculiar is traffic lights: whereas the light can accommodate 5 lanes, the street it leads to is usually 3 lanes, forcing the drivers to fend for themselves while they merge into 3 lanes.
8. it's ok to park cars anywhere near mosques and qatayif places in ramadan

be safe everyone

Sunday, October 08, 2006

mobile salesperson

you know i saw this in bayader wadi iesseir the other day. the pictures aren't of the greatest quality, but take a minute to look at them.

i apologize for the quality, but that's the best i could do with my phone's camera. in case you're wondering what this is, it's a truly mobile salesperson. it's a car covered (and packed) with shoes. the guy is selling shoes off his car. literally.

now this brings the following questions to mind: if a mobile shoe salesperson can afford a car, isn't this the kind of business we all should be aspiring for? and if it's not his car, then is there a clueless soon to be extremely angry person out there right now?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

gharrid ya shibl al eeman

we've done it: arabs have taken the whole metaphor use a step too far.

for those of you who don't know, the arabic language is rich with metaphors, similes and all sorts of language complexities. it's beautiful that way, whether poetry or prose, but sometimes people just take it too far.

on my way to work (it was ramadan and religion was in the air) i was listening to the radio when the lyrics "gharrid ya shibl al eeman" caught my attention. why, you ask? let me translate it literally: "chirp o cub of faith". what on earth is wrong with the composer? first off, a "cub of faith" does not conjure images of strength or pride (or whatever else the composer was aiming for), it's just downright scary. i can't imagine a cub being anything but. but then, chirp? maybe chirp is not the correct translation. in arabic birds do not sing, they "gharrid"; there's a specific verb for birds' song. in any case, the composer used that verb specifically. not only is the cub faithful, it sings like a bird. and if that doesn't freak you out, nothing will.

seriously, what kind of song is that?!

Monday, September 25, 2006

ramadan kareem

ramadan is upon us in the muslim world. it is a spiritual time in the life of muslims, a time of forgoing earthly pleasures and focusing on supporting one's spirit and reflecting on one's life, faith, God's blessings and all things religious.

not in our countries.

ramadan for us is a time to eat and make money. it starts with the unexplained rush to supermarkets, bakeries and any other places that sell anything edible. people start buying like crazy. it's like everyone is preparing for an oncoming famine. last i checked the places that we visited before ramadan were still there after ramadan. and we can still buy food from them. really. and shop owners, in the generous spirit of the month (you know, ramadan kareem translates literally to ramadan is generous), raise their prices in preparation for the mad rush of people.

but one can look at that as economics, the balance of supply and demand. what one can't explain with any economic or social theory is the ramadan tents phenomenon. i don't think anything can explain that. you see in ramadan every place that used to sell food converts itself into a traditional-styled place with ramadan lanterns, traditional food and drinks, traditional settings and some places go as far as actually constructing a tent inside the place. not the triangular one that is inspired by cartoons, but a square arabian one with all the red colors worthy of a wedding. then very weirdly the place changes its menu, starts charging money just to sit there (why the fuck should i pay to enter a place where i used to come for free?), and up their prices. you would think that drives people away? no, the reason the prices go up is the people (remember, supply and demand). people flock to these places like they're giving away food for free. which they aren't.

of course these places usually have music, some have dancing, some have liquor, and some have fortune tellers, all the markings of a celebration of a holy islamic month. i mean, fortune tellers? if i didn't consult with fortune tellers during the normal days, what would posses me into consulting with one in the holiest times of the year? (btw, muslims consider fortune tellers the worse liars, they're down there below lawyers and politicians. in fact, they're liars even if their fortunes come true).

here's to the hypocritical, contradicting idiosyncrasies of our society. ramadan kareem everyone.

hand and whistle

note: please refer to the next post, julia bella, because i only left it on top for a day and i think it deserves more attention.

they stand there furiously blowing their whistles, in the middle of the street, waving their hands wildly, urging every able driver to hit the gas pedal and burn some rubber. and they keep on blowing. and they keep on waving. they sound like roman jail wardens forcing their slaves into the colosseum.

the reality is, they're policemen and women.

and i'm not exaggerating: they literally stand in the middle of the street (and sometimes at corners or circles or wherever), and blow their whistles and urge people to drive faster. you would think perhaps there's a royal convoy coming and people ahead of it are idling along, or an ambulance is trying to pass and it needs the cars to move faster. but they perform this mundane task when the streets are crowded or almost packed solid and everyone is trying to go as fast as they can anyway. i'm guessing in an effort to alleviate the jam? imagine jami3a street (or rather its extension) during the morning rush hour (around 9sh). i swear i saw one standing near the royal cultural center doing just that: blowing and waving. what the hell are the drivers supposed to respond with? activate their secret jets and fly over other cars? or perhaps call on their magical abilities and transport themselves somewhere else?

dear blowers: the street is packed, drivers will drive as fast as they can, take a break from your "veiled unemployment" and go fight some crime. find some robbers maybe?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

sharm 5: julia bella

this will be the last sharm-related post. as i've said, i've left the best for last.

for all of you italians out there, the title of this post means the beautiful julia. i have a tendency to over-beautify girls i like, but this particular one was really pretty.

we saw her on the snorkeling trip we took (which should be called the boat trip; our snorkels didn't work). i thought she was an american (she was dressed like one), but she had green eyes and was pretty. very pretty. beautiful even. i tried to talk to her along the trip but succeeded only in the last hour of the trip. it was worth looking at her face (especially the eyes), even though it was for a few minutes.

she is half-italian half-swiss, so she speaks english, french and italian (versus the damn russians), she has beautiful green eyes, a lovely smile, long dark hair (which isn't quite black) and well-tanned skin. her body isn't the hottest in the world, but she is attractive. of course, the european accent really helped, and her laugh was nice (and she had a good sense of humor). she was studying hospitality and hotel management and was doing her training in sharm. and in case you're thick, her name is julia.

anyway, i enjoyed my time with her. it's too bad it was our last day, i would've been able to stalk her or something afterwards. there were other guys on the boat, and they tried to talk to her, but not one established a one-on-one rapport with her like i did. wajdy says it's because i can speak english. i say it was my tanned skin, attractive physique and dashing good looks. the truth is probably that i was charming and made her laugh.

last time i was in sharm i was left with many memories. this trip was no different.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

sharm 4: wajdy

wajdy is not a cool, mysterious guy who has deep ideas and concepts. he's just a social misfit who isolates himself because he doesn't know how to act around people. are you wondering if he's introverted? check his blog for that.

as for why i think he's a social misfit, i presnt to you exhibit a: wajdy's sick saksookeh. he blow dries it.

exhibit b: his blog entry.

exhibit c: his other blog entry.

Friday, September 15, 2006

sharm 3: stupid people

although chronologically this should be the last entry, i'm saving the more recent entries for when i have more time to write.

i came face to face with two idiots as i was boarding the plane on the way home. the first idiot uttered his jewels of words after we were on the bus that will take us to the plane. the airport in sharm is rather small, and thus planes don't dock directly into gates, but use buses. anyway, after the bus we were in was full, it started moving and closing its doors, when two of a trio of what i can only assume are idiots started running towards it, like it was a public transportation bus. two barely made it in, and they looked back to see their comrade left behind (he didn't run quickly enough), and in an absolute display of idiocy (jewels of wisdom to follow, hear them well, i beg ya) they started asking the driver to wait. wtf is wrong with these people? you don't need to run to catch a bus heading to a plane, and no one will be left behind. the bus moves when it's full, and, wonders will never cease it seems, another bus takes the rest. in fact, there will be enough buses to take everyone to the plane. miraculous, i know, but such are the wonders of modern science.

the second genius was actually on the bus before our friends above. he came onto the bus while it was still half full, and when he came in he was like "is this the bus to amman?". no, einstein, this is the bus heading downtown. for God's sake, you can't get on a bus not heading to amman, even if you were stupid enough to wander. airport workers usually worry about things like safety, security and logistics, and they make every effort to help idiots like you to get where they need to and never get somewhere they're not supposed to. so yes, the bus is indeed heading to amman.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

sharm 2: communication problems

the thing about sharm is that it attracts really hot russian girls.


i mean they walk around with skimpy outfits, exposing their attractive regions. and being white originally then tanning gives the skin a look that's much sexier than being originally tan.
and natural blond hair complements the look quite well, especially with the blue eyes. i used to wonder how all the russian tennis players are so hot (i saw one wearing earrings to a game, and not small studs, but dangly ones worthy of an evening party, and add to that the sparkly top she was wearing and she was fully hot), until i realized that the fact that she's russian makes her hot by default. the tennis outfit makes them that much sexier.

now hot girls in sharm did not come without problems. first, they grow old pretty quick (old as in boring). i mean the first night there i was bewildered then the next day it was like "yeah, same old same old". second, most were with guys, and although that doesn't make them any less attractive, it does make them harder to approach (especially when the guy looks like a bouncer).

the last and final problem is this: i was at this rnb party and there were this pair of pretty girls. but one was extra pretty. i mean, long dark smooth hair, blue eyes, very nice body. hard to resist (her name is natania btw). so in that evening's spirit, i came up to her, and the conversation went something like this:

sami: "hi"

natania: "hi"

sami: "would you like to dance?"

natania: "yes"

let me tell you, i was excited about the prospect of dancing with her. but she kept on enjoying her drink like we were discussing the weather. then it hit me: she had no idea what i was saying. she said that she didn't speak english well. no shit. i tried some discussion, about if she was having fun or enjoying her time:

sami: "you enjoying your time here in sharm?"

natania: "i do not know what it means that word sharm"

slump. see? third (and most severe) problem: doesn't matter how hot she was, i might as well have been a chair or table. i wished her a pleasant evening (which was really redundant, i could've told her she looked like a monkey and smiled and she would've smiled back) and decided to leave the party.

sharm 1: spf

spf, short for sun protection factor, is a measure of how well the sunscreen will protect you relative to how fast you'd burn without sunscreen. so if my tender skin burns after 12 minutes of unprotected exposure, a sunscreen of spf 10 will protect me for 12*10=120 minutes (2 hours).

i was in sharm this last weekend, and due to my recent burning, i decided to use a sunscreen with spf 70 (although technically they now have to use spf 30+ because the higher levels don't provide much more protection). for those of you who think it's overkill, you're right.

the damn thing protected me better than a tshirt. i put some on the first day and i spent maybe an hour in the noon sun. nothing. i might as well have stayed in the hotel room. i've never seen the sun so powerless. and the sinai sun is not nicer than the jordanian one. i made the same mistake the second day, and this time i spent a few hours in the sun. again, nothing.

now spending a few days in a beach resort and not having anything to show for it was quite sad, so i decided that for the last day i would aim for first degree burns. i spent around an hour with no sunscreen whatsoever. it worked. my back and arms are burnt to a perfect degree: enough to make me look tanned but not enough to deprive me of sleep (or tshirts).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

my juliet

warning: the following entry contains high levels of vanity

i have a weak spot for oakleys. although i wouldn't say i love everything they make (some of the sunglasses they make are downright hideous), but the ones i love i love with passion.

i spent a big sum of money on the polarized juliet model. let me tell you, it was worth every girsh i spent on it. and as such, i take very good care of it. sadly, though, no matter how much care you take of it, the lenses are bound to get scratched.

lately though, as i was browsing their website (and looking at their really expensive watch) i noticed that there are lense replacements! granted they're a tad expensive, but they're definitely cheaper than buying the whole thing. sam is a happy man now!

cute girl

no, this isn't another hot chic in bikini sort of thing.

this is of tom cruise's and katie holme's baby suri. she's so damn cute!

first pics are on vanity fair.

starship troopers

this movie came out in 97.

i remember thinking it looked very cool (although i never actually watched it). and i meant to, but i didn't. i was watching tv last night and it was on movie time. i don't understand how that much crap was put into a movie in 97 and gotten away with.

first off, it features great actors like Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards and Jake Busey. there's no way to understand how painfully horrible their acting was without actually watching the movie. the acting and sound effects were worthy of a lengthy soap opera. i honestly didn't watch the rest of it, so i'm not sure what kind of plot the movie has, but the 5 minutes i did watch were surreal.

the movie is set in the future. the scene is of guys who were in a military bunk and the supposed "mailman" walks in with the "mail". he calls out names and gives out things that look suspiciously like 3.5" floppies (which are already extinct). the hero (i'm guessing), Casper, takes his and plugs it into a flat screen over his bunk. the movie he gets is of his all-eyebrow girlfriend Denise breaking up with him because she's "going career" as a pilot. i remember that in 97 we had email and the internet. if 300 years into the future you have a flat screen above your bunk, you are bound to have EMAIL. soldiers NOW have tactical gear that they carry on their backs that allow for commands to be relayed, enhanced night vision, networked communications, high-tech aiming, back massages and cyber-sex. i think the only reason they don't have internet is that they don't want the soldiers to be distracted by hot girlfriends' emails or by playing second life.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

i forgot what i wanted to post

i mean, really, i had an important thing to say.

but the thing took so long to load that i forgot what i wanted to say. and i'm really pissed that i forogt. maybe next time.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

rawdit al abtal?

that's what it's called, i swear!

i was driving one day, on my way to a restaurant when i saw the idiotic sign that advertised that they still had "openings" for new students for the year 06/07. School started 2 weeks ago and they're still advertising.

maybe the kindergarten's name has something to do with it? rawdit al abtal, which translates literally to "kindergarten of heroes". what the hell do they teach kids there? are they trained as fire-fighters? policemen? and did you ever notice something? a policeman may work through retirement without ever being called a hero (although he may be called an asshole, popo, cop, etc), but have a policeman get shot trying to save someone, then you have a hero. so are we teaching kids the value of sacrifice to become heroes?

"mom, start a fire in the kitchen and let me save you, i want to become a hero!"

i really don't understand how they choose these names.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

on pic of the week

i will try to regularly place a new pic every week in that placeholder. any picture i find interesting. if you have a picture that's interesting place a comment on this post and we'll figure out a way to share it.

the first pic is of a hot girl in a bikini. i hate how the picture just shows her body, totally objectifying her. but damn she's hot. makes me tingle. it's a good sight to welcome you to the blog.

keep coming back for new pics.

note: the pic in this entry isn't pic of the week anymore. i've placed it here cuz it's just too damn good to remove for good.

so you're having sex tonight

i was driving home alone almedina street this evening. everyone living in jordan knows how friggin jammed that street can get during summer. so returning from my kickboxing class, which usually puts me in a good mood, i was listening to music, enjoying myself and driving leisurely, when i spotted a rather unnatural traffic jam. it was a wedding procession.

now those idiots had three lanes jammed up with cars that were mostly saudi. they were driving at a dangerous 20kmh and they were honking their horns and two cars had people in them with video cameras and shit. oh the joy. the incredibly idiotic backwards inconsideration of the wedding procession. what is the very big deal about two people getting married? i mean, in the summer i'd estimate there are 50 weddings a week in western amman alone. that's 500 per summer. at least. i don't see a wedding out of 500 as a special event. i mean the only special thing about that specific night is that the newlyweds can have sex. big fucking deal. now that's something i know at least 5 million people do each night! so all the people getting married out there: spare us the agony of sharing your joy and limit the sharing to those closest to you, preferably in a party without loud music or fireworks.

which brings me to the party: the insensible expenditure, the endless noise, the waste of food. i hate weddings as we hold them in jordan. weddings now run between 5 and 10 thousand dinars in hotels. 10,000 dinars. do you have any idea what kind of money that is? with 10,000 dinars you can get one of the following:

a decent used car
really nice furniture for a small house
decent furniture for a larger house
a kick-ass home entertainment system with vibrating leather chairs
two really fancy honeymoons
5 average honeymoons
10 simple honeymoons
5 smokin laptops
start a small business
place a down payment on an apartment
pay for gas for an average car for 60 months
rent 10 very very exclusive escorts
start a war in africa

or if you're into philanthropy, the numbers become more staggering
feed 100 poor families in jordan for a month
feed 1000 poor families in africa for a month
support an orphanage for a month
pay the zakat equivalent for 400k
equip an ambulance for the red crescent
build a school in africa

so really, why spend 10,000 when one can spend 1,000 to feed one's family and close friends and put the rest to better use?

and to all the cynics out there: from the feedback i'm getting from my parents (and other parents in general) it seems that i will hold a wedding such as the one i just slandered. hypocrisy? perhaps. but i won't be happy about it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

who stole our street, again?

as jordanians, we're familiar with big red tents that randomly pop-up to host weddings and 3aza. i personally find them quite shabby and ugly. how hard is it to get them straight? they all look like they're cloned off one another. how about a nice beige one that blends with the surroundings, and has matching carpets and chairs?

but who am i to judge if a tent is ugly (who knows, my wedding's mansafs might be in one of them)? well, i'd judge them anyway, but that's not what's bothering me.

as we all well know, these tents are usually erected in empty lots of land (after they're cleaned up of the garbage, debris, shit, etc). under them almost always coffee, and sometimes food or knafeh are served. however, this morning one caught my eye that was, well, peculiar. i was heading to bakehouse (my favorite, although currently overpriced, place to have breakfast), and as i was parking my car i saw it. there it was. it wasn't different on the outside than any of the others (tents, that is) in that it was red and ugly, but what was special about this one was the fact that it was not erected on an empty lot (or a roof or a large garden), but rather the person celebrating or mourning decided to erect it on the street.

i'm not talking about an entrance to a garage or a private street, i'm talking about the real street that people drive on. he decided that he has the right to annex the street to his property and use it to build the tent. how does that work exactly? when did anyone give him the right to use the public (which, by definition, means owned by everyone) street? i don't recall a nationwide referendum voting on that. anyone? i didn't think so. so in his total selfishness, disregard for public right and extreme idiocy he decided to steal the street for a day or two to complete whatever he has there.

go visit the tent, it's quite a scene. i wonder why everyone thinks arabs are backward.

jew in the muslim world..

he tries to lay low.

it's ronic that religion, which is meant to help humanity, can cause so much misery for someone who, unfortunately, has been born on the wrong side of the river.

he really has no beef with muslims. in fact, he hates what zionists are doing in the name of judaism, but that's the problem with religion, it's a very broad cloak that covers all people under it. he knows how muslims feel about jews (who can blame them?), and all but everyone around him absolutely hate and mistrust jews. hell, most even can't differentiate between a jew, israeli and a zionist (athiest israelis, what do you mean?).

so he was born on the east bank of the river. his mother tongue is arabic (although he secretly knows hebrew). he's not a very good jew (in fact, although he believes in God, he doesn't care much for religion). but he has to lay low. very few people know he's jewish, fewer even accept him for it. but he tries to blend in, tries to hide, tries to cover his origin as much as he can.

he's a jew in the muslim world.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


this is from "the superficial" website. used without permission.

Paris Hilton is cunning


"I'll pick out two outfits, one which is disgusting and one nice and I'll ask my 'friend' what they think. If they go for the revolting one, I cut them out of my life."
Pairs Hilton on how she weeds out her friends

my friend wajdy

note: wajdy's picture was removed from here based on his request. damn the guy has influence. however, if you really want the pic, place a comment on this post with your email address and i might send it. he3.

i used to be able to place posts on wajdy's blog, but when i placed an old picture of his there, he removed me from his blog :(

but the picture is too precious not to be published, so here it is in full-color glory.

say thankya.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

due introductions

ladies and gentlemen,

meet my friend wajdy. visit his blog. also refer to the angry blog. he3.


Here's the thing , Anathema is coming to town next friday, and yes I'm going, why? I ask myself . sure I like "a" song for the band , but that does not feel enough . And then it hit me , this is THE ONLY CONCERT AMMAN HAD SINCE THE OPETH DISASTER some 2 years ago. Sure we have the local bands playing from now and then , and I have to say some of them are good , but they seem like the starting shows of a non-happening event .

Saturday, August 19, 2006


jordanians are kind, hospitable, considerate, passionate, but the one adjective i think suits them best is angry.

i can hear many people screaming in utter denial (especially reda) but that's because they don't want to see it for what it is.

take, for example, the sun in jordan. let me tell you, dear readers, that we have the angriest rays of the magestic celestial body. the weather in jordan is overall pleasant. we get a few cold winter days and a few hot summer ones, but overall, it's nice and pleasant. except the sun. we must have some of the hottest rays in the world. not hot as in hip, but as in damn cancer-inducing. how would i know? i just compare it to really hot places. for example, dubai and texas.

i went to texas in the summer of 01. my uncle has (had, not sure) a black chevy blazer with a thermometer inside. he was shocked one day when he came into the car after it was parked in the sun to find the temp inside to be 120 deg f (around 50 c) while the temp outside was 100 f (around 40 c). in jordan it's a pleasant 30 c outside but friggin 50c inside the car. that's a whole 10 degrees extra. angry sun.

in dubai i "tanned" from 11 to 2 in the afternoon. everyone will tell you that's the most dangerous time to tan because the sun is at its hottest and most cancerous. i have tanned in quotation marks because i did NOT tan. in fact, the temperature was in the 40s and all i did was sweat like mad and go home. in the dead sea i spent around the same amount of time in the sun (idiot). i burned so bad my skin blistered and i couldn't wear anything for 3 days. after that my skin peeled. my shoulders peeled twice after which i developed freckles. i didn't have freckles before. angry, angry sun.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

easy on the cops

i have to live the unfortunate reality of passing by the little ex-circle (dawwar) in rabyeh near the jtc building. those in jordan know what i'm talking about. those who don't (or those who are but are as pissed off as me) read on..

i drive through there at least three times a week to go to a kickboxing class i go to, so i've witnessed its evolution (evolution here is used in the sense of slow change, not slow change towards the better) on a fairly constant basis. on my way i drive from medina street to rabyeh, and along the way there is the circle near the jtc building (sometimes called dawwar eletisalat). now there's usually some traffic there, and at times it reaches levels that simply clog up the circle, in which case the police are brought in to guide the traffic, but those are so rare i've witnessed them but once or twice. and even then, you never spent more than a minute waiting.

i guess since the police are too busy writing people tickets for illegal parking and speeding to work at a circle for a couple of hours a day, they decided to add traffic lights to the circle. now they added very poor lights that made the circle look like a poor syrian contraption loosely aimed at guiding traffic, with its cables dangling from above and its bases built into small concrete barrels rather than into the ground. after they turned them on, a horrific jam started forming at the circle. you would have to wait at least 5 minutes (2 light changes) before you could move out. the queue of cars extended all the way to the other weird intersection they have between medina street and the circle.

BUT, on the up-side, there was no needs for cops there anymore. thank God.

in their never-ending quest for helping the citizens, those in charge (i'm assuming amman's municipality) decided to remove the circle altogether and convert the intersection into a normal one with lights. it would, at least, ease some of the jam that took place. during their removal they used to place a metal railings to keep the cars away. one day the lights were not working, there was NO jam and the railings served as the circle. heavenly.

finally, the railings were removed and it was a full fledged intersection. until one day i was driving by and the lights suddenly all went yellow. what did we do with that? it was evolution: kill or be killed. i squeezed my way through (thank God that i wasn't taking a left) and wondered what idiot programmed the lights like that. well, i guess it was the same idiot who decided that the time of thousands of drivers is less important than the time police are supposed to be doing their job.

since that incident, the lights were working fine. until 3 days ago that is, when they went back to their yellow insanity. is anyone wondering what they did to solve THAT problem?

they had a policeman guide the traffic.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

towards a cleaner jordan

when i started out with this blog, i was afraid that i'll run out of things to write. turns out i underestimated the human capacity for idiocy. it appears there are plenty of idiots out there to keep this blog interesting.

the other day i got home from work, parked the car and started walking towards the door when something caught my eye in one of the patches of our garden. it was a flyer or brochure, it seemed, with a nice design (nice brown background with more subtle shared of it and words written in a chic beige). upon closer inspection the flyer read "towards a cleaner jordan" and some other mumbo jumbo about that. good God in heaven have mercy, the idiots running the campaign towards a cleaner jordan are actually littering by doing so! who gives these people the license to start these things in the first place? shouldn't they (either group of idiots, licensers or licensees, if such a word exists) make sure that such a campaign actually, well, led towards a cleaner jordan? isn't throwing flyers around acting in direct contradiction to that? i am sure the intentions were well, but COME ON, there should be no excuse for idiocy! (thank God for it nonetheless, it would've put bread on the table if this blog had been used to make money through the reader who actually bothers with typing in the url)


i ask you, dear constant reader (when i say reader, i mean exactly that, as in one reader), i ask you, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the acronym gbob? personally, it kinda reminded me of a song a one-hit wonder gay band came up with a while back. but if someone not scarred with the burn of that memory heard gbob, i think they would think of something like lolipops? a bubble-gum brand? a new perfume?

gbob, ladies and gentlemen, is none of the above. in fact, it's short for Global Battle Of the Bands. not sissy bands but rock bands. people who are working on gbob: choose a better acronym! gbob? it's like some sort of generic person who is very talented in bed. or a fizzy drink that's trying to compete with all the energy drinks out there! gbob?! do the people working on this even look a little at their work?

man with perceptive ears: "hey heavy rocker with black clothes, spiky hair and 2 kilos of earrings, where are you going?"

heavy rocker with slightly doped look and clothes to match: "to, uh, gbob"

man: "wtf is gbob? is it some gay soap-bubble convention?"

rocker: "no dude, it's a heavy-metal BATTLE"

man: "battle you say? gbob speaks of 5-year-old girls playing with playdoh"

note to all you PR people out there, when choosing names, try to choose inspiring ones, something along the lines of "the battle" or "g-battle" (if you must use the g) or any other non-gay name.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

lack of postings

dear non-existent constant reader,

no more light-hearted posts for a while. too pissed. check serious sam.

damn israel and their bitch

Thursday, July 13, 2006

earning a degree online

or rather, earning an degree online. when i read the ad that said earning an degree will take only 13 months, i immmediately jump on the oportunity!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


last night i had the worst bus ride of my life.

mind you, this is coming from someone who's been in bad buses, who traveled from raghadan to the university of jordan in shitty 10 piaster busses, who traveled from syria to jordan in a bus that can easily fit 70 passengers (yes, a smelly double-decker it was), but managed to rent it along with 5 other friends ALONE because no one else would ride it. so, when i say the worst bus ride of my life, it was really something awful.

the company that charters these buses is called trust. i had the misfortune of having to use one because some idiot bought us one-way JETT tickets to aqaba that morning. yes, we were going there and not sure when we were coming back. idiot. anyway, JETT's bus on the way to aqaba was really pleasant: AC, snacks, a rather comely stewardess who despite her jordanian accent made the ride a bit more bearable and the ride itself was smooth. all was well that morning.

on the way back that afternoon we bought a ticket on trust buses because JETT was fully booked (three buses, all full). It was a bit more expensive, but i was thinking "dammit, these guys MUST be better than JETT". i actually banged my hand aginst the counter in enthusiasm (the guy who sold the ticket eyed me weirdly). how gravely mistaken I was.

as soon as I got on the bus, the heat was shocking. apparently they had turned on the AC a few minutes before so it took a good 2 hours for the bus to cool down. but really, that wasn't the bad part. the bad (not worse) part was that there was something terribly wrong with the suspension. instead of gracefully gliding the bus over bumps and holes, this suspension actually magnified the bumps: if we had bothered with counting the times we were thrown out of our seats, we would've presented an extremely accurate estimate of the number of bumps between amman and aqaba. not a single person was able to sleep, sit, read (i literally could not keep my eyes on the same line to complete it) or do anything one might think of doing on a bus. some suicidal individuals actually asked for nescafe. one of them shared the cup with his pants after a particularly exciting bump that nearly collided my head with the roof of the bus.

but of course, that alone would not qualify the ride to be one of the worst. the bus driver, who seemed to have some urgent appointment he was late to in amman, pushed to ailing bus to its too-near limits. you could see other buses, trucks and cars zip by on our right; the driver overtaking them like a brave warrior. i believe he even honked a speeding s class out of our way (look at that wus, doing only 120 kmh!). but what troubled me most was the sense of lateral acceleration we were getting, like we were on a large constant bend to one side or the other. i looked to the front of the bus, and lo and behold! the damn thing was swaying across the width of street. not only was the bus shaking like we were preparing butter (i believe some ladies breast-feeding actually did develop butter), nor only was the driver in a race against his old record of getting to amman in less than 2 hours, but the bus did not drive straight: the driver had to fight to keep it straight.

thankfully, i had a light lunch before i got on the bus.

but that wasn't the worst part. around an hour before we got back to amman, the bus decided it had had enough and blew two hatches on the floor near the back (right next to my seat) and hot air started flowing into the bus (yes, both hatches were right above the engine). we whistled the driver to stop (miraculously, he did), lifted the carpet, and saw that two boards on the floor (which i believe are meant as engine access) had actually blown out of place. we replaced them, banged them in place (when i say we, i mean the passengers; the driver, in his haste to get to amman, would not waste a minute to come and see what the problem was) and said our prayers so that we can arrive safely. after the driver took off, i started feeling hot air against my ankles again. i looked down and the hatch, under the carpet, had lifted a bit again (it felt alive). so i put my foot down on it. my foot stayed there till we got to amman. the other hatch (which was next to seat behind me) was secured in place by a bag one of the passengers had with her.

eventually, the bus got to amman in one piece. us passengers got there in one piece that was badly bruised. the driver, all grin, got down and started chatting to other drivers, probably comparing records on how fast he got us to amman on the sick bus (the steward, male, smelly, said that "this bus should not have been used today because it needs maintenance." no shit).

guess what company i'll be using next time i go to aqaba. idiot.

Monday, July 10, 2006

who stole our street?

this morning on my way to work i noticed something rather odd. the way on which i drive every day, used to having a more or less continuous stretch of street, was missing a chunk. along the width of the street (and extending well into the pavement on both sides) a good half a meter was abruptly amputated (creating a void around 7 centimeters deep). i parked a few meters before the gap and stepped out of the car. i stood there, staring at it like an idiot, wondering who stole our street (which was just recently renewed, mind you).

i followed the theft's trail all the way to my right, looking for its beginning (or end) and found both the perpetrator and the source of the noise that woke me up earlier that day. a number of workers were using a rather sharp (and extrenely loud) saw to cut the street (and everything else that comes in its way) and then promptly removing the cut-out sections of the street.

i walked over to them and waited (with them eyeing me suspiciously) until they turned the scary saw off (trust me, you can't hear yourself think with its whine in your ears). i asked them why they were stealing our street. they looked at me with blank eyes and told me engineer bla bla, who worked company bla bla bla, instructed them to do so. they weren't even sure WHY they were removing chunks from the street, just that they were told to do so.

i looked around for engineer bla bla but found no trace of him, headed back to my car, and near damn broke my axles crossing the new valley that replaced our street. you would think, in a country that has as much experience as Jordan in tearing up streets, that they would've learned to advertise the lack of street beforehand or (God forbid) actually plan the infrastructure BEFORE they lay in the street.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

shooting maniac

i was listening to the radio the other day. there is a shooting club in jordan, called "action target" and as they're riding the world cup wave like everyone else, they were advertising for people to come over to watch games there (yes, watching the games at a shooting range sounds supehb!, kinda like having Ramadan nights at the waterwaves place, whatever its name is). however, they didn't use a sensible slogan like "10 huge screens" or "32 teams competing (really, i thought there were 19 teams!)". no, to stand out, their tag line for the ad was "are you a shooting maniac?"

my question is: is this the best way to pose that question? would i, as a shooting maniac, advertise that i am one on radio? i don't know about you, but a shooting maniac brings to mind pictures of school shootings, wedding disasters and other contexts where being a shooting maniac leads to your arrest.

so no, i'm not a shooting maniac. i wonder if they were able to get any shooting maniacs to come to the place.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

mind not body

the literal meaning of the blog's title. it means mind without body, as this blog really is. this is my second attempt at a blog, hopefully one I will actually write into.