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One Day…

One day, I will get rid of my worst habit

One day, I will pet a giraffe

One day, I will own a horse

One day, I will know

One day, I will take that dress to the dry-cleaner’s

One day, I will fix the AC in the car

One day, I will go through all my favorite tweets on Twitter

One day, I will get a good DSLR camera

One day, I will get a smart phone

One day, I’ll travel first class

One day, I’ll learn how to cook

One day, I’ll spell “neighbors” correctly without auto spell check

One day, I’ll finally visit Petra

One day, I’ll manage to finish a full book by Edward Said without feeling mentally exhausted by how sophisticated the book is

One day, I’ll watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy without falling a sleep half-way through the first part

One day, I will publish a book

One day, I will be no longer a subtitlor

One day, I will watch all the DVDs on my nightstand

One day, I will catch up on my Spanish

One day, I will be pleasantly surprised

One day, in sha’a Allah, one day!

That Occasional Cat Post…

It’s almost inevitable! You know, they are everywhere and they have the most expressive faces of perhaps all animals! You can’t help but post a picture or a video from time to time!

Today as I came home from work there was a surprise waiting for me in the back yard. he neighbour’s cat, which is technically a street cat they feed and lives in the back yard, was buried under a bunch of hungry little kittens cramming and fighting to get some milk from mommy.  Apprently mother cat wasn’t crazy about me taking photos of her post-natal drama, and surely enough she was afraid for her babies. If only she new I’ve never held a cat in my life! She gave me some scary you’re-so-dead-if-you-think-of-coming-one-step-closer looks!

100 Years of Solitude – Day 20

Amid the darkness of the room, A ray of sunlight came through a hole in the wall and gave her a warm sensation

She knew that hole shouldn’t be there, she knew it was wrong. She shielded it with her hand for a moment, then she missed the sunlight again

She knew it shouldn’t be there because if it rains, the water will come through, and she will regret not closing it when she could

She knew it was there, but the darkness was feeding an eminent depression, shattered for a moment by that sunray

She basked in what little comfort that light has brought, waiting to muster enough strength to mend the hole in the wall, or for the wall to come down altogether

بتذكر إني… 2

بتذكر خروف العيد اللي كانوا جيراننا يحيبوه كل سنة، كان حدث الموسم، كل مرة نفس الإشي، بنتفاجأ بخروف في الحديقة وبنضل كل يوم نبلش فيه ونلعب معاه… ما هو كان حيوان غريب غير عن بسس الشوارع والكلاب الجعارية اللي كل فترة وفترة كان واحد منها يعمل حالة رعب في الإسكان

آخر خروف بتذكر إنه جيراننا جابوه كان خروف صغير نوعاً ما، وكان عدائي شوي، ما صاحبنا ولا كان يلعب معنا بالعكس كان يثور في وجهنا ويعصب لما نقرب عليه، وما كان يقبل ياكل منا… إلا في آخر يوم، صار وديع وأليف وياكل منا وانبسطنا عليه. تاني يوم نزلنا عالحديقة ما لقيناه، كلنا هادا شكله حس إنه أجله قرب قال يا رايح كتر الملايح

أما بالنسة للكلاب الجعارية فحدث ولا حرج. بتذكر مرة كان في كلب داير في الإسكان لونه أبيض وعليه بقع سوداء، قد البقرة، فمرة كنا نلعب بالرمل، رمل صويلح ما غيره اللي بكون فيه منه كومة عندعمارة عم ببنوها وبنصير نلعب فيه وناخد منه كمان، ما كنا نفهم إنه هي سرقة مواد بناء! المهم، كنا نلعب ورا البيت أنا وأختي وأخوي وصاحبة أختي أماني. رحنا أنا وأماني نجيب رمل صويلح، واحنا راجعين وحاملين سطولة الرمل شفنا الكلب من بعيد واقف على باب الكراج، أنا صرت أصرخ بصوت عالي، ما هو أنا صوتي مش  عالي إلا شوي، ووقع السطل من إيدي زي المسلسلات! الكلب هرب، وبعدين ركضنا للحديقة ورا البيت لقينا أختي وأخوي متخبيين بين الخزانات ولا صوت ولا حركة زي كإنه المافيا هجمت عالبلد

ومرة كان في كلب أسود شارد في الحارة، وكنا برضه احنا الأربعة المذكورين أعلاه مصدقين حالنا وطالعين مهمة بحث عنه. كنا ماشيين في طابور ورا بعض على أساس بنقتفي آثار الكلب، كنا ماشيين حولين العمارة، ومركزين وبتناقش، فجأة وبس وصلنا  آخر الحيط وبدنا نلف طلع الكلب بوجهنا من الجهة التانية بشمشم، احنا انصرعنا وهربنا والكلب المسكين انصرع هرب! مش عارفة مين كان خايف من مين

هاي أماني صاحبة أختي كانت تعشق الحيوانات ودايماً كان عندها بسس أو كلاب أو طيور أو حيوانات من أي نوع في البيت، وكان كل حيوان بتجيبه إلة مكانة خاصة عندنا، حتى أنا مع إني كنت أخاف من البسس والكلاب كنت ما أخاف من اللي عندها، خاصة كلبتها لوسي، أو تاتشر زي ما أختها سمتها بعدين، كانت كبيرة وسودا، وقد ما كنت أخاف من الكلاب هاي بالذات كنت ما أخاف لما تكون حولينا و أركض وأخليها تركض وراي… عجيب

يتبع…0

How to Lose a Loser in 10 Ways

Disclaimer: If you’re planning on reading this, please look up “sarcasm” in the dictionary before proceeding.

We’ve all been there. Well, not all of us, because you know some of us don’t have this natural ability to draw losers in like the street cat that runs after you in the morning with its eyes on your smoked turkey sandwich. No cat? See? It doesn’t happen to all of us but it happens. Actually some girls might argue they attract a bigger number of losers than the fake accounts of Justin Bieber on Twitter. Well, might be a far-fetched analogy but the numbers could be quite astronomical, not to mention the issue of quality over quantity, because some losers take the word “Loser” to a whole new level.

So, loser magnets of the world, here are some practical steps, or behavioral patterns taken out of context  if you will, that could spare you some serious headaches and potential nerve damage.

First off, as soon as you see the signs we all know too well, it’s either fight or flight, and since running for your life isn’t always an option because they can get a bit sticky that no amount of paint thinner would take them off then C’EST LA GUERRE! Now this where the fun begins:

1-      Fight fire with fire. If he’s sticky and clingy you give him the impression that he’s in for a world of pain. Don’t start your conversations with  يلعن أبو هالشغلة  (damn it), I hate my life, or something of that sort. Be his constant nightmare.  Of course this works for both losers and non-losers.

2-      If that doesn’t work, then you go for the oldest trick in the book: Feminism. Women empowerment is a very important tool in the fight against loserhood. Don’t be afraid to show your so independent to the point that you don’t need  a man. Make him feel useless. Of course this works mostly on losers since they are the ones who are scared by this, but it could work on non-losers too.

3-      Talk about babies and how much you love them all the time. Of course that works for both losers  and non-losers, because babies are scary.

4-      Be yourself. Seriously, a loser wouldn’t want a girl who’s not putting on a show, they prefer someone who’d lie to them so that they’d discover it for themselves later on. It’s called denial. Go figure.

5-      Tell him you want him to meet your mom. That’s the bomb!

6-      Tell him about your cousins who work in the Special Forces and how they are everywhere all the time

7-      Speak in-depth about cars and car mechanics.

Okay, these are  7 ways not 10 but I’m sure you can come up with another 3 ways to lose a loser, and if he’s still there after all that then maybe he’s not a loser after all, maybe you just are too high-maintenance, get a grip!

For the Love of Tea

 

What’s better than the smell of hot mint tea in the morning? I’ll tell you: a cup of tea with a book in a quiet place, and the whole world can get lost.

I can’t remember how many times have I expressed my love that borders on passion for tea. Actually, this goes beyond the caffeine or the cups of sweet mint tea which I happen to find the best dessert in the world. It’s way deeper than that; and it goes back to a time I can’t even remember, but I’m often reminded with by my mom and my uncles.

I might have been 2 or 3 years old at the time. Whenever we slept over at my grandparents, I would wake up early and go knocking on my grandpa’s bedroom door. When he opened, I would say a word that I’d teasingly hear over and over many years later: “Yash”. Then my mom would wake up to find us in the kitchen, him sitting on a chair and I on the table, eating Ka3ek and Yash, or tea as some people would call it.

I don’t remember how that tea tasted, at least not consciously, but I do remember the best tea I’ve ever had. It was in Downtown Amman, we were at El-Sa7a El-Hashimiyyeh near the Roman amphitheater when a street vendor came back carrying a tea container on his back, and asked us if we wanted some. First we passed, but he kept insisting until I decided to have one, just to make him go. That would be the one cup of tea I would remember as the best tea I have ever tasted, and all the people who were with me would agree after being encouraged to try it too. I don’t know if it was the tea itself or the Downtown effect, but I still think it’s the tea.

The other memorable tea was the tea we used to have at my aunt’s porch. I would go to their house after university and we’d have tea with mint or Malliseh, along with dates. A setting that’s quite hard to come by now with some of the girls moving abroad and with the family growing and changing.

But when I talk about tea I have to talk about Mahmoud. Our office boy who makes award-winning tea. Not only it tastes good, but it can be a great consolation in time of distress. If you’re down, Mahmoud’s got your back, have a warm cup of tea!

Still, if I’m to choose one favorite kind of tea I’d say homemade Moroccan mint tea, nothing beats that.

I like it in the morning, I like it in the evening, I like it before I sleep, I like it when I feel sleepy, I like it when I’m sluggish, I like it when I’m alone, I like it when I’m with friends, I like it when I’m watching a movie, I like it when I’m reading, I like it breakfast, I like it with cake and I like to dunk anything that’s everything in it. I love it in all shapes and forms, and it loves me back.

 

P.S: Don’t fall for that “tea breaks down the iron in your blood” crap, it’s a myth.

The Man Who Killed the Cricket – 4

He rubbed his eyes to make sure what he was seeing was true, and not only the product of what seems to be a very confused mind. He wasn’t a man who looked into people’s eyes but he knew by default and with however little common sense he had that when you look into someone’s eyes you see your reflection,  you don’t see people running around, babies being born, a war in motion. You don’t see any of that. You don’t see a life.

Something told him what he saw was the life of that woman being replayed for him in the blue of her iris. He didn’t know the names, the dates or any details, he just saw everything. He took a step back and as he tried to open his mouth to speak he felt a powerful force pulling him forward, a force he couldn’t resist. He started to get smaller and smaller, and all of a sudden he was sucked inside the blue eyes of that stranger, and into the story of her life.

What he saw there was like an uncut footage of a movie. There was a small girl running around with a kite, a teenager sobbing silently in her room and in the far corner sat a woman in her thirties in front of a mirror, brushing her hair.

He walked up to her, and before he could see her face she turned around with a sudden motion. He recognized the blue eyes, but the smile was new to him, although he wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that age would take such a heavy toll on this woman, who was hands down the prettiest thing he’s ever seen in his pathetic life.

“Your late” She said bluntly

“You were waiting for me?” He replied hesitantly, as if he wasn’t sure she was talking to him

“All my life.”

“But… why?” It made less sense than everything he’d seen on the way to her

She gave him a look of confusion, as if he should know. “Because I love you” she said with a cracking voice, as if she had a lump in her throat.

“What?” He was lost now

“What… do you find it strange that I love you?”

“No, I find it strange that anyone loves me at all”

She laughed a silent laugh with her hand over her mouth. She reached and tried to touch his hair, but she couldn’t. Her hand was going through his face like it was but a shadow. She raised her hand in front of her face and contemplated it with a horrified expression. She looked at him with teary, terrified eyes and, then, she turned into dust…

 

To be continued

Previous episodes

The Man Who Killed the Cricket – 3

The Man Who Killed the Cricket – 2

The Man Who Killed the Cricket – 1

بتذكر إني…

بتذكر إني دخلت المدرسة في الصف التمهيدي، ورات بتساءل إذا كنت بتذكر الأشياء صح ولا إذا كان في إشي في مخي بخليني أتذكر الأمور بطريق ملتوية، لأني بتذكر أشياء غريبة بصراحة

وبصراحة أول ما دخلت المدرسة ما  كنت طفلة واعدة، يعني بالمشرمحي كنت طلطميس! يعني مثلاً ما كنت أعرف أكتب حرف الألف (العصاي، من دون همزة حتى) كانت المعلمة تعملي نقاط متقطعة وأوصلها ببعض عشان أعرف أكتبه. وفي مرة من المرات أعطتنا  المس صورة بطة نلونها (عشان حرف الباء) ناسية شو لونتها أول إشي بس بعدين صرت أتطلع على الاولاد والبنات حولي، فلما أشوف واحد ملون البطة أزرق ألونها أزرق، ولما أشوف حدا ملونها أحمر ألونها أحمر فوق الأزرق حتى صار لونها، بعيد عنكم، زي المراجعة

وكان ذلك أول درس لي في الاستقلالية بالقرار وعدم تقليد الآخرين

وبتذكر كمان إني كنت هادية كتير، بتخيل كنت عنصر صامت في الصف، بنت قد الفطعة وفش فيها إشي مميز إلا جكيت الفرو الأصفر اللي كنت ألبسه في الشتا. كانوا الصغار يعملولي عرس بس أوصل قد ما ينبسطوا عالجكيت. المهم، مرة كانت المعلمة، أو “المس”، بتلعبنا لعبة، كانت ترسم دائرة على اللوح بعدين يطلع واحد من الصف يغمضوله عيونه ويرسم جواتها وجه، عيون وأنف وتم وهيك.  طبعاً العيون بتيجي بجهة والأنف بجهة والكل بصير يضحك والحياة جميلة. المهم، صاروا الاولاد يرفعوا إديهم ويصرخوا عشان المس تختارهم، أما أنا فكنت قاعدة في أول صف ومتكتفة وساكتة وحالتي حالة وبراقب بهدوء… قامت المس حكتلهمم: رح أخلي علا تطلع عشانها هادية. فااااا اطلعت عاللوح وكنت حاطة خطة في مخي، إنه برسم كل شي قريب من بعضه وبركز عشان يكونوا كلهم جوا الدائرة. غمضولي عيوني ورسمت ولما فتحت عيوني لقيت الوجه كله برا الدائرة، والمس بتتطلع علي كإنها بتبهدلني وبتقول: شو هاد يا علا؟ وما بتذكر إنه حدا ضحك. حسيت حالي عملت جريمة. طيب ما هو الكل كان يرسم خبايص اشمعنا لما أنا خبصت ما حدا ضحك والمس ما عجبها؟ وكان ذلك من أحد المواقف اللي كبرت ولهلأ مش قادرة أفهمها

وبتذكر مرة أنا ووحدة صاحبتي اسمها عائشة، برضو في الصف التمهيدي، كان معنا بكيت شيبس، ورحنا فتحناه بالعكس. طبعاً بس كبرت عرفت إنه ما في إشي اسمه تفتح بكيت الشيبس بالعكس لأنه ممكن تفتحه من أي جهة.بس كأطفال كنا ملتزمين نفتح بكيت الشيبس بحيث تكون الرسمة اللي على البكيت مش مقلوبة. المهم، إجا ولد كبير، وبكبير أعني بالكتير صف تالت بس بالنسبة إلنا كان كبير وطويل كتير… وطبعاً بما إنه كبير لازم يفيض علينا من علمه وحكمته ويورجينا كيف نفتح بكيت الشيبس المفتوح أصلاً بالطريقة الصحيحة، واحنا ردينا عليه طبعاً لأنه مين احنا حتى نشكك بكلام ولد في صف تالت! وبالتالي صار الشيبس مفتوح من الجهتين وبتكبكب بكل مكان… بس المهم إنه فتحناه  صح

وكان ذلك درساً لي في أشياء كتير، واضحة وما في داعي أذكرها على ما أظن

مزيد من الذكريات في الحلقات القادمة إن شاء الله