Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Mafrag boys are back in Wasat ilBalad

The arrival of the "Mafrag Boys" in Amman always means more fun for me. I am living in a city where I can be a strong, independent, and active women but only on the condition I be all those things during the daylight hours. Unfortunately for me, Amman's most culturally stimulating activities all take place under the cover of night. Cue shabab.

It all began Friday night when I had the opportunity to play Arab host. I invited the shabab(youth) over to my house for some good ol' fashion home hanging. While in some traditional Jordanian homes the idea of a young women inviting a horde of young men with patchy facial hair over to her home for entertaining might be an unfathomable scheme, I find myself in a family that is always receptive to my social plans and allow me to host friends in their home. I think their coolness stems from their fascination in the existence of so many Arabic-studying youth from some state near California (This is how you have to describe where Utah is to most Jordanians). My family loves to talk and to entertain. My time in Amman has given me plenty of chances to experience Jordanian hospitality within the home. So, I reveled in the opportunity to try my hand at authentic Arab hosting practices.

Rule 1:
The host must always have some kind of beverage available for the guest.
Rule 2:
Food should always be offered and can be refused by the guest.
Rule 3:
Overwhelm guests with fantastic presentation of treats and a open invitation for late night conversation.

We munched on creme and fruit filled powdered pastries from Donut factory as we sipped on Seben( Seven-Up).

Later, we drank Zaatar(Thyme) tea. Zataar is often given to Arab children by their parents on days of exams because of it is believed to be good for the mind and body. Fidaa drinks it to get rid of her congestion.

When the glass is empty, that is when the host knows the visitor is ready to leave.
The shabab made their exit and we all planned on seeing each other on Saturday.

Annie and I attended a party at a women's shelter and after we headed to Wasat albalad (city center).
We met james and robert
Ate dirty shwerma
walked to Ud stores( In reality, glorified hookah shops)
did some fruit shopping in the shaded souq
ate some free produce
found cyrus
met aline and lavon
ate ice cream
chilled at a cafe and sipped cocktails
looked for more Ud
met musicians
went to Garden street
ate tawouk sandwhich
went and watched The World Cup in a tent
America tied with England
Came home and slept.

Days are full and good with the Mafrag boys around.

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