Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Jordanian Battle in Vegas

Location: The Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas.
Time: Last week

1- Hareega with brother and father
2- Cousin (of my father's age) and his wife.

Cousin, "What do you wanna do now?"
As usual, I suggest eating.

Hareega: "Wanna eat in their buffet?"
Cousin, "Yes, I'll wait for my wife to come back from the restroom"
Hareega, "Ok I'll go get the tickets for tonight's show then I'll see you at the buffet, join us when your wife comes back"

I got the tickets then headed toward the buffet. You have to pay first, so I stepped forward to one of the cashiers and handled her my credit card.

"Five people please"

As she took my credit card, I saw my cousin from a distance. Our eyes met. He saw me handling the credit card to the cashier lady and he knew it: he realized I was about to pay for him and his wife.

In the blinking of an eye, he started running to the cashier. My 60-year old cousin was running faster than Sa3eed Owaitah. He pushed aside a couple of people waiting on the line and threw his credit card on the lady's desk.

He looked at me straight in the face, "Shame on you, shame on you", he screamed.
I screamed back, "No way you're gonna pay, no way", then I looked back at the cashier lady and lowered my voice but spoke seriously, "I gave you my card first, you gotta use my card, OK?"

The little lady took my card and was about to process it, but my cousin's voice escalated, "No, take my card ...."
The little Asian lady sitting was confused. "I don't know what to do! I don't know what to do!"
I told her, "Just take my card"...
My cousin looked back, "I swear by the life of Badee3a that I'll pay"
Badee3a is a close relative but I'm not sure what exactly is her relationship to me. There's also more than one Badee3a in the family, all of them are born before 1920. They are frequently sworn by the Masannats. To be the person sworn by is a great privilege in any Jordanian family.

I was confused now, thinking to myself, "I still have to pay, but he's just sworn by Badee3a"
I still had to show resistance.
"I'll pay this time, you pay next time"

My cousin was furious, "No, I swear by the souls of Fatha (his late mother) and Metri (my late grandfather) that I will pay. Put your card back in your pocket. Khallisni"

I realized that I just lost the battle. Nobody dares to resist swearing by the lives and souls of Badee3a, Fatha and Metri. Without uttering a word, I placed my card back in my wallet.
I was really surprised security did now show up to the scene.
Observing the sorrow in my eyes, once nice couple offered to help, with the man saying, "Hey man it's OK you can pay for us if you want".
I didn't answer and stepped forward towards the restaurant, drowned with my defeat and silenced by my shame. Although that had saved me more than a 100 dollars, it left my dignity with an open wound that time will not heal. The delicious food could not overcome the bitter taste of defeat. Since that day I started reconsidering my tactics for next battle.


hamede said...

I swear by the soul of 3isha my gm next time i will pay.

Batoul said...

Just start swearing first. tghada fe abl ma yt3asha feek?

Maher said...

oh man! Msannat are close friends to me!

is it true that Vegas is the best city in the world?

hamede said...

maher vegas is not.

Anonymous said...

That would make me a total ego pleaser for the other side :)

Maioush said...

LOOOOOOOOOOOL MAN!!! Badee3a o fatha .. ya3leenna :D
where ever we go, that's what you see, HAHAHAHA every week when we go out with my uncle, i wait outside until my dad and my uncle finish their fight over who will pay :D LOOOOOOOOOL..

Luai said...

Ha ha. I love this about Arabs. Seriously! We make a huge scene at the cashier! Did he atleast allow you to leave the tip? And more importante, you didn't tell us how the food was!

Hareega said...

hamede... good one

batoul... i'll remember that for next time

maher... for many people it is, i would say it's wonderful and different

anonymous it does that explains their joy after they succeed

maioush... hehe it's in every family

luai... he didn't let me leave it lol, the food was very good

zaid m said...

I was really surprised security did not show up to the scene? heheh, e7med rabak u were in vegas not new york hareega other wise u would of sowrn u have no cousins at all :)

Sel3 said...

you reminded me of "korsi el ra5asa" (no offense man) in the coaster buses of Jordan, where you sit in the last seat and someone you know gets in the bus (3'ader) without you noticing and pays your fare... and you can't do any thing but to sit there defeated and ashamed...

NaNilo said...

hahahahaha, next time start swearing you fada first then badee3a and then metri.

man casino's buffets is good, i luv it i once went to the buffet of a casino in buffalo, NY it was great food, and great time

The Observer said...

hehehe, that was fun! :)

amma15 said...

Wallah Hilarious!

salam said...

so that's where 7amai got this badee3a thing..he used to say it all the time ..his masannat cousins..mmm..this explains a lot!!

Khalaf said...

Sorry man. Despite your protestations, you are glad that the old man paid. Bala ashamed bala batikh!

Salamonti said...


kinzi said...

Hareega, this was priceless!! Thanks for the little lesson in Jordanian propriety!

M Kilany said...

LOL ta7sheeeeeesh he3he3he3...

Mohanned said...

Ana tene7 la darajeh ma btet7'ayyalha 3end el dafe3, ya3ni mosta33ed asawi hosheh 3nd el cash, bas jama3ti saro ye3rafooli lmma a6ool el ma7fathah belbedoo, bas lmma ma a6ool el ma7fatheh be3rafoo enno el yom dorhom:P

Nashmi..Esma3 enta masannat? ya3ni mn madaba? Eli s7ab ktheer mn madaba..

Fakkartak f7e9i ya m3allem;)

Hareega said...

zaid m... i'll go to new york and see!

sel3.. that never happened to me hehe, i'll try it back in jordan

nanillo... yeah they take care of their food, they don't charge much just on the hope that before you leave you pass by and play a little bit !

salam... exactly, now u know the secret!

khalaf.... dude he's not that old. IF he read this he'll kill you lol

kinzi... you're welcome!

mohanned... ah madaba , bel amerkani Meiraba

m kilany, amma15, observer, salamonti .. thanks folks for reading

Bos6ar Gadeem said...

loooooooool .. typical Jordanians in the west :-)
the couple got you .. 7atook b khaanit il yakk
nice post

Lubna said...

hahaha hahahahaa
ma t7amalt this post, it's way toooo perfect, 63aimeh like too,
e7na ma 3ina ibtihaj ma7al badee3a hahaha, w ba3den kamel w ra7met marwan w ra7met zaid, w ra7met saliba...

the last time i remember we had this huge clash, was about who's to pay for the movenpick pool entry at aqaba.... I TELL YOU, it took an exact HOUR!!!! three men :D

hahaha, ím sorry you lost, but to carry such thing in america,not in jordan is really hilarious, i would want to see that. Sa7ten il buffet... w next time start il bedding with badi3a w cut through ;)

Hala said...

HAHAHAHAHA :P Man you are absolutely hilarious :D I love this about Arabs, and the look on the cashier's face is priceless.

Mala2e6 said...

ليش ما كتبتة بالعربي؟

عم بتخيل ابن عمك بركض و بيحاول يوصل للكاش زي كانه حامل طابة فوطبول امريكي و بدو يوصلها و انت بتنط علية و بتبدا الطوشات

حريقة عايزيتك ظروري
بدي استضيفك عالمنشر بلقاء طبي اجتماعي و في حلقة من برنامج قلبي قلبي قلبي الثقافي

انا صراحة اعلنت قبل ما اقولك يعني عشان احرجك و تقبل