Meet me in St. Louis:

ahhhh.. the ever awaited "Meeting" post:

there will be several sides to this story, i warn you not to expect too much from mine though.

let's get the other stuffs over with first:

arrived in Jordan, well, two weeks ago. trip was easy and uneventful, we came before the "tourism" season, not much else.

am writing my thesis now, it is titled: "Video Object Tracking: Design and Implementation", an object-tracking/recognition app. programmed in C++Builder.. struggling with the theoretical and introductory parts. the science parts i know blindfolded, its all the other BS that i am suffering with. dont worry tho, getting there bit by bit!

I guess it came for the best that i didnot post until today (or rather, tonight), as if i had posted but two days earlier, i would have corrupted all of your moods along with mine.

dont you hate it when ur past blindsides you, and hooks you in the gut?
the state i was in was the emotional equivalent to a nice well-aimed kick to the head.
it isnt over just yet, but i hope it will be in the coming days.

stressful situations are the BEST measure of mankind.
some people crumble, some people shy away, and some, by God! some come out fighting!
all i can say for now is, i know where my future is. and i will not be persuaded otherwise.
(the fighting bit was NOT about ME, altho i did put up a good fight!)

nowwwww... ahh.
the meetings:
y'see, there were two, in fact (Thanks, 'Smile), and i am pleased with the outcome of both.

first meeting was arranged in 30 mins, in a mall that is near my family's apartment here, all the better for me! a call was made to arrange the details (since we hadnt met before, we both had ZERO visual data about each other, and to think i put up a picture here a few posts earlier!)

anyway, first thing you notice about Attawie, is the voice!
clear, sure voice, and with a certain bounce to it that makes u feel comfortable..
call went ok, got dressed and started walking towards the mall..
tissues..check.
mints....check.
presentable..checked.
time to go, 5 mins, no worry, i'll make it.
(most impressions are made within the FIRST 30 seconds, and last for a long time)

at the mall gates, i notice changes, i havent been here a whole year, and stuff was being built in what was empty spaces.. nice! also, hello hello what is this? security guards, metal detectors, checkpoints, hmmm.. good. keeps the crazies out.
since i do tend to look more like your average tourist that your average jihadist, also i am old enough not to be considered a kiddo, (they check teens/young people here) the security checks were not a major issue.. i walk into the mall, and iraq hits me square in the face...

all this place needs is a flag and a chai kiosk and we can declare it Iraq 2.0..
God.. you even see the same faces, the same people as back "home", minus three meters of clothing, of course.

a quick ride up the escalators, 30 seconds left on the clock, i wonder if she was there before me.. hmmm. anyway, i guess she'll be coming with a brother or a relative, now, who would i address first? if i address the "chaperone", it will make him/her feel safer, but will probably make Attawie feel ignored, if i say hi to her first, it would make the chaperone watchful of me... ah well, i'll solve it as the situation present itself..

i stand in front of an agreed upon shop, which is regretfully on a corner, which forces me to sidestep left and right as people walk by.. -Khalid, the same one where u treated me to that iced-coffee thing last year! this year's on me! Yallah hurry before my money runs out :D-
she told me she's wearing green.. hmm. that one? too young. this one? too old. oh, that? wrong gender.. ah.

(ever notice when you are waiting for a specific something to show up, suddenly 739465 similar but not-quite-identical things appear??)

few minutes pass by...tick. tock. tick. TOCK.
hmm. two girls up front, both in green, one is raising a cellphone to her ear, object identified? 90% chance.
i attract their attention, and we spend a few moments looking at eachother, trying to establish an ID.. then i smile, voila!
i know the first one is Attawie due to her eye-glasses, the other? younger cousin or sister.. good, go for the primary! -this is the inside of my brain, at T+0.25 seconds from the first smile-
Attawie proves to be a little more shy than her Sis..both are good ladies from good families, again, i feel comfortable, like meeting old friends..
after the customary greetings -and the built-in japanese bow by me, a habit i cant kick-, i am introduced to her sis, very pleasant, both of them, very very pleasant!

of course, knowing me, 5 seconds into the conversation, already i'm running on empty, mind is blank.. ahh the usual 13'isms.. we start walking, led by her younger sis, let's call her S, we roam the mall, talking about anything and everything, and i keep finding we have a lot more in common than just blogspot(tm)..

13, being in the company of girls, automatically switches to "lurker" mode, where i stare down any male on-lookers, and actually place myself infront of them, esp. young punks, for fear of said punks bothering my companions.. i hope i didnt freak the girls out. they must think i havent seen a girl in 10 years.. crap. another habit i cant kick.

the rest of the meeting is more of the same, but with us sitting down at a cafe, suddenly these two ladies walk up to us, one of them looking at me personally, by reflex i stand to say hello, turns out, they are Attawie's older sis and aunt, good people.. just as i knew they would be.

while the veil of blogspot does shield the eyes, you can get a good picture of the soul, and the mentality..

oh, sorry, i wont be giving any physical descriptions of any of them here, cuz: a) they are ladies, b) this is an "IRAQI" blog, and c) what does appearance matter anyway?

their time is quickly up, night falls on amman, and we all have to go home.. ahhh.. time flies with good company.
still in "lurker" mode, i escort the girls and their aunt to the taxi queue outside, where our fellow iraqis -and arabs, i aint excluding anyone here- once again prove their authenticity by creating a huge mess out of what used to be a civilised queue.
a little later, they are in the cab, heading home, and i walk back to my own place, pleased with a meeting that went well..
(for me, that would simply be not making a total jackass out of myself!)

'Smile: i know you know the details, but, that's all I can write here!
and
Mel: Quit teasing us odd iraqis! :)

----- end of captian's log-----

new entry: Tuesdaysssss:

Kid calls: "Aloooo"
me "Ha? whadda u want? am too busy and P'Oed to recieve u here, do NOT come over"
kid "ha ha ha i knew u'd say that! come on to the mall, Attawie said she'd come" -i leave the rest for the kid to tell! he is not as brazen as he sounds on his blog-
"oh, ok.. what day is it? tuesday.. hmm. but i got a chapter draft i have to finish.."
"ah come on 13, take a break from study at least a day? dont be a book worm"
"ok, when?"
"30 mins"
"will do. c ya"
click.
same routine as last time, a change of clothes, a mint, then a brisk walk to Macca Mall..
on the second floor, i call him to check his position, after a quick tour, i find him, and almost manage to creep up on him from behind, before Slipknot, a friend who's with him, turned and saw me..
hello.. i attempt a kiss, but see that the 'Kid is already doing it "bluetooth style" with me
(that is where u air-kiss with ur cheeks 5 cm apart).. good! smart guy, learns fast!
(note: is there anyone here who DOESNT know i hate slurping/male-kissing? check here for reference)

"did they arrive yet?"
"nah, i'll check, how are you, 13?"
"fine fine blah blah ....etc"
and so it goes..

waitaminute... what am i supposed to write here anyway? i mean, people meet, people talk, people go home.. end of story.

(besides, it was the 'KID's first meeting with the girls, let HIM describe it! I did mine!)

what i will describe tho, is the return home:
the hour turned late, so the girls had to return home, we decided to escort them to the taxi queue again, the kid and slipknot got held up -by a sudden appearance of another friend, rather than any armed gunmen- so it was the girls and me again, the "lurker"..
ah. they MUST think i'm an overprotective paranoid iraqi freak.. oh well.
we go out, they decide to grab a taxi from outside the mall area, since all the cabbies near the mall are thieving idiots.. we cross the street, this time, i top myself:
my lurker mode extends to on-coming CARS. ever try to stare down a speeding mercedes?
placing yourself in front of it wont work, i know!

why all this idiocy, you say?
call me old-fashioned, but i consider anyone with me as being left in my care.. esp. young ladies, boys can fend for themselves somewhat, and i doubt they'll get many passes and looks, but girls, in arab society, that's a different story.. so i tend to think of anyone with me in general as entrusted to me to keep safe. crazy.

anyway, we walk and talk, till suddenly we run out of road, which signals its taxi-time. i wait for the girls to take a cab, and i walk home, which was like about 50 meters away.

i look forward to other meetings, that is, if they dont have me marked as "nuts, do not approach".. hmmm

i am also very interested in meeting Zeyad, and i hear Nabil is also in Amman..
Khalid, meeting you is a must! if you are in Amman, that is!

who else? anyone i forgot to mention?

oh, one thing i nearly kicked the kid in his nuts for :
we were walking down a crowded corridor, before the girls arrived, he recieved a prank call from Zeyad, at first, he didnt recognise Z's voice, and he talked on and on thinking he was talking to a professor or something, i heard one side of that conversation -seems Z is really good at his stuff, hats off to you, Z-, anyway, when the kid found out, he forgot he was in a public CROWDED place, full of women and young children, and he shouted at Z using a very profane insult. that really ticked me off.
i hate people who are not self-aware.

oh and kid, before you say: "what's the big deal, dont get ur panties in a twist"
let me ask u: would u like having me say it out loud in front of your parents, or your siblings?

watch ur tongue, kiddo.
لسانك حصانك

hey, i DID tell u not to read on! this is by far the most boring description of a day out in all of modern history!

listening to
------------
1. Michael Angelo Batio - all along the watchtower (5:35)
2. Michael Angelo Batio - burn (5:31)
3. Michael Angelo Batio - dream on (4:38)
4. Michael Angelo Batio - hands without shadows (5:28)
5. Michael Angelo Batio - pray on, prey (5:17)
6. Michael Angelo Batio - tribute to randy (6:09)
7. Michael Angelo Batio - wherever i may roam (5:33)
8. Michael Angelo Batio - zepplin forever (7:10)

The King of Speed EXCELLS in this one, my favs r Pray on, Prey, and the RandyRhoads tribute! CrazyTrain/Mr.Crowely!!!!

TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY! TRIBUTE TO RANDY!

RANDY RHOADS, Guitar Hero Extraordinaire
and THEN SOME!
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