On Random Misadventure No.2: The One Where I Get Beat Up by the Police in a Demonstration

University is a tumultous time for all of us . Most of my education in university occurred outside of classroom doors. How to drop from a top student to failing and barely making it in one lousy semester with too many card games and second-hand smoking, how to not get into fights involving cleaner men or short, brown people(that's a whole other story that will be told in due time) and how to not get too hot and heavy on politics.

It was a gloomy day. The situation in the West Bank was as it commonly is; abysmal and it reflected on the campus. Faces were a mixture of anger and sadness, helplessness intertwined with meagreness. Ahmad and I emerged sleepy-headed confused about what the hell was the last lecture about. Something involving computers for sure..

Before I go on with this magnificent story, let me introduce Ahmad first.

Ahmad is one of the most fascinating characters I ever met. (Probably No.4 on my Most Fascinating People list) Simply put, he is the laziest person on earth. He finds shortcuts to everything, even conversation and body language. Words slurred out of him, and you feel an irrevocable drowsiness overcoming you when you talk to him. When I remember Ahmad, I see him shuffling around campus, back heavily hunched, his denim bag slanted behind his back, eyes half-drooped in an Eeyore-like demeanor.

I absolutely loved him.

He was every reason for me to not work hard in my studies. Competing with him was so easy that I didn't have to worry even if I never unwrapped the books. I once got a 2 out of 25 in an assessment exam, and I looked back at him, knowing full well that for the first time, Ahmad has actually beat me.

Ahmad , God bless him, managed to accumulate a striking 1. The look of slow shock precipitating on his face was utterly priceless.

So, me, Ahmad and another 2 girls come out of the lecture. We were planning on doing a presentation to redeem our sourly low marks. It would be about HTML. Me and Ahmad thought it would be a cool idea if we marched in with plain white shirts with one letter out of the markup language imprinted on it.I would wear an "H", Ahmad a "T" the 2 sisters an "M" and "L" . Then we would do the YMCA dance, but on HTML of course..

[Insert late 70's disco scene, men with large afros and untrimmed mustaches, with unbuttoned shirts revealing hairy chests dancing with petite blondes on a dancefloor with a disco ball revloving, reflecting red, green, blue and yellow light circles everywhere..]

I said Doctor..
Are you listening to me?
I said Doctor..
This is as good as it can be..
It's fun to code with H.....T.....M.....L. .....
It's fun to code with H.....T.....M.....L. .....
It's a programming language where you can build websites..
That's why we're doing a presentation on H......T......M.....L......
H.....T.....M.....L. .....

The girls strongly disagreed.

While we were heatedly disputing the hand movements projecting an "H", an engineering dude shows up. The engineering people were fun to hang out with, the black bags under their eyes reminded us of how little we needed to work in life. Of course they now own villas with a view on the sea, while we live with 20 indian room-mates in a studio in Al-Ain.

Engineering dude: There's a demonstration for supporting Palestine at 12 o'clock, we need you guys to show up.
Me (Looking at Ahmad, who was dozing off while he stood, then back at the engineering dude): Sure! We'll be there..
Ahmad (snapping out of it): Whaaaaa...??

The rest of the story will be continued in due course, stay tuned for On Random Misadventure No 2: The One Where I Get Beat Up by the Police in a Demonstration Part 2


On Random Misexcerpt from my Everyday Life and Such

Me doing some paperwork at some manager's office back at work.
Middle Manager: Please photocopy this and bring it back to put it in your file..
Me: Okie !
Middle Manager continues to shuffle papers randomly to circulate the air within the tiny office.
Me (attempting to be proactive): Where can I find a photocopying machine in this vicinity?
Middle Manager: The office next to me has a photocopier
Me: Okie !
Middle Manager eyes me strangely urging me to go to the office next door so he can be free to shuffle papers randomly to circulate the air within the tiny office.

I go into the office next door where a less-than-average looking and visibly-lonely girl sits silently, randomly shuffling papers of her own..

Me: Hi..
Less-than-average-looking and visibly-lonely girl (beaming): HI!
Me: Can I use your photocopying machine?
Less-than-average-looking girl(slightly disappointed): Sure!
She goes on to shuffle her papers somberly.
I put the papers in the photocopying machine and press the fattest button I could find.
The voice inside my head aka Sami: Man say something, the silence is killing me..
Me(to Sami): What do you want me to say?
Sami: Just say anything!! I can't take this anymore..
Me(to less-than-average-looking girl): What's your sign?
Sami: WHAT??? Of all the things you could say you chose that??
Me(to Sami): You told me to say something..
Sami: Yeah but not THAT!! sheesh!!
Less-than-average-looking girl (coyly smiling): Guess!
Me(to Sami): See it wasn't that bad after all...
Sami: Mmmmpphh
Me: Oo I love guessing games..Cancer..?
Less-than-average-looking girl: No..
Me: Capricorn..?
Less-than-average-looking girl :No..
Me: Taurus..?
Less-than-average-looking girl :No..
I go on to list all the horoscopes of all the girls I knew in my life.
Me: I give up! Give me a hint,,
Less-than-average-looking girl (still smiling): Something bad..hehe..
Me(instantly): 3adra..? (Translated to Virgo, though the literal translation is virgin)
Less-than-average-looking girl (Color red seeping from her neck to fill her whole face): La2!! 3a2rab! (Translated to No!! Scorpio, though the literal translation is No!! Scorpion)
Me: Oh! Yeah, that is bad..
Sami: Hehehehehehehehehe!
Me: Ok my paper is photocopied.. See ya!

You might guess that it never worked out with this particular girl..

DISCLAIMER: Even though Sami initially disagreed on 'what's your horoscope?' to be a good ice-breaker or pickup line, my long and hard experience has taught me otherwise. Saying 'What's your horoscope?' to a girl will almost always get you her attention immediately and she will most likely ask you the same and you can take it from there..
Unless you're an ugly awkward, motherfucker of course..
Then nothing will help and you might as well shoot yourself..


On Random Misadventure No.1: The One Where I Attempt to Ditch School

I'm sorry I haven't introduced myself (Ha! as if I would really give off my secret identity just like that, especially after the secret spy mission I've been handed from..oops I shouldn't have mentioned that, please forgive me, I can't stop loving you..please...ahem)

The thing about me is that I constantly find myself in the most awkward situations. I avoid them, belive me I do, but they just keep flocking to me like ants unto a sugarcube. It has nothing to do with clumsiness or absent-mindedness, I don't fall or bump into people, till this moment, but the situations I find myself amidst, are well, I don't have a word for it, you figure yourself..

This is a true excerpt from my needlessly action-packed life. This actually happened and till this day, almost a decade later, whenver I see the personas involved in this debacle, they look at me , laugh and say "Man, remember when you..."

And this is how the story goes...

I was in my tawjihi (highschool) year in a co-ed school. Coincidentially, my class was an all-male class. It was made out of 9 hormone-raging, twisted , psychopathic males in the entire class of 1999. We acted like any all-male class throughout the illustrous kingdom of Jordan.

Wild animals.

We beat each other, harassed the girls, made rude noises during classes, played a game called ja7she (literally translated to 'The Mule')which constitutes of 2 teams, one bending over and the others jumping on their backs till the whole man-made structure tumbled inexorably (I like to think that there was no sexual implication in this game), vandalized school equipment and staff cars (I'm not proud of it, but it was helluva fun)

Each of the 9 had an attribute unique to himself, an Ocean's 11 sort of thing. There was one who specialized in paper airplanes and pranks, there was the devilish smart one, the organizer and planner, the resource manager. I have established a solid, hard-earned social status of the trouble-starter.

It was 3 of us, ditching class, chest pumped high and stomachs swallowed in, walking like the astronauts from Armageddon (Think slow-motion trot, tough, bad-boy glances here and there)


School Principal out of nowhere (screeching top of her lungs) : Saaaaami, Humaaaaaam, Raaaaaaaaed, come over here! (Kindly note I haven't used my real name here, but will refer to myself as Sami from now on)
Me, Humam and Raed look at each other: Shit man, we're screwed!

It was every man to himself now. Or more likely, every wild animal to itself. Humam runs towards the laboratories, Raed runs down to the playground.

I hide behind a hallway door.

Thinking (smartly, may I add) that the school principal will be distracted by Humam and Raed, she'll follow them though the hallway and downstairs and once she is past me I will emerge from my hiding, victorious, laughing at their silly faces that they got caught.

But Murphy's law strongly dictates that nothing works to plan.

The Principal walks past the door, the sweat on my burrow starts to dry. I think to myself, I am liberated, this is it, Sami you're a genius. No warning, no detention, no 'bring in your parents' again, my asshole friends will suffer alone. Muwahahahahaha.

She stops. Taps her shoe wildly.

Why isn't she rolling along? Why did she stop?

I look behind my back.

The door I was hiding behind was made out of glass, my shadow transpired through it, clear as the glass purportedly concealing it.

That day, my 2 warning-free friends passed by the Principal's office, hysterically crying with laughter and pointing at me, while the Principal, smiling smugly to herself, scribbled my name on yet another unwarranted warning.