Thursday, January 30, 2014

Singing at the Souk

A trip to the Abdali Souk is always eventful. By all rights, I should not like it but I do. My mother would enjoy the bargains, but I think she would be bemused by what is sold there. She loves to shop and donate to Goodwill and the Salvation Army. I ought to let her know that many of the clothing that is left behind at those places find their way to places like the Abdali Souk. When a pair of pants can't sell in the U.S. for 4.99 and has a goodwill tag on it, I just cannot buy it for 2 JOD. I'll pay 1, but not 2.

I always have the best time with these vendors. We can't speak much, but I smile and they become very talkative. I helped this one many buy a sports jacket that looked very fashionable on him. I gave him that push, that extra edge to say, "Be Daring." He wanted a bargain a good quality jacket from the U.S.A. I made him happy with my recommendation.

A young man came up to me and said, "I enjoy coming here. I have fun." He wanted to speak in English because he studied some English Literature. He spoke well and I complimented his speech and that made him very happy. I was sincere in my comments.

I walk around with my earphones and when I like a peppy song, I snap my fingers or walk with a groove. The people don't know what to make of it and so I start a conversation with them and they feel at ease. As soon as I start singing, they ask, "Where are you from?" I say Amman.

I point up the hill and say Jebel Hussein. Then they ask, "But where are you from?" and I say, "Al Razi Street, right next to the Toledo Hotel." Then in desperation they ask, "But where are you from?" I laugh and say Boston in the USA. They laugh in relief.

The place has its charm and the people are authentic. It is packed and yet people are polite when they bump into you. It is as great entertainment for them as it is for me, and I get to complete the circle with Salvation Army. One day I expect to find something that I donated in Massachusetts up for resale here in Amman. We are all connected.

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