Monday, August 4, 2008

Man and the Horn

Drivers in Jordan seem to have an infinite affinity to their horns. Not a day passes by without hearing a chorus of horns honking in the streets. Some are used merely to declare an acrimonious response to a grave violation committed in the street which in the driver's view is tantamount to a driving fornication (mind you he/she might be guilty of such a crime at some other period of time). Another is used by taxis to declare that they are ready to accept clients. Note however that the taxis' horns go berserk once they see females on the side of the road. There is yet another member in the club, when you are in the middle of a traffic jam, it is quite nice to see that some of the drivers are quite determined to give you motivation to just get the evolutionary process done with now, spread your wings and fly. Wait, there is more. How about the guy who comes over to his friends house at about 2 a.m. and instead of using his top of the line mobile phone to signal his mate to come down, uses the horn to stealthily inform him of the carriage's arrival? Looks to me as though these people have a retarded understanding if any to how sound propagates in the medium usually referred to as air. Finally, we come to the class of drivers normally referred to as "The Happy Ones". They are the entourage which accompany the convoy of either a wedding (I usually like to call it a convoy instead of a procession since procession insinuates a more orderly form of transportation) or those who where fortunate enough to have scored a mark skirting the fifties border in Tawjihi. The problem with those people is that they do not understand that you cannot care less (even if you tried) about their happiness and in some cases, nirvana. These are just some of the humorous aspects of driving in Jordan. These in effect give rise to the following statement which is -in my view - only a euphemism of the truth: ""Driving in Jordan is like being a lame duck in a shooting gallery "

The Good Old Days

Lately, I was asked to write a composition about "College Years". I was supposed to portray them in a very favorable manner!! Anyway, it was a TOEFL question. These people like a lot of mumble jumble. Therefore, I tried to give it to them. After I finished the composition, I liked it and wanted to share it with you:

When I was younger, the "college years" fascination was more of an inconceivable folly to me. I always thought that the present was the best tense to think of. What do reminiscence and nostalgia award? I always thought that the answer to that question was "absolutely nothing". I was unable to comprehend the constant recollection of the elderly and the seemingly endless ensuing bickering that goes into each and every detail. What difference does it make really?
All that changed after I graduated. It was the first time I could actually understand the real underlying meaning of the words of the much acclaimed song"those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end, we'd sing and dance forever and again .... We'd fight and never lose." I think it gives great relief to the elderly when they are reminded of the time when they were invincible, when they had the upper hand and faced all their problems with utmost vigour and endurance. They could face all obstacles ostensibly. Those as they are usually referred to in vernacular "the good old days". I can remember now how we wanted to be on the top of the world, how we felt that we can defeat everything and everyone and come out on top. We had dreams of grandeur, most of which did not come true. However, after experiencing the real world with all its trifles dangers, sadness, happiness, we can all feel great astonishment and relief simultaneously to having been so idealistic and pure at a time before being corrupted by the necessities and realities of life.
"The good old days" are actually all what one has when old, cranky and lonely. The present is not as interesting as the glorious past, it is devoid of all the romanticism of youth, all its zeal, and all its appeal. I am still not that old. I still think of the present as a good time, and maybe the future is still promising, however, I can surely understand the elders' attachment to they youth. The college years to me are verily " the good old days".