Last night, I met the one and only Farooha. Night as in night, because in this country, pre-9:30 PM is for sissies(I’m actually blogging from a “S7oor” dinner at some family friends’ house and it’s 2:50 AM and they still didn’t have dessert. I totally miss the national vampirish routine), but saying I “met” Farooha isn’t actually right. Believe it or not, but Farooha and I actually graduated from the same class at the same secondary school in Riyadh, except that Manarat is so horribly subdivided that I don’t remember her at all and she remembers me as “The tall girl”.
Anyway, we had a wonderful time sipping Frappacinos at my favorite Starbucks in town, and Farooha is absolutely adorable. She’s even more interesting offline than she is online! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as hyperactive as she is, or as interesting.
We actually had a little communication problem as I don’t understand the Saudi accent and she has a hard time with the Jordanian one, so we settled for English.
Truth be said, I’ve never really intermingled much with Saudis during the 18 years here except for my friend Sara, who apparently shouldn’t be my Saudi stereotype, because most of the stuff Farooha and I discussed totally shocked me, like less-immediate Saudi family units. For example, in some families, it is actually considered taboo for a male cousin to hear his female cousin’s voice, while my cousins sleep on our couch for months at a time.
I also found out about the Saudi class system, and it’s very different from the one in Jordan although that is to be expected with a quite huge number of people carrying the title of “Princess”. At my highschool, which was unbelievably diverse, the class system actually depended on nationality, and in Jordan, the class system(from the eyes of an outsider), is school-based(ex. the Bakaloria/New English/etc group, Kuleyeh/IlRaed/etc group, and so on) which really sucks for someone who didn’t go to highschool in Amman.
I still manage to get amused at my Ammanite friends’ preconceptions of people who grew up in “the desert that is Saudi Arabia”, and even more so when it comes to the talteesh of educated and open minded people(bte3ref 3an meen ba7ki si Fabio).
It’s really quite unbelievable how different the life we’ve lived amongst Riyadh’s various housing compounds is from real Riyadh, and it’s just as unbelieavable how different the Jordanian community in Riyadh is from the Jordanian population living in Jordan. Although I’ve always known it, the extent of how fake my life has been is finally hitting me… Tailor-made life.
Anyway, more about about that later, there are too many thoughts in my head but they’re not making much sense anymore as it’s 3:46 AM and we’re still having s7oor at some family friends’ garden in the beautiful weather of the tailor-made sections of Riyadh, but I’m getting really sleepy. Ah, I’m turning into a jajeh.
I can’t wait to get to Amman this Saturday though, I really miss my friends, my car and Whitey.