Without much of a local soccer scene to speak off (unless of course we’re talking about racism), Jordanians tend to follow and relate to soccer tournaments abroad with a lot more passion (case in hand: Euro Cup, Italian League, World Cup, etc).
During large tournaments such as the Euro Cup taking place now, the entire town seems to turn into a large soccer themed party. The games are watched by every class of society, young and old. The good teams and the bad teams are the focal point of a lot of the casual conversation in offices, cab rides and waiting lines. When the games are on, society seems to forget about the horrendous rates of inflation increasing every day, their shitty jobs, and the gas prices: all that matters is the ball being kicked from European to European.
Soccer matters. It is practically the only activity that a large portion of the population rallies around, fingers crossed. Yet, it comes with a price, as the games are never screened on local tv. It comes on an AlJazeera +1 card with a price tag. For example, in our case, our receiver doesn’t come with a card slot, so in order to get access to AlJazeera +1, not only do we need to buy the card, but also buy a different satellite dish with a card-slot enabled receiver.
We considered it seriously at first, as there are at least 6 people with constant access to our tv who would like to watch the games every day. But then it was decided that instead of spending money on a receiver + satellite + card, we’ll just go watch the games we feel like watching every now and then at random places around town.
Then of course came the very unpleasant surprise taking place as “Minimum Order” and “Cover Charge”.
For example, below are the exploitation policies of some of the places we sometimes hang out at:
The Courtyard – ten jd cover charge
Salute- Five jd cover charge
Tche Tche- two jd cover charge
Champions: ten jd cover charge
Players: 15++ jd minimum charge (yes, with a ++) and a 5 jd cover charge
Books- ten jd minmum charge
Canvas- ten jd minimum charge
Prego- seven jd minimum charge
La Calle- two jd minimum charge
The only place I have called that actually didn’t have an exploitation policy was Dubliners.
I mean, it is really grade A exploitation to make use of the fact that not everyone has AlJazeera +1 to bump up the prices to a minimum of 10 jds, and even worse, a 10 jd cover charge! It makes you just feel like damn, if these guys are so open about capitalizing on such occasions, how else are they ripping us off on a daily basis?
I think I’m going to boycott the places that have high minimum charges and cover charges for good.