This was first posted on March 3, 2010 and I am now reposting it in honor of Ugly Duckling’s post, Characteristics of a Jordanian Cab Driver. She is so dead on with her observations, yet again.
What am doing here in front of my computer before even drinking my first cup of coffee when I could be watching that half hour of gossip TV, Entertainment Tonight just after I send the kids off to school? Blame it on Kinzi, for coming up with an entertaining topic this morning. Or shall we blame it on Shady for starting this whole thing? (Get me a link, Shady, so we can keep this all together)
My taxi story goes like this: Back in the day when all taxis in Jordan were Mercedes, I took the taxi to work every morning. I knew how much it should cost and always expected to pay the same amount. Some wise guy taxi driver thought he would take me for a ride so to speak. He wanted to charge me over a dinar, way too much especially back then.
Me: Laish? (Why?)
Him: Ashan jaish. (Because of the army.)
Me: Sho? Ashan jaish. Laish jaish? (What do you mean “because of the army”? What does the army have to do with this?)
Him: (Smiling, yet not budging) Ashan jaish.
By now I have become angry, impatient, and about to be late for work.
(And by now, all my Arab readers are having a good chuckle.)
So I throw change on the seat in the amount it should be and storm off not even looking back . . . I am somewhat fearful that if I do I will see him out of the car after me and the dinar he is tying to swindle from me.
I go upstairs still in my rage. By the way I was also hormonal as I was pregnant at the time. I relate my story to whoever happens to be in the office and by the time I am done they are laughing and smiling at me.
Coworker: Don’t you get it? Laish. Ashan Jaish. It rhymes. He was just trying to fool you and having fun with it.
So from that day on I was prepared. If EVER a taxi driver did that to me again I would hand him what he should get and if he asked why I would say:
Becoze. Mlabas loz. (Because. Jordan almonds.)while walking away laughing!