A few weeks ago I was in Maadi Metro trying to buy peanuts. This turned out to be a difficult venture. Having forgotten the Arabic word for "peanuts" (actually it's highly unlikely I ever knew it to begin with) I approached an employee and asked where the peanuts are. He just shook his head letting me know instantly that he did not understand. He motioned for a female employee standing near the cash register to join us.
"Where are the peanuts?" I asked her as she approached. It became instantly obvious that she thought I said something else that sounds like "peanuts" (but is a bit more vulgar) when she began to blush and asked me if it was something to eat. Thinking it may be easier to understand if I say it another way, I said "yes. Nuts". This produced yet another blank stare and the summoning of yet another employee.
I asked the new employee, once again, where the peanuts are. He immediately nodded his head and took off down an aisle. Finally, now we are getting somewhere. I followed close behind. He stopped in front of a can of kidney beans, taking them off the shelf and handing them to me. This was obviously going nowhere, so I decided to name any and all kinds of nuts I could think of - cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc. You know - NUTS! He nodded his head and moved down to the end of the aisle where there was a few cans of mixed nuts. Victory at last!
NOTE TO SELF: NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT EGYPTIAN ARABIC PHRASEBOOK!
Just for the record the Arabic word for nuts is almksrat.
Map of Amman from 1956 - Here’s a really cool map from 1956. For more information, head over to Tobzeh. How small the city was.
1 week ago