Sunday, 7 December 2008

Souks, Sheiks, and a lifetime of embarrassment

So, next day in Diyala, I had the pleasure of visiting the souk. It was male dominated, with a few black clad abbaya women, dragging their children through the toy stalls.


Anyway, after purchasing more village friendly clothes (for some reason I keep thinking of the village people and the clothes they wore- I don't think that would have been very suitable here...), I wandered into one of the few internet cafes-BIG mistake. It was basically boiling with puffs of smoke clouds more common than air. Walking in hesistatingly, I had no idea whether to run out, but I stood my ground. Eventually an old man (the owner I presume) asked me if I wanted to sit down. One of the guys sitting down, asked whilst his jackal like friends cackled in the corner "Why don't you tell her the rules. You know, the one that we're not allowed to look at naked pictures of women on the internet". More grins. Then nothing, absolutley nothing could have prepared me for the answer or rather action of the old man. He walked up to the guy, and slapped him around the head, hard, and said "Respect yourself and apologise!". After the apology i tried my best to close my gaping mouth. I felt almost eternally grateful to the internet cafe owner, as I sat down quietly closest to the door. Maybe I should open an internet cafe when I'm older. I mean the respect and the power that comes with it- why bother going through university education? Internet cafe owners get more respect than doctors these days. :D

On my return to our house, I realised we had guests. I prayed it wasn't the family that I slept over with the day before. It wasn't. It was neighbours who had known us for decades, but not seen us for years. Everyone talked, with the focus being placed on everything and anything. After a while, the talk turned to politics, and the sheiks of Diyala etc etc. I remembered the yashmaghs and male abbayat in the other room, so I ran out, and drew on myself with a marker pen, a mustache that would put saddamists to shame. I then decided to dress up as a sheik, with all the added extra, like the sibah they usually carried. i them made my entrance back to the women's seating area and made a few stereotypical jokes. Unfortunatly, the men in the other room were curious to see what the laughter was all about and walked in. At that point I could do nothing apart from cough and choke. The worst thing was seeing the eyebrows of people disappearing off their faces. I took off the agal and yashmagh and abbaya, and walked out of the room, my fake black mustache refusing to be wiped off.

One day, when I get over the embarrassment, I may post the photos that everyone enthusiastically took. But until then, I will simply pretend that none of that day actually happened, and I dreamed it all. The worst thing, was having to go back after I had tidied, and look them in the eye seriously, as they asked after school and other trivial subjects.

11 comments:

C.H. said...

Poor Touta, lol (don't worry, I'm laughing with you, not at you! :D)

Seriously, everyone has bad moments like that, haha. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. Its okay. Maybe you can open an internet cafe when you retire someday. What a nice way to make money that would be...you could sit down and watch the city go by, and meet people from all walks of life!

A new cafe just opened in my city, a few blocks away from my house. The owners came all the way from Canada to open it. Its certanly an exciting business.

BAGHDADENTIST said...

haha,that was nice.dont feel embarrassed,you were acting naturally and trying to laugh.as C.H. said its a nice way to make money. dont bother yourself and forget about what happened,those boys reflected their morals and i do respect this old man.
do you tink that i should quit my job and open a net cafe?? :)
one's respectful actions make him powerful regardless age or education.
thanks for sharing.

Touta said...

C.H,
haha, well its over now. and it would be an excellent way too meet people...hmmm. no university for touta! Next time, perhaps I will dress as the iraqi army, i think i have subconsciously decided to make fun of as much people as possible. how long till I'm in court maliki? :D

baghdad dentist,
haha, I made fun of sheiks..i wonder how long until i get exiled? :D
Old men are a lot more polite than my generation, and it is the actions that make respect. As for you? Quit being a dentist....noooo, I have seen enough black teeth in Iraq to last me a lifetime. if you quit, Baghdad will be unbearable, all those bad breaths and rotten teeth. How could you baghdad dentist!? hehe.
And if you really want to open a net cafe, then prepare yourself to hit people, and i just don't see you as a hitting type of guy. :D

nadia said...

Man I can't wait till I'm old enough to hit people upside the head.

Touta said...

nadia,
hehe. I'm counting the years till I'm 50. *whack*. Look at bush fly!!

Little Penguin said...

wow.. forget carving out a career.. nurture a thick moustache and grow a wholeseome, over-the-belt belly and sit behind a nice desk.. and smack people whose attitude you find distasteful.. :)

Touta said...

little penguin,
hahaha, that is EXACTLY how he did look, i was just too grateful too make fun of his mustache. :D
hope you had a nice eid.

Little Penguin said...

eid? hissa jay 3al bicycle.. what eid? lol.. thanks.. hope you had a good one..

Touta said...

hahaha,My eidiyas were ermm interesting. Baghdad + eid=car honking till 4am. It seems we are both online at the same time. Woo. :) Creepy.

Little Penguin said...

I was going through the teddy music player.. I love the Verve.. do you like 'When The Drugs Don't Work'..?

Touta said...

I love the verve too. And the drugs don't work...;) As for the last song, that was a joke. I really hate qasim al sultan. He sends shivers down my spine. he's like the iraqi 50 cent (or 50 filis) gone wrong. hehe.