Today I decided to go into a little cafe I’d been eyeing for awhile, called King Falafel. They had several vegetarian dishes that were calling my name as I walked by. Upon entering, I detected an accent from the young man at the counter & proceeded to ask him where he was from. He shyly answered, “Jordan“. I immediately flashed a huge uncontrollable smile, proclaiming, “I’ve been to Jordan AND I met the King!” Then, some of my sketchy Arabic resurfaced. He seemed delighted & assured me that I’m “very good with my ‘H’s’.” He went on to inquire as to who, what & where & when I had visited.
He asked if I had gone to Petra (a major archaeological site). I said no, but we did DRIVE by, as my friend’s family had already toured it many a time. After all, who could blame them? It was a nauseating-backseat-thirsty-bus-ride-steaming-flat-coca-cola-in-a-bottle kind of day. I then remarked to my young counter King, that when I returned back to California, I decided to major in Anthropology. I was beside myself when I found that I was SO close & had missed seeing this important treasure! Said my My Falafel King, “That’s like going to a vegetarian restaurant & ordering a cheese burger!” NOW he was speaking MY language! LOL!
I do believe our interaction today brought us each a lot of joy. His homemade, authentic falafel, dolmas & baklava had transported me back to 1984, when my best friend & her dear family graciously allowed me to accompany them to their homelands of Jordan & Palestine. It was, & still is, one of the greatest experiences of my life!! And he, being a transplant, surely was proud to have an interested party walking through his garden…
“Yella Habibi!” was one of my favorite exclamations. After today, I have quite a little stream of phonetic phrases that are bubbling up to the surface, of content.
Praise be to Allah for all that is, was & shall be!
Loved this article about your experience with other cultures. The deeper principles of life, spirituality, and culture are universal.
And, on an objective level, they can be defined in terms of physics and systems theory, when the fundamental forces of nature are viewed as the creative expression of consciousness.
The objective modeling of these deeper principles is essential for understanding and aiding our health and well-being, as part of the human condition we all share.
Thank you Dr. Metz! How wonderful it is to have your scientific-self along for our ride through the cosmos!
You have a gift for truly connecting with people, Maggie. I enjoyed your story. I have a cousin (who I have only since once since childhood) that I am FB friends with. She went to Petra and her photos were the first I had ever seen of the site. AMAZING.
I can see you being the same way, with your warmth of spirit!
When I’m not in hiding, I’m well, not in hiding! Lol. I always say something if Im moved to do so, otherwise, not so much.
If it’s appropriate, we always share our smile though, right Renee?
Wow I’m so glad your cousin got to tour Petra! And that you get to keep up with distant family and see photos too. Those are big reasons why I love Facebook! ☺️