Busy evening tonight – only partially successful. It was fun anyway.
After the kids’ taekwondo class this afternoon, we picked up Brad and stopped by the house to change, then we headed out to the Mall … along with pretty much EVERYONE else in Amman. Ok. I know that Ramadhan is coming up very soon and folks need to shop to prepare for Iftars and visiting relations, etc. it’s an important time of the year … but I was not mentally prepared for the holiday shopping madness. That’s ok. We got to the mall and had to park way, way down in the most subterranean of all levels of the parking garage, then ride 17 or 18 fully packed escalators back up to the ground level where the phone shop was located (maybe it was just 3 escalators, but they were packed). The main purpose of going out, was to go to the phone shop. Unfortunately, about 20 other people also wanted to go to the same tiny shop at the same time and I really didn’t want to wait. So, we wandered out, hoping it would improve.
We went down to the other end of the mall and picked up a movie flyer, which was objective number two. No time to see a film tonight, but we wanted to see what was playing this week. No Harry Potter, but Green Lantern and a few others are in town.
Next we went to TGIFridays to grab some dinner, which was objective number three. Funny thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at a TGIFridays in the US, but we really like the one here. The food is reliably good, and the staff is ALWAYS very friendly and helpful. Always. We usually get at least one manager walk-by asking how our dinner is going as well. This evening, our waiter was a nice young man named Yusef, and not only did he take great care of us during dinner, he kept us all entertained with some very impressive magic tricks. Yes, dinner and a show… who knew??! He was very sweet with the kids too and taught them a few games and tricks. We had a great time!
On the way out of the mall, the kids and Brad stopped at a Virgin music store, which, oddly enough, is one of the best places to buy books in the area. I went back to the phone shop where I think the same 20 folk were still milling about, and had brought in about 10 more friends. Objective number one was a definite failure tonight. As a matter of fact, more and more people were pouring into the mall, minute by minute, and I was absolutely not interested in staying around to watch the place fill up to max capacity and bust at the seams! I made my way back to the music store, met up with the family, and we snuck down the rear escalators, down down down to retrieve our truck from the depths of the garage. It was even tough getting out. There were too many cars coming in for the outgoing cars to cross through and get away (and nobody directing traffic down in that part of the garage, even though they were out in force elsewhere… which was very unusual – the mall staff is usually pretty good about such things). The only thing more surprising than the crazy numbers of people AT the mall, was the the fact that there were still billions of people out on the roads… where did they all come from? I thought that all the cars in the city had to be packed 3 deep in the parking garage that we’d just escaped from?!?! Maybe there are a lot of tourists this week? (No, I do not do well with Christmas crowds either… some people enjoy a busy mall as an 'outing'.. I am not one of them, even on a quiet day, even in a nice mall like this one... )
Tomorrow, I’m leaving the kids with the nanny and will hit the phone shop in the morning. No shopping on weekend evenings for the next few weeks for me… no, no, no, no, no!