May 22, 2013

The Larsa Staff

It's 5AM and I'm alone at the hotel restaurant, the Larsa hotel in amman, munching on those french bread pieces with some white cheese cubes and lipton tea on the side, while all through it, and among all the responsibilities lying on my shoulders in this very early day, all I could think of was how lousy the service at the restaurant was.

Larsa Hotel Restaurant Lobby at 5AM, Amman
I thought of the pasta I had yesterday and of how awful the finishing was. It wouldn't take more than a clean napkin to clean the edges properly and make it more presentable. Voila, hopped on from a 3 star to a 5 star dish with only a napkin, and a bit of wits.

I looked around and saw an old toaster, the type of toasters that have a metal conveyor belt that runs over a couple heaters and then drops the toast off. The toaster was literally squeeking, dying, and it obviously needed either a fix-up or a replacement with one of those shiny expensive ones. But hey, I'm fine with this one if it weren't for the sound. Wouldn't a few drops of oil make me change my mind? Yes.

Across it was the juice dispenser, along with the tea maker. As I was preparing my tea cup over there, I asked the gentlman in the suit where could I possibly throw the empty sugar paper tubes, he replied with a nonchalant "just leave it here mr., someone will come and take it away". Hah! What's missing here? It's a simple thing to do, the simplest ever! Get a damn bin. How much would it cost the hotel to get a tiny bin?

I also just remembered the shock I had, at around 10pm, when I asked the receptionist to send someone to pickup the dishes since I had finished my meal. To my surprise he asked me to "kindly" drop the dishes in front of the door, somebody (according to him always) will come and take them afterwards. And I was like O.o. Seriously?

Obviously it's not about the money nor the cost. And it's not about the people either, it's something that has to do with the way we think today. With our aspirations out of every "job" that we do. I quoted job because this is the exact issue I want to point out, it's simply a job, you do you a,b,c and you get your salary.

I was, all while munching on my white cheese, comparing the absentminded reaction of the staff here with the excitement I saw last night at the center, where my Jordanian friend had invited me to visit him at. It was something else. I could easily give this tiny example where I dropped my glass and broke apart in tiny pieces. The whole auditorium ran for help. Mohammad and Ali grabbed a paper and a broom each while I tried to hold the big pieces of glasses, emm nagham was turning on the light, Dana was shouting out her tips of advice. It simply wasn't a job, it was a fullheartedly group effort to fix what's broken and move on. They loved it, unlike the hotel staff.

I always take a room in the highest floor :3
Point is, I can only imagine every single one of the hotel staff, doing what they like, what they feel comfortable at, what makes them going on and on endlessly and passionately. The Egyptian waiter could have had the time of his life fixing watches, preparing dresses or painting on paper canvases. The other half Jordanian-half Lebanese waiter could be the happiest person on earth with simply flying an airplane or becoming a priest. How refreshing would that be?

Now, try to imagine everybody around you as that hotel staff. Bye.

May 11, 2013

Dreams come true

The aftermath, shot this morning.

Last night was the night you'd smile for, such a peaceful, echoless evening. It was the type of night I'd obviously have to spend outside. What's so good about sleeping on the rooftop you ask? If it weren't sleeping to the clear black starry sky, then the chilly summer breeze should be tempting enough to drag you out of the warmth of your bedroom.

Upon setting up the foldable bed we had, mattress and pillow, it was time for me to rest and enjoy the view. I love how, whenever I sleep outside, I get both sensations of becoming so warm on the body level, while head and hands are enjoying the summer breeze. It gives me a chance to play a little game before sleeping, where the goal is trying to equalize body temperature enough to the point where I could fall asleep :-)

My companion whenever I sleep outside.

Last thing I remember seeing was the starless sky above me, I remember closing my eyes and for the first time I shouted out my late night wishes. "I want this to happen, I want that too.." And fell asleep.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I know I am a big fan of rain. Jumping in the rain, smiling under the rain, drinking rain water, and lately as once happened to me, I drove my bicycle under a heavy storm. It was the last time I remember I was that happy.

Dreams were coming and going, kept my mind lingering between the doubts and the fantasies, all until, in my dream, I saw myself sleeping under the rain. Seconds afterwards (or might be the same instant) those tiny droplets of water were gently pouring on my face gently rubbing the gift of heavenly fresh water on the skin of my cheeks. Woke up in the craze of the instant; although I was clueless of what woke me up, my mind was alert and signaled my body to start packing and spend the rest of the night inside. It wasn't till 2 minutes afterwards that I realized what had happened: I stood behind my giant living room's glass wall and watched as the bed was getting soaked in rainwater, while scattered tiny pools were starting to form on my rooftop.

As simple as it may seem, but sleeping under the rain was one of my forgotten dreams, and it happened to me last night, a night I would never forget.

Beautiful mornings from my rooftop