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Friday, January 25, 2008You’re wasting my daytime minutes is a universal phrase.
I was in the middle of a great dream. One of those surreal brightly colored dreams something straight out of a Peter Max painting. The kind where corny pop music from the 60’s plays in the background but you don’t seem to mind. In fact the tune is happy, bouncy, and reflective of the dream. You actually find yourself singing along to the song as you skip on fluffy clouds while butterflies flutter all around you.
All was well in my sunshine, lollipops,and rainbow dream when out of no where I heard a phone ringing. I whipped my head around attempting to find the phone in my dream only to realize that the phone wasn’t in my dream. It was out there in the real world. I slowly emerged out of my dream state and started feeling around my night stand for my phone just as it stopped ringing. I couldn't see a damn thing in my pitch black room and the fact that my eyes were shut wasn't helping. I forced an eye open and stared at my phone screen.
Holy Monkey! It is 5: 26 am ! WTF?! It's the 3rd call from this number I've missed. They’ve been calling me since 5:00 am. Somebody better be dead or dying…oh shit…I’m sorry…Dear God I take that back don’t let anyone be dead or dying. Please let them be in perfect health so I can beat them with my phone until they’re unconscious or my arms give out, which ever comes first.
The number is unfamiliar and the area code Canadian. Who the hell do I know in Canada? Eh? Okay I know one person in Canada (eh?) but she wouldn’t call me at this ungodly hour. I put my phone back on the charger and quickly fall asleep. Once again I am dancing and skipping among the clouds until the phone rings again at 5:57 am. I groan. Man I am exhausted! I’m never going to get that song out of my head now! I reach out for the phone, my arms feel like they’re made of lead. I clock myself with the phone...
Ouch ! Carajo! That’s going to leave a mark. "Hello?" Silence. My phone rings again. I click the yes button, “Hello?” An Arab accented voice that sounds a lot like my uncle Hassan lets out a stream of Arabic. I quickly realize it’s not my uncle. I don’t know who the hell it is. “You’ve got the wrong number.” I say to him. He continues to speak. “Wrong.Number.” I repeat. I hang up and turn off the phone for good measure. I can't sleep. I am screwed. I'm up, might as well do some reading. If it’s someone that I know and it’s an emergency they’ll call my house phone and hopefully speak English.
Several sleep deprived hours and a paperback book later I emerged from the shower and turned my phone back on. I had seven missed calls all from the same Canadian number. Shit this guy's persistent. The phone rang again just as I was putting it down. "Hello... " It’s the same man. He’s talking so fast I can’t understand him. The connection is not that great. I managed to pick up a word here and there yeah he's speaking Arabic. Once again I tell him he’s got the wrong number and hang up. Five minutes later he calls again. I search my brain for my pitiful Arabic. I know I have my Egyptian vocabulary list stuck somewhere in my brain thanks to Nora and Hassan and their insistence that I learn the language. Aha! I found my vocabulary list tucked away in a nook of Broca’s Area the area of the brain that controls language right behind a recipe for buttermilk biscuits. WTF is that doing there?
I yell into my phone, “Ana mish fehma,ana mish fehma!” ( I don’t understand) I repeat the phrase several times over and over into the phone as if it were a mantra. The man continues talking. I let out a loud sigh “ Oh for the love of Jesus in his BVD’s! Ana mish fehma! Khallas! (stop) ana mish fehma carajo!" Yeah I threw in a little Spanish in there, I figure it can't hurt. "Kifaaya!" (enough!) the man still keeps talking … Ana mish fahma! Mumkin titkalliee bi raha? ( could you speak more slowly?) Haddi is sur’a min fadkak! (please slow down). " Oh for the love of Zeus ana mishfehma! ” The man continued to plow on. His tone was hurried desperate to be understood probably a little pissed too. Okay he obviously doesn't understand English and he's not buying the fact that I can't understand him given the fact that I keep spitting out my pitiful Arabic. I let out a sigh and tell him in English “Look man I don’t have time for this. Khallas! You’re wasting my day time minutes! Ma’ is salaama! (good bye)."
He hasn’t called me back. I’m starting to think that “you’re wasting my daytime minutes” is a universal phrase. In the meantime I can’t get the song that was playing in my dream out of my head.
Update: As soon as 9:00 pm hit when my free minutes kicked in he started calling again. Oh yeah now I know for sure free minutes is a universal phrase.
Sunshine,Lollipops and Rainbows
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