It all started back home in Aleppo, I was probably on a vacation. And was planning to go to some place. Mapping the route in my head. The scene was around the Al Maktoom's bridge. And then I concluded a business deal with some engineer, the details are sketchy here. He mentions a name or two of his clients. I was supposed to secure authority approvals for them or something. I didn't like him, he was stuffy and rude. And he had deadlines. The scene changes to my neighborhood here in Al Bada'. He then calls me and tells me there's this client in Amman, Jordan, and I have to fly there ASAP. I think it was a Filipino guy on a bicycle who was couriering the messages back and forth between us, even though they were voice messages. I land in Amman and go to the location of the big project under the name of a big engineer. I wait and loiter around the place doing nothing. It's a building site. But looks like an old Hara (an old street in a popular, crowded neighborhood in an Arab city). Few noisy teenagers are smoking pot at the corner. And then I think it was a janitor, or something like that, who calls me. Or maybe I ask him. He's by far the nicest person I will have met that day. He points in a direction and I walk towards the site office. Inside, many people are gathered around T (or L) shaped meeting table. I squeeze next to two girls with head scarves and they seem a bit uncomfortable, I ask if they'd rather I change my seat, and they say yes. I then shift place to the other side of the table facing two senior female engineers, again in head cover. I am totally in that room. The big engineer comes in and he looks like Abd Albari Atwan. We go outside to a green lawn which turns out to be finely-textured industrial carpet. Although the grounds are sloped my shoes get a good traction and I don't fall down. The two female engineers look out at the great extension of the hill side and point toward a place down there in the artificial lawn, very far away, miles away, where gigantic lights form written words much like an Announcement Board at the airport. And these words; what are they? Currency exchange rate. Laid out for all Amman to see. At that moment I think of a journalist friend of mine, and the reporting he did from Amman few month ago. He must have had trouble getting people to talk and standing his ground. A stranger in a foreign city. Especially in a city like this. It must have been difficult. I then get inside somehow and we're in the living room of an old friend's house; one Jordanian guy whom I must have met in Aleppo University, but I can't tell who because I met quite a few. His younger brother asks me how is he doing. They haven't seen him in ten years. I enthusiastically state that he's fine. His mother, who is sitting on the opposite couch and whispering while rolling the beads of her rosary, shushes her younger son. She doesn't want to hear about the older one? Probably. Who knows. I hate this city. I don't care less how the old bastard is doing. I'm being nice to people but no one returns the courtesy.
And then after I wake up, it takes ten minutes to realize that I haven't ever been to Amman in real life.