I hate being on the move. I also hate hotels. In the past two years I've lived in hotels more than any other place, weeks at a time. I'm going to Philadelphia in a week. I have to settle in a hotel for a while everytime we hit a new market. Priceline assigned me the Sheraton near the airport. I stayed in that hotel for over a month before, and half of its staff know me. Despite the service and the comfort, hotels make me feel detached. They make me lose the sense of being home. When I'm home, I have my own rituals. Cooking, cleaning, socializing, and of course, watching TV. I love American Football . To all of you soccer fans, it might seem like a bunch of huge guys hitting and attacking each other, but to someone who knows its rules and schemes, it's a very smart game. There are thousands of plays on defense as well as offense. I also watch news, sitcoms, and movies. Three items are always on when I'm home; my TV, my laptop, and my fridge.
Home, that 4 letter word I mention in almost every post. When I'm here, it refers to my own place, my sanctuary. The place that has all my junk, clothes, electronic toys, and everything I've collected over the years. The place that I'm always comfortable walking around wearing only my shorts. The place where I walk out to the front yard and see my next door neighbor working on her garden dressed in those tight pink shorts.
-Good morning neighbor, it looks like it's gonna be a beautiful day
-We're having a BBQ (a cook out or "mashawi") this Saturday if you wanna come over
-I wish, but I'll be in Philly for a while
-Again? You just got back from there
I know. That's my life.
Philadelphia, Phila, Philly, or the city of brotherly love as we call it here, is a very diverse town. It's a melting pot of whites, blacks, asians, arabs, and indians among other nationalities. It's also a strange mixture of nice neighborhoods along with very dirty ones. Parking and potholes حفر are the two most nagging problems there. I piled up over $800 in parking tickets while I was there. It's also home of the famous Philly cheese steak sandwich. The movie Rocky was filmed there featuring the famous steps he trained on which belong to the Philadelphia Museum of Arts. The northeast section of the city is packed with Arab families. You can see store and restaurant signs posted in Arabic. Restaurants like Saad and Al-sham are part of that city's many attractions. Falafel and Shawerma vending trucks are also very common there. There's also a large community of black African Muslims there called Alahbash الأحباش. I was told they were a seperate muslim sect like Sunnis and Shia.
I've been forunate enough to see and live in many cities and states in this vast country إذا أحب الله عبده أراه أرضه. It's never much fun when you're away from the place you call home for an extended period, but it's always good to see and experience new places and cultures. I haven't seen Ramadan in Syria for a long time, and it'll probably be even longer. My ultimate goal is spending one of the coming Ramadans at home soon.
Meanwhile, I'll be spending this one in Philly. I wish you all the happiest Ramadan ever, and the most prosperous Eid. كل عام وأنتم بخير