On a High Note

A note that is actually in relation to the title of my blog.

Something that happens to us tall people on a constant basis; is that our heads get tangled up in spiderweb when we walk between two poles, trees, doors or basically anything of height. What happens is that average sized people usually occupy a certain, lets call it 'airspace', and if a spider were to make a web, it would be destroyed quite fast, so it's not a common phenomena for average people. Whereas when it comes to us tall people, that 'airspace', is usually untouched for a while, giving spiders ample time to build at least a string or two of their webs, so it's very common for us to actually be walking innocently and just slam straight into one.

Just felt like sharing something tall.

Pulling my Leg

One thing I really hate is getting ripped off. Be it a dollar or a $100, getting ripped off is getting ripped off, no matter by how much. Prices in Amman just keeping getting higher and higher every year and to top that off, people just want to abuse others, this whole idea of taking advantage of people just really gets to me. I get that some people want to make profit, and that’s fine, but to actually sky rocket prices or even just plain old exploiting people is something I don’t understand. I even hate more the places that take advantage of the little things that seem insignificant, but take their toll after some time, more than the obvious big rip offs, because everyone is fine with these. So I decided to sort of boycott those places that try and take advantage of people, or well at least not allow them to.

To me one of the biggest rip offs you find are valet parking. They just put poles on the public street in front of the restaurant and make you pay to park there. So not only are you visiting the restaurant and spending money, but you’re also having to pay to visit the restaurant. I can understand valet if all the spots in front of the restaurant are taken and the person would take your car find somewhere to park it and then get it back to you, but to just take your keys and park it at the exact spot you’re standing is just too much for me to handle. Some places that I find annoying with valet parking are: Java U - Abdoun (they have a huge parking lot and they make you pay to park there), almost all places on Mecca street (they usually have an underground parking space but take your car at the front door and they go park it themselves), La Calle – Jabal Amman (they just put the poles all over the main street and not allow you to park there) and most hotels in Amman. These are just a few, I’m pretty sure the list is never ending but these are the ones I could think of.

Another thing that I dislike is elevated prices of things when you have no other option. I guess they are that high because after all, you don’t have any other option. For example, when you go to a restaurant and you order a Pespi, they charge you 2 or 3 JDs for it. Now I know it’s a restaurant and they want to make profit, but that’s more than a 600% profit for every can. So basically you are taking advantage of me because I have no other option. Same goes for movie theater drinks and pop corn. And the worst part of it is that people are fine with it and go like “oh well what can we do” when they really can do something.

Places that offer electronics and other items for 5 times the price just because it’s not available in Amman. Just because that certain item has no retailer in Amman or still is not available here, they charge you 4 or 5 times the price. I realize taxes exist and places want to make a little extra cash but sometimes it’s just silly. A $170 Xbox Arcade would be sold in Amman for a little less than $400. Books that can be found for $10 are sold for $30, such things I just can’t get over.

Finally, almost all Cafés in Jordan during Ramadan. What these cafés do is just splat a couple of what they call “Ramadan items” on the menu; basically Argeeleh, some Ramadany drinks (such as Kharoob and Tamer Hindi), Toromos and whatever else they have on there. Then they call it a “Sahra Ramadanieh” (Ramadan Evening) and make you pay ridiculous amounts of money as cover charge to just enter and pay even more if you want to order. Such places have butchered the idea of Ramadan and have taken the fun out of most evenings. Places I recommend going to during Ramadan that don’t have cover charge and absurd prices are: Coffee shops in downtown Il-Balad (Such as Liwana and Jafra), Books@Café, Wild Jordan and Turtle Green – Jabal Amman, whereas Old View – Jabal Amman has a minimum of 3 JDs, which is decent or even better, staying home, inviting your friends over and make some Argeeleh and a nice cup of tea.

These are all the things that I can think of for now, let me know if you have anything else to add to the list.

Eden's Apple

I recently realized that I actually hate Apple. I'm one of those people who of late just can't stand Apple or any of its products. To be honest, I myself actually own an iPod, I bought it 5 years ago and it's actually still running smoothly and works like a charm. However, that was back when I liked Apple, the "pre-iPhone Era". The iPhone has changed my whole perspective of Apple and its products.

When I took a look at Apple's iPhone, I realized then that in my opinion, Apple are turning into Microsoft. Not the current Microsoft, but the Microsoft everyone loved to hate 10-15 years ago, the one that dominated and made it clear that it was either their way or no way at all. That was back when Mac were having a crisis and everyone owned a Windows PCs and moved own despite the hatred.

Come 10 years and what are Apple doing, the same exact thing Microsoft did back in the 90's; dominate the market and put restraints on their products. At a time when consumer freedom is at its biggest, the iPhone restricts the user to about everything. Yes, the casual user might not think so, but by the end of the day, they have created a product where you are not free to customize anything with, and yet still people purchase it. You cannot edit a single thing in the UI of the iPhone, hell you can’t even change the theme. And what does everyone do, they just blindly follow because everyone else is.

The worst part is that when users try and actually innovate and edit their phone (via jail-breaking), Apple dubs it illegal and it instantly voids your warranty. Not until a  few weeks ago did the U.S Copyright Office rule that jailbreaking an iPhone no longer violates federal copyright law, however jail-breaking still voids your warranty. See now that's exactly that kind of limitation that made me hate Apple. I look at Google’s Android and they allow you to edit almost everything in the phone. You don’t like the User-Interface, download another, don’t appreciate the dialer they put in, go ahead and change it. They give you enough freedom to actually make you the owner of your phone and not just blindly follow and have the same phone everyone else has. They allow you to customize it to your needs, since you know after all, it is your phone!

Props to Apple's marketing team, as they are the best at what they do, reaching out to millions through creative and new initiatives. They have actually taken marketing to a whole new level. Who else can hide a product all year long from the public, announce it a month before its release and upon release, it instantly becomes one of the best selling products of that year. I guess their marketing team also gets credit for the success of all apple products after all.

To me, the iPhone, iPod and the iPad are just products that are one way or another limiting my options to tailor my purchases to my needs. Even though each and everyone was a brilliant ground breaking invention that changed the way technology was headed, but by the end of the day, I feel that a brand that I once loved has turned into one that I might despise in the near future. I'm not saying that the Android is better than the iPhone, I'm just saying that I'd rather see the Apple that was Linux based and allowed you to do whatever you want with the products you bought rather than the monster we have now.

Google's brain tickle

I was once asked by Google: "Something you still can't find on Google?" my answer was Waldo... just felt like knowing what you're answer would have been?

Habit of matching look-alikes

Usually when people meet or see someone who resembles a person they know, they instantly create a link and label them, privately or in public, as someone who looks like such and such. This, personally I think, is the reason people tend to feel comfortable towards certain people and not others, because they somehow remind them of someone who they know and like or vice versa.

Well for me, it's a whole different story. I usually compare people to animals and not in a degrading way. It's just that when I see a person I'd be like "oh he looks like a Polar Bear, or she looks like a fish". You see I don't try to make fun of them, I just feel that people might and do somehow resemble certain types of animals, be it the eyes, the nose, the hair or even the mustache.

I don't know how people would feel if I walked up to them and told them they look like a kangaroo, but it's actually a really cool way of seeing how different people are. Try it and let me know what you think.

My kind of obsession

Alright, it's obvious from my previous post that I'm more or less a game-oholic of some sort, but for the past 2 days, I've been doing nothing but watching the extended edition of Lord of the Rings, all 3 of them. Now the normal versions I have literally seen them over 30 times, at some point I had them memorized line by line.

So my brother and I spent yesterday and today doing nothing but watch Lord of the Rings and because we had a friend with us who has never seen them, we had to pause every 20 minutes and explain what was going on. That kind of made each movie of the 3 movies take a little over 4 hours of watching. You might call it a bit extreme but it was definitely worth it.

I expected to just watch normal scenes that if it were up to me I would also delete them. But no, I viewed each scene thinking why the hell did they exclude that! To my surprise watching the extended and deleted scenes actually added new facts about the movie that I never knew before. For example, who knew Aragorn was 84 years old!

So an advise from me to every Lord of the Rings enthusiast is that if you can get your hands on the extended edition, it's a must see.