Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crazy Saudi Neighbor Chronicles, Vol. 1

A recent comment from aA jars to mind some events from back in the mid-'90s.  I was living in an apartment in a neighborhood populated mostly by college students.  The whole area was practically "Life After Humans" during the summer, which I thought was great.  One year I had a guy move in downstairs from Saudi Arabia.  Nice guy.  He was in a summerlong crash-course on learning English.  So he would ALWAYS want to talk.  About anything.  Just to practice and build vocab.  So we'd hang out and yak about whatever.

Often we'd be down in his place, as it was cooler down there on the ground floor.  He had exactly NO furniture.  Just a couple pillows and a TV.  I guess that's understandable when one considers that he would only be here a few months.  So, one day he offers me a graham cracker.  I wasn't really hungry, but I hadn't had a graham cracker in, like, forever, so I accepted.  Then he offered me some tea. 

Background info:  I HATE TEA.  I hate the taste.  The smell of tea brewing makes me cringe.  Tea and coconuts are the only menu items in hell.  Both induce in me a nearly irrepressible revulsion.

So in a half-polite/half-casual manner that is my usual style, I told him "nah, no thanks."

Mr. Friendly Arab Who Likes to Chitchat in English freaked out like I'd slandered da profit himself.  "In my country I would KEEEEEEL YOU!  You will not deny my hospitality!!!"  I was still sitting on the floor as he charged back in from the kitchen pointing his finger in my face yelling.  I should have just given him a gut-punch lesson in tolerance, but the whole thing was so abrupt and shocking that I was kind of dumbfounded. 

"Alright, alright, I'll have some *&@#^$ tea!"  (I was less disciplined with regard to colorful language back in those days)

One microsip of tea later, everything was fine.  He was all smiles and ready to talk about anything and everything. 



  1. Background info: I HATE TEA.

    Yeah, you and the libs.

  2. Hey, now! I have ZERO problems with tea being thrown in the harbor. Ooops, I mean hahbah.

  3. It's a bit freakish that he'd be near homicidal one moment, and cheerful the next. That's pretty effed up.

  4. I hate tea too ... I'd a killed him and his first born.

  5. Yeah, he might've just been a screaming nutbag.

  6. Man ... that dude would have had my fist in his face. ... I was a lot more tolerant of other's stupidity than I am today (today, I'd just KEEEELLL him). As for the colorful language, well, that's always been one of my specialties.

  7. Yes, they are all crazy!
    I'm glad you survived! Next time, just drink the tea, you don't want to start another jihad, Inno.

  8. I hadda Saudi neighbor at my apartment place just off campus.

    He took an effort one day to chat me up, and after listening to him for two-three minutes, I said something like, "well, yeah, I've known a few princes, but the thing you gotta remember is that here, we're all equal. Get used to it."

    His jaw dropped, I said, "later" and went into my apartment.

    It took a while, but after a couple of "hey, how are yous" he finally dropped his princely mien and became a pretty good neighbor.


Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.


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