Friday, September 29, 2006

Pizza Inflation

Yesterday, I went to Pizza Hut for the Iftar Buffet. It was pretty full. The food was half and half, not so bad, and not so great. I remember a few Ramadans ago when the food was actually crappy and it was served somewhat cold. The thin crust pizza this time was actually good. They got us flat Pepsi the first time and replaced it when we told them it was flat.

Anyway, we paid 7Jds including tax. And this was only for the soup, pizza, pasta, and drink. This is a sharp 17% increase from last year(or the year before.) I am not sure if this it is due to inflation which would be scary or if they did it to pay for the new decorations. If it was because of the former, then I think this year's inflation numbers will not be less than 7%. And since this would look pretty bad, I expect the government to hide the numbers until the end of the next year or the middle of the year after. I also expect this inflation cycle to go on for at least another couple of years and that is being optimistic, which I am not.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good Shoes

This a new pic of me at Prime Mega Store Cafe.

My lips look red not because of lipstick but because of the Mochachinno.

Btw, something good now happened in Jordan. For the first time since my unfortunate return to Jordan 10yrs ago, I can actually find good quality shoes in Jordan for a not so bad a price. At least 3 new shoes places opened up in the new Mekka Mall extension. Brands like IMAC(Italy) and Aldo are now available. And while this will not make my life much better, it will likely make it less worse, if you know what I mean.

Not a Joke

This is not joke, but I found out that Sri Lank has a higher literacy rate than Jordan. The difference is less than two percentage points, but still.

Anyway even with a literacy of 89%+, Jordan has a long way to go, because in my own not so humble opinion, at least 25% of those considered "literate" can not do a damn thing with their literacy.

I am not sure who decided on the currently used literacy measures, but I think they need to be tougher by at least another 20 points. The current system, I believe, allows those who are barely literate to pass as literate. The measure does not allow for degrees of differentiation. For example, "barely literate," "Moderately literate," and "Fully literate." In my own opinion at least 25% of the Jordan population does not qualify as literate.

Just like in some other societies, I suggest including computer literacy and basic numeracy under the umbrella of literacy. This of course would be harsh on the Jordanian society, because under these new terms, the literacy would fall down to something like 15-60%. This is fine with me and is much better than deluding our self and being happy with our fake 90% literacy rate.

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Monday, September 25, 2006


Cousin Samer launched a new website, a sort of guide for free software. Why pay money when you can get something for free?

The most important thing is that there are free Anti-virus and Anti-spyware software that you can actually install and almost forget(which is the way it should be)

Here is the link:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The String Quartet Tribute To PJ Harvey

I have been a string quartet tribute fan since I discovered them 3-4 yrs ago. This is the fifth one that I own. I got it as a gift 2 weeks ago(thanks to my cousin). Alas, it was not as good as expected. Unlike for example "Strung Out On Ok Computer," This one fails miserably at capturing the emotional nuances of PJ Harvey's music. With the exception of a couple of songs , this tribute is mediocre at best.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Never Underestimate The Power of Human Stupidity

I stumbled upon this piece of old news (from last week) regarding the KSA religious police ban on pets.,2933,212980,00.html

IMHO, this looks very bad for Islam and Muslems. KSA stupidity is one of the main reasons many Westerners think Muslems are "towel head" retards.

Interesting Quotes

I stumbled on some interesting quotes by Robert A. Heinlein( He is famous for the novel Starship Troopers on which the 1997 movie by the same name was loosely based.)

These are the quotes I like the most:

"A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the Lord in vain - then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. Is that the system? "

"Don't ever become a pessimist... a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events."

"I don't see how an article of clothing can be indecent. A person, yes."

"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."

This one for Bush supporters: "No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority. "

"Of all the strange "crimes" that human beings have legislated of nothing, "blasphemy" is the most amazing - with "obscenity" and "indecent exposure" fighting it out for the second and third place. "

"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh. "

"Sex without love is merely healthy exercise. "

"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful - just stupid)."

"The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive."

"Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything."

"When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives. "

"Yield to temptation. It may not pass your way again."

Friday, September 08, 2006


Sometimes, I wish the Brits occupied Jordan a few extra years to instil in us a love of queuing. Alas, that was not the case.

One of the most amazing(disgusting) things about Jordanians, not only do they do not queue, but also they do not recognize a queue when they see one, and therefore, they just ignore it and go directly to the counter and start asking or buying stuff.

I went into a pharmacy and there was one person standing in line, so I waited. A guy with his child comes in and bypasses both of us and starts talking to the pharmacist. I was annoyed but decided to let it go. Then another woman comes in and ignores both of us and just starts asking the pharmacists for stuff. I figured that if the pharmacists did not recognize a queuing problem when he saw one, there is nothing for me to say or do. So I said thank you and left to buy from somewhere else. The Pharmacist did not even bother to ask why I left or what I wanted.

After leaving I wished there were no criminal penalties for people who murder queue violators. Alas, life is unfair that is not the case.

Pay More Customs Duties!!!!???

I was really annoyed by the new add campaign by the government regarding supporting our country by paying taxes and customs duties. It would seem that the government is not thinking right or thinks that we are morons. No amount of advertising money would convince the average Jo to pay more or be happy when he is paying customs duties or taxes. The main reason is that average Jo feels that he is being ripped off tons of taxes and not getting enough in return in terms of government services.

Despite all the scientific evidence regarding the marked decline in human performance with increased environment temperatures(above 25 degrees), the government still considers air conditioning a luxury and accordingly charges customs duties for air conditioning units. The next thing you know bread will be a luxury and it will be charged customs duties.

Every single person I met from the EU or America who has been here was really shocked by the level of sales tax the Jordanian people pay.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Food at Negressco

A month or so ago, Negressco started serving salads and sandwiches. I did get to try the salads last week and they were both good and reasonably priced (for a bar). The people who were with me tried the sandwiches and were happy.
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