Looking for a Ramadan Special at the Local Saloon

Ramadan Kareem! This is one of the traditional greetings exchanged during the Muslim holy month of fasting.

The response is: Allahu Akram! (Arabic speakers or people in the know, please correct me if I am wrong about that). Somebody explained to me that the greeting means “Ramadan is generous” or maybe “Have a generous Ramadan.” The response means “Allah is the most Generous!”

Indeed, Ramadan is known as a time of generosity and blessing, both between people and from God. It is during this time that Muslims should make their Zakat gifts (gifts to the poor or charities, one of the so-called 5 pillars of Islam). Zakat offerings made during Ramadan are apparently blessed by God even more than usual. We were also told that the poor may come to your door, especially at the end of the month. People will give them small bags of food and possibly even small amounts of money.

Of course, in the States we are conditioned to never give money to the poor as they may go and spend it on booze. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen here in Jordan, but it’s far les likely. First of all, drinking alcohol is considered haraam (forbidden) in the Qur’an. Secondly, all liquor stores (and believe it or not, there are a fair amount here in Amman) are required to shut down during Ramadan. Muslims are forbidden (as usual) to drink alcohol during this month, but also cannot eat, drink, smoke, or have sexual intercourse during daylight hours. We are on day 5 of Ramadan 2008 and it has been quite interesting to observe the fast from an outsiders perspective. I’ll continue to post more about Ramadan throughout the month.

But now, I have to get to the main point of this post. Yes, it is only 5 days into Ramadan, but I have a very significant need to got to a Saloon. The situation is just getting to me a little bit and it’s time to find one. It’s so bad, in fact that my wife is insisting that I go. Yes, even though it’s Ramadan. (Guys – you know it must be either really bad or your lucky day (depending on your perspective) if your wife is insisting that you make a stop at the Saloon! (And yes that is what they call them here.) So I set out to find one, and to my surprise found a bunch of men’s Saloon options right near our apartment. (They have separate Saloons for women).

A Saloon for Men

A Saloon for Women

Oh, and did I mention the reason my wife is so anxious for me to go to the Saloon?

In desperate need of a Saloon

In desperate need of a Saloon

Basically, I am in desperate need of a haircut and shave! Yeah, “saloon” is their word for “salon,” which in my book is really quite hilarious! The problem is that there is no “O” sound in Arabic, so they substitute one of their “U” sounds which ends up sounding like “saloon” in American English.

They come in men’s and women’s varieties and although the barbers at the men’s saloon will trim Sadie’s bangs we were told that Victoria should never step foot in one of these male-only establishments. You can often see a group of guys sitting around in their favorite barber shop late at night, watching a game on television or just shooting the breeze. I was going to get my haircut before Ramadan, but thought I would find it a far more interesting experience (and conversation) during the month of fasting. So sometime in the next few days I’m going to head out to the Saloon for a Ramadan Special. Which means something entirely different here than it might in the States.

Based on sign alone which Saloon would you choose?

Option 1 - The blue script says Men's Saloon. The red script is a little too fancy for me - maybe Hadr Eemquubeh. Maybe. Anyways I think I need to let my hair grow a little longer on top for this guy.

Option 2 - Naqoola Saloon (That's what the Arabic says - notice the difference from the English) Now there's a clean shaven man!

Option 3 - Samih's (Sammy's) Saloon for Men. Clean shaven with a little gel - nice!

Option 4 - Taylor's Saloon for Men - What?! No preview of coming attractions (or attractiveness) on the sign?!

Option 5 - The Shouq Walram3eh (maybe) - from the pictures on the sign perhaps a unisex salon - strange for these parts. I like the moustache and the VW bug.

Option 6 - Fawzi's Saloon - I'm liking the moustche theme - and the sideburns!

Let me know where you think I should go and I’ll give an update on the experience afterwards!  BTW all of the shops were closed with the heavy metal grates beacause: a) it was early Friday morning when I took the pics, (everything opens later on weekends) and b) all the shops around here have those metal garage door-like closures – as much to keep dust and dirt out as for a security measure.

Advertisements

16 Responses

  1. […] Posted on September 4, 2009 by BC A year ago tomorrow (is that a phrase?), I wrote about my desperate need to find a local saloon.  Not for a beer, which would be haraam (forbidden) normally, but especially during Ramadan, but […]

  2. […] Trip to the Saloon Posted on September 12, 2008 by BC A little while ago I posted about my desperate need for a Saloon this Ramadan.  Not for a pint, as you might suspect, but for a haircut.  Huh? A haircut at a […]

  3. Nice Larry! How about Burt Reynolds for the guy on Fawzi’s Saloon in picture 6?

  4. Keni, Rick Astley… let me see if I can help:

    He’s never going to:

    -Give you up
    -Let you down
    -Turn around
    -Desert you
    -Make you cry
    -Say goodbye
    -Tell a lie
    -Hurt You

  5. Just so ya know, the pic of your desperate beard nearly jumping off the screen could possibly be trimmed from here.

  6. Just can’t place that Rick Astley guy. What did he do? Square Pegs?
    K D

  7. Larry, I had the same impression about Alec Baldwin for #3
    (See http://alec.helenheart.com/images/alec_book-1.jpg and http://www.celebritywar.com/pictures/alec-baldwin.jpg)

    Also, the guy in #1 looks strangely like Rick Astley.
    (See http://bp1.blogger.com/_X_d6JjJ00I4/SC792YB0iKI/AAAAAAAANbs/yrjjsFbDfio/s400/rick+astley.jpg and http://www.thebigbags.com/wp-content/uploaads/2008/04/rick-astley.jpg)

    btw – I don’t vouch for any of the hosting websites for these pix, they just showed up in google image search.

  8. Oh – LOL about the trimmers – I can actually get some here which I might do for the beard at least.

  9. Yeah – I think you’re right – he might be one of the Baldwin brothers =)

  10. Oh and #3? Looks like a Baldwin brother. Perhaps a young Alec? I dunno.. 🙂

  11. I kind of like the idea of NOT having a picture on your sign. Makes it either more in need of your patronage (couldn’t afford the sign with pictures) or that their haircuts speak for themselves, regardless of whatever the vogue men from 1987 say on the signs of other saloons. 🙂

    So I’d go with #4, personally.

  12. Maybe after you choose a saloon and discover the quality offered you may want to consider this question..”Do you want us to include a Wahl trimmer in the suitcase from the states?”
    kristen

  13. I was intrigued by the saloon signs! Which one did you choose?

  14. David – My wife has pretty much ruled that my moustache days were over in college. But – my Arabic is not that good – so what can I do if the barber takes off the beard, but leaves the stache?

    Scott – I thought the lack of a garage door was intriguing as well, and I had the same feeling about #3 – like some 80s movie star, but I can’t exactly place him. Thanks for the early morning saloon analysis!

    Any other input out there?

  15. I like option #4 the best. Interesting that it was either open, or doesn’t have the security “garage door”. Not sure whether that’s good or bad. The guy on the right side of #5 reminds me of Michael Jackson–not a good sign. #3 looks like some movie star, I can’t quite place. Guy #1 has a similar feel. #2 & #6 feel like their signs were made a few decades ago–so perhaps it’s good that they’ve been around a while. That’s more Jordanian saloon analysis than I was planning to do when I got up this morning!

  16. I think what really matters here is the possibility of you sporting a mustache.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: