Collective Silence

Yesterday evening, I had an hour to kill between work and a photography class I am taking. So, with a good book in my purse , I headed to a cafe close to my class-center to read.

As soon as I walked in, I instantly felt a sense of calm, as the place was quiet. To my delight everyone in the cafe was busy doing his or her own thing. Some people were reading books, others were typing away at their laptops, and only one table had two people on it talking quietly to each other. I was feeling particularly anti-social that evening, so the quiet ambiance suited me perfectly.

The sky outside was turning gray, forming a beautiful contrast to the warmly lit space inside, as the cafe’s brick brown walls were covered with paintings that made one feel at home.

I ordered a coffee, which proved to be too strong for my taste. However that extra powerful caffeine dose was ideal to keep me awake for class. Soft piano music played in the background, while the clinking of plates and cups made their own accompaniment.

I loved the fact that everyone was minding their own business. This is something you rarely see in Jordan. It was delightful to see how everyone was comfortable with solitude, leaving the worlds of others only to tend to their own thoughts. I remember a time not so far back when sitting alone in a cafe was considered strange in Amman. If you were sitting in a cafe by yourself it was cause for people’s pity. To my pleasant surprise, I realized that our city has changed.

So, with this realization I continued to sip my extra strong coffee, as I happily read my book. But just as I was about to leave, the weather outside decided to act in its own ironic nature. It started raining. So, I took a deep breath, left the warmth, and I faced my battle in the rain, leaving behind me a collective silence, that I really enjoyed.

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