As I said in my previous post, my second day in Atlanta saw me navigating the train system or the “MARTA” as they call it around here.
Coming from Amman, my family had prepared a list of items they wanted me to bring home with me. So, I decided to go to the mall. I askrd at the hotel about which would be the best mall to go to, So, I was then directed to the Linux Mall. To be more exact, the concierge at my hotel was nice enough to direct me to the train station. He advised me on what ticket to buy , and where to stop.
Following his directions was easy enough. When I got off the train, I then asked for directions to the mall. I lost my way a bit, walked more than I should, but then I got there. As far as first impressions go, the mall was huge. Unlike malls in Amman, it was only three floors high, but each floor was so spacious. One thing I loved about it was that it was filled with sofas for people to sit on for free. This is one thing I wish I could see in Amman, because I never liked the fact that resting in our malls always came with the need to order something. The mall was full of fashion stores, make up stores and stores of home décor, but no book store. So, my search for a book store continues.
There was a huge Apple store that I had to get into, and of course I walked into Bloomingdales, just to sit in one of those high chairs and get a makeover like they do in the movies. I also went to Pottery Barn just to see the store where Pheobe and Rachel argued over a coffee table in Friends and I went to Macy’s just because that was another store I always heard mentioned in the movies.
Whole I was walking in the mall two Iraqi men stopped me on different floors. Out of nowhere, they told me I was gorgeous and then they tried to sell me beauty products that would bring out my “Magical eyes” as they called them . Naturally, I was not flattered. Their sweet talk didn’t actually entice me to add to my beauty product collection. For those of you who don’t know me, my collection of make up is minimalistic if not non-existent. So, telling me I’m beautiful won’t make me adopt fashionista tendencies.
However, I did buy dry shampoo because I couldn’t find it in Jordan and it is a girl’s best friend. A third guy stopped me to ask me where my purple sunglasses were from and when I told him they are from Jordan, he proceeded to tell me ooh khabibi welcome to America. Then he asked me how come I am not covered . Of course, had to explain to him that in Jordan we are not all covered and religious expression is open to free choice.
In a cafe, where I was eating Banana Bread, a woman asked me about a store. I told her I was not from the area. So, she proceeded to ask me where I was from. I told her that I was from Jordan. She didn’t know where that was. I then explained to her that it was in the Middle East. So, she then went on to ask if I’m ok from the wars happening around me. I then had to explain that the war didn’t happen around me and that started a very pleasant conversation between us.
I went back to my hotel from this experience thinking that we are all victims of stereotypes. I didn’t judge these people because I realized that I’m just the same. After all, I feared going on the train because I believed from the media that murders happen on subway. I’m just like the people here who believe that we walk around covered, and that Jordan is a war zone. Of course, I don’t generalize many people are also aware of the reality on both sides. While the media is supposed to break down borders it sometimes ends up building walls and shielding facts.
In my next post, I will tell you about the interesting food I tried here.