As it was Nicholas’ birthday party yesterday evening, I stopped by my neighborhood salon to get a cheap 3JD trim beforehand. My hair still felt gritty and disgusting after that 80K bike ride from Friday, and I figured that I might as well get it cut so that it wouldn’t get quite so nasty the next time we had a long bike ride.

Two young boys, about 11 and 13, were sitting in the air conditioned salon when I entered. The younger one immediately jumped up and offered to get me tea or coffee, then hollered into his mobile that a customer had just arrived. The two of them stared at me eagerly, and I asked them with some amusement what was so interesting. I couldn’t quite understand the entirety of what they were saying, but it seemed almost like they were exclaiming that they had seen me on television. Curious, I asked them for more information, and they mentioned a Christmas concert.

I realized they were talking about the televised Christmas concert from last December. I had no idea that anyone would be able to recognize me from it; it’s been almost 9 months now and I still haven’t seen the video from it (Still waiting on that, Nedy!). I asked them if they liked it, and they asked me about “the big man with the glasses, beard, and long red hat” and if he was Santa Claus. I had to laugh; I wish that Silas were still in the country so I could introduce him to his adoring young fans.

Oh yes; Nicholas’ party was great too. A gentleman such as myself won’t reveal my English colleague’s age, but needless to say I was pleasantly surprised by the upbeat hiphop + breakdancing + beatboxing to a political pro-Palestine message that ensued. The EGT group was sitting together in one corner of the beautiful rooftop of the Rainbow House, and Wajih raised an eyebrow at some of the lyrics and commented that they were saying some things about the government that perhaps they might not want to be blasting off of a rooftop with loudspeakers (he and Denise left shortly afterwards, hmm).

Note: before anyone asks; I can barely understand regular Arabic conversation, and this was done at about three times that speed, so I only caught a few words here and there. It was fun to listen to, though!

It was a lot of fun, and I don’t know if Nicholas planned all that himself or whether it was with the help of his younger roommates, but I’m certain he enjoyed it. He’s been doing activist work on behalf of Palestine for longer than I’ve been alive, and he recently returned from a trip there. Many happy returns, old friend!