القطار و الشلن

A picture I took of a Jordanian Railways train passing in front of my Grandparents house
(click to enlarge)

The first time I have seen a train was me standing on my Grandparents porch in Eastern Amman.

You would know there was a train coming not by the rail crossing sign (yah right) or by those levers that would stop the traffic and go ding ding ding (ha?) or by the flashing red signals, no; you would know a train is coming by it going TOOT TOOT TOOT.

As soon as the train approaches the traffic stops by a miracle , the kids playing on the tracks would get off the tracks and move out of the way and the women collecting khobezeh would move away from the track because God knows why the khobezeh grows there, the cars would stop maybe not even 1 foot away from the train and honk in a celebratory tune, then all the kids would run after it screaming “قطار….. قطار” because the word train is not even in their vocabulary.

I am amazed that there are not a lot of injures/accidents from the train.

But , as I always have , there is a story my Mom told me about my uncles experience with the train:

All the boys in the neighborhood would wait for sooo long for the train to pass since it only passes maybe once or twice a month so all the little boys would bring metallic objects to experiment by putting them on the train track “سكة” and wait till the train passes and see how it flattens the object.

My Uncle ,I think was 6 or something at the time , most probably younger, had brought 5 piasters” شلن ” and placed it on the train track to flatten. As the train approached apparently my uncle ,who kinda loves money, was regretting his decision because as you know 5 piasters back then would get you lots of stuff and when he ran to get his ” شلن ” back the train hit him on the head.

All the kids came running to my Grandmas house screaming that it had hit my uncle so my Mom ,who was standing on the porch, looked over to see her brother laying on the ground with his head covered with blood. She ran over to check him and freaked out to see that my uncle had lost his consciousness because of the impact to his head.

After a couple of minutes my uncle started waking up. My Mom was mortified and was asking him if he was OK.

And what was the first thing that came out of his mouth?

He said : Where is my ” شلن ” ?

25 Responses

  1. bella 3leki maho 7’aleeli:)
    wallahe ennek da7aketeeni 3la sa3et hal masa, hahahaha
    hi is rich now, right?

  2. LOL, OMG he is loaded, I am going to tell another story about him that is hilarious.

    He is from 3arrabeh ( kada Jinin) by the way.

  3. Wallahe I knew that he is loaded!!Seriously why is it that ka7ateet always make it big?
    No offence of course:)
    Ana mashi 3la mathat elli 6aye7 raye7:D
    But that will change now with kids..

  4. I was gonna ask the same question Mohannad asked – is he khaleeli? LoooL. Cuz my best friend is and he’s quite the same!

    What a great story, I loved it! MORE!

  5. Funny story!! i am glad your uncle made it ok!! that must have been scary for the whole family!! toz fi el shilen!!

  6. Lovely story 7aki, it’s like Scrooge McDuck in his childhood, LOL! .. I bet he still regrets that shelin, hehehe.

    and … that’s a really nice picture of the train .. I never knew trains still work in Jordan, considering that the railways have been built during the Ottoman era.

  7. أول إشي لفت انتباهي إنو العنوان بالعربي….
    كيف زبط معك الكيبورد؟؟؟
    يا ريتو ألف ألف مبروك، والله إني فرحتلك 🙂
    did you used copy-paste from other sites???

    Children says weired things. I remember someday when my brother woke up asking: “wean el ba9al?” I can’t understand it til now!!!

    and salamat la 5alek el 5aleeli 🙂

  8. but what happened to the shilin? did he toke it?

  9. 7aki nice story … 🙂

    where is ur grandparents house ? jabal el naser ??? i think i know where u took this picture …

    ba3den apparently 5walek men 3arrabeh … ana men balad 2areebe esemha Kofor Ra3i (Chforra3i) :> …

    :feeling irrelevant:

  10. LOL 🙂
    yeah, khalayleh are known to have a strong head and being scrougy 🙂

    I would love to take some pictures for the railway …it would be fun!

    Eastern Amman Rules!

  11. lol..what a funny story. I actually saw the train pass by my uncle’s house in Zaraa. (in front of the HUGE 7up bottle if you still remember). It was the slowest train I’ve seen in my life.


  12. well this is the first subject head for u in arabic so it is not only me who noticed;)

    regarding ur uncle I would say salamet el train emnee7 ma za7oo 3an el sekeh he3he3he3he3:P

    bas mashallah sheklek me’7weleh

    kaman fee 3endkoo ‘7ubeizeh walaw ma3natoo men 7aret setek heyeh elee tele3 menhaaa el mathal el sha3bee el shaheer :Shayfak Shayfak e6la3 men wara el ‘7ubeizeh

    sheklhom kanoo ye7kooha la ‘7alek 3ashan lama kan eydawer wara el ‘7ubeizeh 3ala el shelen elee fagadoo be hadeeket el yoom ma yd3asoosh el train :LOL:

    funny nice post o looooooooooooooooool 3ala where is my shelin???bedee asamee shaheed el shelin

  13. For arabic, you go to accecories->accesability->on screen keyboard then keep trying alt-shift combination, or you simplay can go to an arabic webiste while the one screen keyboard is active and click with in the page..
    You are welcome:)

  14. hehe, of course he is loaded now, how could he not be? if he almost died because of a shilen…:)
    i tried that keyboard and is it ever hard…it took me 15min to write one sentence in arabic.

  15. Mohannad: Tell me about it, well he was ka7toot then because he didn’t have lots of money now he spends his money like there is no tomorrow.

    Ana kaman 6ay7a and ray7a , I spend like crazy, life is too short.

    KJ: glad you enjoyed it :). I have another funny story about him that I will share soon.

    Summer: 3anjad, toz bil shilin..LOL, that made me laugh.

    Whosane: Mcduck indeed. What’s he called in Arabic by the way? I forgot.

    Yah the train still runs, they even have a train trip for tourists and locals, it’s a “ri7leh” ..lol.. my Grandma and her friends once went, a bunch of “2ara2eesh”, …he he he. It starts from “ilma7atta” and then finishes in “Jizeh” I believe…hilarious wallah…they were singing on the train and very happy. Taita said “ i7na ray7een ri7leh bil kitar” she pronounces it as kaf not qaf. So when she comes ot visit me I will take her on the kitar, but I will tell her she can’t sing..LOL

    Ahmad: Ya I ma happy too :D. I always could type in Arabic by changing my regional setting and doing the right “alt + shift” but I don’t have the letters, so I was experimenting with them and trying every key stroke till I found the letters I need, he he he . It took me like 5 minutes to write the title. But I will buy stickers and stick them on my lap top.

    Sel3: LOL LOL , ya he had the shilin in his hand really really tight.

    Isam: yes it is jabal al naser 🙂 , did you live there? Do you remember dukanet abu ya32oob? Allah yir7amo abu ya32oob :(, I miss him.

    Yes my Mom is from 3arrabeh 🙂 I will ask my mom about Chforra3i

    Q: LOL, hilarious. Yes it’s so true. Well as I told whosane above, they have train trips that you can take 🙂

    Eastern Amman and it’s people not only rules, it also rocks!

    Hamza: Zaraa? You mean Zarqa ya3ni? Sorry I don’t remember the 7 up.

    It is the worlds slowest thing ever..lol you can run next to it and pass it, but I think they do that to be safe and not run anybody over, ya3ni if they were fast my uncle would have been no more, mish?

    Nimer: Yes I am going to write an Arabic entry, but I suck in Arabic so you will be my test subjects.

    Lol 3ala salamet il train, walak lesh, who shu khalo sawallak..lol.

    And yes, taita and her neighbours used to go collect khobezeh all the time and used to tell uncle “itla3 min bain ilkhobezeh ya akho ilshilin”…LOL

    Mohannad 2: ya , this is what I did, thanks man, but is there an Arabic screen keyboard? Gotta check it out.

  16. 7aki: 3am dahab 😉

  17. LOOOOOOOOOL 7aki 😀 …. That was so funny 😀 aham shi el shelen allah y5aleeki 😀
    LOOOOOOOOOL .. but that’s amazing how the train passes by so close to you grandparents house … wow

  18. Oh my God I am pissing my pants laughing 😀

  19. Sam: Is it a clickable keyboard ? ya3ni did you use the mouse to get the letters? because I use the keyboard itself and I memorized where the letters are.

    whosane 2: il3am dahab… I like his name better in Arabic.

    Mai: ya they practically live on the sikeh.

    Hal: Ya I have a f**king funny but weird family 🙂

  20. 7aki I just figured out why they stopped the train I think becoz of ur uncle aselhom ‘7afooo 3al train 😛

  21. A train hit his head and he survived???!!! LOOOL

    The only thing that kept him alive was the thought of losing the shilling hahaha

  22. 7aki : used to but not in jabal el naser exactly but close … o abu ya32oob ma ba3refo be 7aretna kan fe abu sale7 o abu sultan o em gasem 🙂

    :walad s3’eer masek bareeze o raye7 3al dokkan o nazel el da7le be sor3et malyoon amoot o afham 3ala eish konna mesta3jeleen kan fe captain majed yemken:

  23. 7aki ! loved the story …..
    That must have been a horse powered train …
    (i don’t remember it being so slow)
    Had me a good laugh in the morning and I have you to thank for that


  24. […] Forest, Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun Posted on January 22, 2008 by 7aki Fadi I have a family that is crazy  I tell […]

  25. […] Grandpa left to work, Uncle scrooge (العم دهب) used to send me and my other uncle to go get gum and candy with our allowance, […]

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