My friends and I went out tonight to play cards in a cafe while drinking tea and hot chocolate. This is probably the simplest thing I've done with my friends while here and it's been one of the best. We decided to go to a cafe we don't normally sit in. Shortly after being seated I couldn't tell what my friends were talking about any longer as they were all now speaking in Arabic and occasionally looking over at another table. When I finally asked what they were talking about they explained to me that it was a table of two prostitutes, their pimp, and two interested men.
A bit astonished I glanced over at first to make sure they didn't notice me looking. When the coast was clear I studied what the girls looked like. To my surprise they were completely covered, wearing long pants and sweaters. Not exactly what I expected them to even be wearing. I couldn't understand what they were saying and I didn't want to be nosy so I didn't pay much attention to them the rest of the night.
We played our usual card games and even had a paper ball fight. I devoured a delicious Nutella waffle and learned more Arabic words!
As we were about to leave I noticed one of the restaurant staff staring at me. It wasn't a stare of admiration or shyness but rather one of a creeper. Plain and simple. Again I tried to not focus on things around me but rather our table but as we were leaving, he approached me and said I was beautiful. I would normally smile and say thank you at such a compliment but really, why did he have to say it in such a creepy way?! It left me feeling so uneasy. I thought about ignoring it but I knew this was a place we would be coming back to sit at and that's not an option I wanted on the table anymore.
As we reached the outside I stopped my friends to let them know how I was feeling about what had just happened when one of my friends takes off back inside. I called out to him to tell him to stop and two more friends followed. I stayed outside with two others while they assured me everything would be fine and they were just going inside to talk to the manager.
A few minutes later and my friends called me to come to them. When I refused to approach them they came to me. When I asked what was going to happen to the guy they said he would be fired.
Fired?! I wondered if this was his only source of income and if he was supporting anyone besides himself. I told my friends to refuse this as we approached the entrance.
When I identified the man, the manager started yelling in Arabic causing my friends to shout back at him. This had to be one of the most frustrating things - people shouting about you in a language you can't yet understand. After a moment the manager turns to shake my hand and apologize. I said thank you and was just dying to get out of that place. I felt I had caused an uprising! I still didn't understand fully what had happened so I asked my friends as we approached the cars. They informed me that the man would keep his job but the reason they had gotten so upset is because in their culture, when you approach a girl the way he did, he wasn't just disrespecting me but also disrespecting my friends. I felt really proud to have them as my friends, knowing they were ready to have a go at anyone for disrespecting any of us. It was this moment that I knew I was in safe hands.