November 13 2014

On Honest Compliments & Precious Moments

Today was one of those days… lots of things to do, so little time to do them, back pain, appointments pushed at last minute to be on the exact time of other appointments, lots of waiting, back pain, lots of driving, grocery shopping, back pain, delay in school bus schedule, back pain, lots of phone calls (which I’m not a fan of) and more and more back pain. Needless to say the sudden drop in temperatures didn’t help my back pain at all, but since I like winter, it was like a breath of fresh air that helped sooth me in a way, and to refresh my exhausted spirit.

And what I love about days like this is that, in the middle of all this chaos, God keeps sending people your way, good people, just to help you: lift a bag for you, open the door for you, smile at you, offer simple help that goes a long way, something you very much need on such crazy days.

But there is nothing that fixes my spirits and makes my day more than a genuine compliment coming from a pure and sincere heart, and no I don’t mean a compliment on my looks or my hair or my clothes or my place or things like that, I mean complimenting my efforts and appreciating my hard work. My son usually takes care of that part 🙂 but today my son’s friend joined him. A very picky eater, from a culture so different from ours, with tons of allergies I never even heard of, dropped by unexpectedly for a visit, I prepared a quick and simple lunch for them, and heard him tell my son: “Is your mom a chef or something?”… Adam came to the kitchen and told me that his friend finished his plate in 2 minutes, and he never usually does that. Then they both actually left their video games and came to the kitchen, thanking me repeatedly, sat at the table around me while I was cleaning up the place, and had a small chat with me, and then the boy came to me and shined the biggest smile at me.
Now the great part about this is that I didn’t make something special, it was quite simple, but I made it with love, despite my crazy day, my pain and my exhaustion, I enjoyed making them lunch, I decorated their plates, and  I just wanted them to enjoy eating it as much as I enjoyed making it. And I believe that the positive energy was felt and was contagious, and came back to me in the form of a compliment and a big fat smile from a boy who spends most of his days at after-school programs or with nannies, and making him feel the warmth of home and a loving atmosphere made my day as much as it made his.

It’s these simple moments, when you feel how you’ve touched someone’s heart, and when you feel they’ve touched yours, it’s these moments that count, that make a difference, and remind you that, no matter how off track your day was, there are many simple acts of love that will not go unnoticed and that will put  your day back on track, making up for all the chaos (and back pain) you’ve experienced.

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نحنا والقمر جيران

الغربة؛ أصعب ما فيها أوّلها، لا يهم إن كنت تغترب عن أهلك أو بلدك أو ثقافتك أو حتى قارّتك، فالغربة من أي نوع صعبة، خاصة في أوّلها. بالطبع لا يستوي المغترب المجبور مع ذلك الذي اختار الغربة بنفسه، ولا يمكن مقارنة من يختلف عليه كل شيء مرة واحدة بذلك الذي اختلف عليه شيء واحد، ولكن بالنهاية، الفراغ على اختلاف درجاته يؤلم كل واحد بطريقة ما.

أوّل غربة لي كانت في أحضان الوطن العربي، تونس، أحببتها وأهلها الطيبين، ولكن كوني بشر لا أُنكر كم كانت أوّل فترة قاسية وصعبة. لم أترك طريقا إلاّ وسلكته لأشعر بأنّه لم يتغيّر علي شيء. ولكن، ومع إشراقة كل صباح، كان كل ما يحيط بي يذكّرني أني في مكان مختلف. رائحة الياسمين العطرة التي عشقتها وأدمنتها لاحقا، اللهجة التي كانت غريبة علي والتي كانت تُسمعني نفسها كلّما فتحت النافذة أو كلما خرجت من المنزل، الأصوات، العادات، الأكل، كل شيء كان جميل وله مذاق ورائحة مميزين، ولكن مختلفين عمّا تربيت عليه وتعودت عليه سنين عمري كلّه. كنت أشتاق لرائحة بلادي، شاي بلادي، قهوة بلادي، لهجتي، وجوه ناسي، أهلي، عمارات مدينتي حتى البالية منها، أشتهي أكلاتنا، تلك التي مهما حاولت صنعها في البيت، لن تضاهي طعمها التي تعودته عند شرائها من الشارع والمحلات الصغيرة. كنت أشتاق لكل شيء. لهذا كنت أفرح إذا ما سمعت شخصا من بلادي أو من نواحيها يتكلم في السوق، وأحاول أن أروي ظمئي بالمشي خلفهم للحظات معدودة لأملأ مخزون شوقي واشتياقي. لم يكن لدي حينها قنوات فضائية، ولم يكن لدي أصدقاء لا من بلدي الأم ولا من أمّي الثانية تونس. وفي يوم مشمس جميل، كنت أحس بالاختناق، لم أكن قد عثرت بعد على عمل، أحسست بفراغ فظيع وشوق أفظع، فقررت الذهاب إلى دكاّن الحارة (العطّار) لشراء بعض الاحتياجات المنزلية، كانت صاحبة الدكان حنونة جدا، تعلمني كل مرة مصطلح تونسي أو كلمة فرنسية، تطلعني على العادات والتقاليد  وتحاول جاهدة مساعدتي وكأنها تقربني. كان مشواري لها بمثابة متَنفّس. في ذلك اليوم ، وفيما كنت تائهة في ذكرياتي وإذا بي أسمع نغمات إحدى أحب أغنيات فيروز إلى قلبي:”نحنا والقمر جيران”، كان يغنيها شاب ما ويعزف ألحانها على غيتاره، في أحد المباني القريبة… لمستني الألحان وأحسست أني سافرت إلى عالمي وفرحت كثيرا كثيرا. وصلت لصاحبة الدكان، وبعدما دفعت الحساب سألتني عن وصفة “اللبنة” فأعطيتها إياها وقلت لها أنني سأذيقها منها في زيارتي القادمة، فقالت لي أنها لا تسأل لنفسها بل أن هناك شاب فلسطيني  جديد يظل يسألها عنها فوعدته أن تعطيه وصفة مضمونة لصنعها لأنها ليست متوفرة في الأسواق.

بعد أيام قليلة ذهبت إليها، كان الهدوء يلف كل الحي لا نغمات مألوفة ولا أغنيات عزيزة على القلب. وصلت للدكان وبعد انتهائي من الشراء شكرتني باسم الشاب لأنه جرب الوصفة وأعجبته وسأل هذه المرة عن وصفة الخبز، فأعطيتها إياها وتذمرت من طولها، فأعطيتها اسم المطعم الذي يمكنه بيع هذا الخبز ونبهتها أنه غالي بعض الشيء فشكرتني وذهبت. في طريقي للعودة سمعت دندنات تونسية هذه المرة، بنفس الصوت، نفس الشاب، على الغيتار أيضا، لا أذكر الأغنية، ولكن وقبل وصولي إلى المنزل بلحظات سمعته يغني “نحنا والقمر جيران”  مرة أُخرى، مع الأسف لم أستطع سماعها كلها ولكن أثلج صدري المقطع القصير الذي سمعته.

بعد يومين أو أكثر ذهبت للدكان، فشكرتني مرة ثانية، وقالت لي أن الشاب يحس بغربة شديدة ولكن هذه الوصفات تساعده على التأقلم وتوفر له مذاق أكلات بلاده، ثم قالت لي أنه جاءها يحمل كيس خبز بيد وغيتاره باليد الأُخرى، “وأذاقني بعض ‘خبزكم’ وكان لذيذا”، ثم أضافت: “أمّا موش كيما  خبزنا عاد”، فضحكنا معا، ورحلت.  وفي طريقي للبيت سمعته يدندن “أحن إلى خبز أمي وقهوة أمي” فلم أستطع أن أمسك دموعي التي تهاطلت لسببين، أولهما أني كنت أعاني من نفس هذا الحنين، وثانيهما أنه لا يوجد لدي أو لدى أي شخص في العالم أي وصفة تعطيه نفس مذاق خبز أمه وقهوتها… ولكن وفي قرارة نفسي كنت سعيدة، فمع أنّي لم ألتق ذاك الشاب، ولم أر وجهه قط، ومع أنه لم يراني ولم يلتق بي قط فقد أسعدني دون أن يعلم بنغماته ودندناته ولو لدقائق معدودة وقرّب لي مكان كان بعيدا جدا؛ وبالمثل فقد ساعدته أنا ولو بقدر بسيط على إحضار جزء من عالمه الذي يسكن روحه إلى عالمه الذي يسكنه جسده.

صحيح أن الغربة بكل أنواعها صعبة، ولكن أؤمن بأنه على الإنسان أن يبحث عن أي شيء مهما كان بسيطا أو صغيرا ليدخل السرور إلى قلبه وقلب غيره  بطريقة بريئة نظيفة دون انتظار أي مقابل. فالغربة إمّا أن تخلق منك إنسانا مرهف الحس وتفجر فيك جوانب إنسانية لم تكن تدرك أنها بداخلك، أو أنها تحوّلك إلى وحش عديم الإحساس والشعور، حاول أن تكون من النوع الأول… وإلى كل مغترب يشعر بالحنين أهدي صوت فيروز وكلمات أغنيتها العذبة، اسمعوا المقدمة الجميلة فهي جدا معبّرة:

watch?v=nfHoMCbMdyo

Category: Arab Societies, Just Personal, Posts in Arabic, Tunisia | 2 Comments on
نحنا والقمر جيران
September 4 2012

Adam, a First Grader

Today is Adam’s first day at school, or the “big kids’ school” as he refers to it.
As I write this, Adam’s probably learning new stuff, making new friends -or enemies- eating his lunch, or peaking at someone else’s lunch with envy -or disgust- but most importantly he’s experiencing being a 1st grader in a whole new school with a new teacher (whom I’m hoping he’d love) surrounded with new faces.
Dropping him off I couldn’t help comparing 1st grade students here in Canada, with those back in the Arab world. Back there 1st graders usually look so helpless, so lost, so innocent, so naive, so incredibly young and tiny; here, on the other hand, 1st graders have a very unique mixture of innocence and maturity. They’re like tiny little rebels who still seek your attention, they still want your pampering, they still want your hugs and kisses, but they want to act all independent at the same time. They don’t want you to hold their hands, they don’t want you to unzip their raincoats, they don’t want you to hold their umbrellas, they don’t want you to keep giving them tips and reminders of good behavior, they just want to go through this lovely growing-up-process independently. And with the exception of a couple little ones crying here and there, you’d be really impressed at how excited kids actually are to start their school year in Canada. Unlike half the way around the world where I still remember how hard the 1st day of school was, in fact some students got so anxious and tensed they threw up… I believe the reason is the approach of education and the learning process. While teachers in Canada try to make kids get attached to school, love learning, encouraging them to be creative and have fun with learning, Arab kids always face the discomfort resulting from the pressure of learning by heart, memorizing, the tons of homework, the heavy backpacks, and the limitation of creativity. In short, I believe, in my own personal opinion, that kids here pass from one grade to the other to gain more knowledge, their goal is to learn and know, whereas in the Arab world, I believe they gain knowledge just to pass, and that’s of course generally speaking, and does not mean that kids here are smarter, I’m just saying that the approach of education here is more appealing to kids that they enjoy learning, look forward to open a book and it’s up to them to be good or bad at it without the pressure of exams, unlike in the Arab world, where the whole process is more stressful for both kids and their parents.

In the end of the day, whether here or there, I have come to one conclusion: the older they (children) get, the more you worry; I’ve been told this over and over, but it was only today that it really hit me how true that is.
I wish all students, no matter where on this planet, no matter what grade they’re in, an awesome school year.

 

July 20 2012

بداية رمضانية موفّقة">
بداية رمضانية موفّقة

 انتابتني  البارحة أحاسيس متضاربة فور إعلان أنّ بداية شهر رمضان المبارك ستكون اليوم، فرحت، تشوّقت ولكن خفت كثيرا من التعب والعطش والجوع، فالصيام سيكون هذه السنة 18 ساعة في كندا.  المهم تناولت السحور، وبعد صلاة الفجر بفترة تمكنت من النوم، وبعد بضع ساعات أيقظنا المنبه لبدء يوم جديد. قلت لنفسي: ما أجمل رمضان،  وما أجمل رائحة البن…هممم… بن؟؟؟ نظرت إلى نفسي لأكتشف أنّي واقفة في منتصف المطبخ أستمتع بغلي فنجان قهوتي الصباحي المُعتاد. وكانت هذه بدايتي “الموفقة” مع رمضان.

ولمن يتساءل عن أحوالي الآن في هذه اللحظة بالذات، فأنا صامدة مع أنّي “فرطت” من الجوع، نعم الجوع لا العطش، عكس توقّعاتي، وأشتهي كل أكلات العالم، كل هذا وباقي من الزمن حوالي الخمس ساعات… هذا بالنسبة لإفطاري أنا وعائلتي، فكان الله بعون كل فقير محتاج وجائع تمُر عليه أيام وليالي يشتهي كسرة خبز ولا يعلم أين ومتى سيُسَد جوعه أو يُروى ظمؤه. فعلا  أنك رائع يا شهر رمضان

June 16 2011

“Kanvouver” vs Boston

As all of you hockey fans know, Boston played against Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Final yesterday; it was my 1st time ever to watch a live hockey game. And boy what a tough and hard sport it is, I mean watching along I couldn’t help noticing that Hockey is a really extremely difficult sport to master… anyway, what shocked me is that my almost 5 year old son was actually excited to watch the game, guess he heard all about it at school. He was: “Boston win, Kanvouver lose” all the time, so being a “good” parent I had to set things straight.

Lesson (1): Pronunciation.

Eman: It’s Vancouver sweetheart.

Adam: Kanvouver.

Eman: Van-cou-ver.

Adam: Kan-vou-ver.

Eman: Kanvouver.

Adam: Fancouver.

Lesson (2): Patriotism.

Eman: so why are you cheering for Boston rather than Vancouver?

Adam: because Boston is better.

Eman: this is the first time you ever watch them play, how come you’re so sure?

Adam: Boston is better. He plays better, he’s cool.

Eman: Boston is a team not a man, you know that, right!

Adam: And Fancouver?

Eman: a team too. Plus the Vancouver team is Canadian, you should be supporting the Canadian team. Dad and I are wishing Vancouver will win.

Adam: I love Canada. But Boston is in America, right?

Eman: yes right, so?

Adam: where’s Disney World?

Eman: in America.

Adam: Boston win, Fancouver lose, Boston win….

Lesson (3): It’s all about the spirit, not the winning.

Eman: Ok, you cheer for Boston, no harm in that, because in the end, in sports it’s all about the experience. Decent competing, the challenges, good playing, and the joy of sharing this marvelous experience together, whether playing or watching. So it doesn’t matter what side you’re on, as long as you enjoy it, in the end, we’re all winners.

Dad: *#U*)@)_@_

Eman: Oh No!

Adam: BOSTON WINSSSSSS!

Eman & Dad: WHY!!!!!

Adam: it’s ok, it’s just a game…. He runs all over the place: Boston won, Fancouver lost!

And this, my dear friends, is what I call successful parenting skills.

May 19 2011

A Canadian Morning

There is something about Canadian mornings…

The earlier I wake up, the more beautiful my morning becomes. The foggier it is outside, the yummier my coffee tastes. The rainier it is, the more tempting it is to go out for a walk. The cooler it is, the more refreshing I feel.

There is something about Canadian mornings, that I just love.

Being an Arab, my part of the world, from which I’ve come, is considered -relatively speaking- the part of eternal sunshine and warmth. Do I miss it? wouldn’t be human if I don’t, but life and my many travels have taught me to cherish every moment of every day, no matter where on the planet I am. It has taught me to look for beauty in the darkest of times, and darkest of places. And the darker the mornings get in Canada, the more alive they become… in my eyes.

I see people waking up really really early, to start a car, catch a bus, grab a coffee, hit the gym, walk a dog, or, what Canadians love most: go jogging. No matter how cold, no matter how dark, morning is as alive as it is in the sunniest of countries, if not even more. I really don’t know how they’re always motivated to be so active all the time, and I have no idea where their energy comes from, but I admire it, I respect it, and I really am impressed with it. Mornings here look so gloomy to most, but if you look closer you’ll see all the bits and pieces that prove the fact that Canadians just don’t care how their mornings look or feel, they always have their ways to enjoy them, make the best out of them, and get you wanting to do just the same.

And since I still have no job to go to and join the thousands of Canadians in their exciting daily morning adventures, I settle for my beloved hot cup of coffee, my morning TV, my laptop, a couple of books and a very deep breath trying to take in as much of this magically refreshing morning breeze as I could… until I have enough energy to go for a nice walk that is.

Yes, there’s something about Canadian mornings that I just love.

Good morning Canada.

April 16 2011

Note to Self

Eman, you’re Arab, you’re from the Middle East, you DO love politics; you think you don’t, but you do.
It’s a built-in feature, it’s there in you, that itch to talk and discuss politics, even if you’re far far away.

Eman, as a Middle -Eastern, you’ll make politics part of your daily life, you can’t help it, it’s an addiction, a passion, a skill… or maybe a hobby?! No matter what it is, you’ll have to admit that you enjoy it, and yeah, you’ll find yourself drawn into loving to discuss the politics of wherever you’re living, not just  politics  of  where you came from or where you lived… don’t believe me? wait and see.

September 23 2010

The MRI Experience (II)

WHAT the hell?! I’ve been lying on my back for 30 minutes for NOTHING! does that mean I have to take another half an hour, without moving? In this cold room? inside this awful machine? Would I be able to do it?
I could hear my heart beating like crazy, I could feel my cheeks warming up and OH MY GOD! what is that deafening noise, something’s wrong(I press the panic button)… an even louder noise from the alarm is now there and I almost get a heart attack)… Now to be frank, I did make a little research before I actually went for the scan; I saw the machine online, heard a sample of the “noise” (you need to turn on your speakers and volume to the max) but let me tell you something, it’s MUCH WORSE in real life! so in my own defense, I had every right to freak out! Anyway, everything’s shut down, doctor comes in, explains that I will have to put up with this misery for another 30 minutes without moving and leaves.

The frequency was so loud, it felt like someone was digging for petrol right next to my head, believe me I am not exaggerating when I say it was just like torture, evil evil torture. There were different levels and “tunes” of the sound, and the best way to cope with the horrible noise was keeping myself busy thinking of anything else.

Eman: ok, think think, yes, I can count to 100really loud, ok, I can do this: 1, 2, 3, 4 … I CAN’T, I JUST CAAAAAN’T DO THIS, THIS IS SO DAMN LOUD! ok, ok, calm down Eman, let’s try singing, “fireflies” my favorite, tara tatta, hmmm,  ”as plaaanet earth turns slowwwwly… it’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep”.. crap, not working… I can’t, ok let’s try something more vivid, “I will survive” …1, 2,3, AAAAAAAH MY EAAAAAARS, get me out of here, I want out of here, these earplugs are a joke…wait a second, what’s that, hmm, now we’re talking, nice beat, well done MRI people, I feel I’m in the heart of a disco, yeah, nice, i feel like dancing… but I can’t move so let’s try to enjoy the beat without moving… this sucks…oh no, don’t go, what’s that? horrible noise back again, why, why!

Ok, why do I feel dizzy now? I feel like sleeping, I’m closing my eyes, oh no, I think I got used to the noise! this can’t be good, resist Eman, resist, wakeup, ok I’m awake but my eyes are shut, what does that mean? am I in a coma? am I still alive? (I wink) ok I’m still alive, conscious, good, but I’m  gonna keep my eyes shut, it’s somehow better this way… And I think; I think of the past, the present, the future, people, countries, animals, toys, movies, food, drinks, technology, professions, and kids…kids who have to go through this horrible procedure, and I suddenly felt silly. If I, a grown up, turned out to be such a “scaredy-cat”, what would children do? I felt a tear sliding down my cheek… ok, what was that? why am I emotional all of a sudden, is it the MRI? GOSH! it tickles, it tickles, my face is all itchy, I would kill for a little cheek scratch, why on earth did I have to THINK! when am I getting out of here? and suddenly I hear silence, ugly, irritating silence, I went deaf, that’s what it is, I hear nothing but the echoes of MRI noise… wait, I see light, a face, the doctor, is he talking? I can see my earplugs in his hands, why can’t I hear a word he’s saying…come to think of it, the doctor looks silly, he kind of looks like “curious George”, yes, the monkey… I hear something…

Doctor: we’re done, you can get up now.
Eman: (trying to pull myself up with no luck) I can’t move.
Doctor: you’ve been lying on your back without motion for a whole hour, let me help you. We’ll get back to you soon to discuss the results.
Eman: (still hearing noise) ok.

I could barely walk, I get out of the gown, put on my jeans & shirt, and leave. “Weird, the floor is really cold”, I thought, it wasn’t like that before, ah, of course, I forgot to put on my shoes. (check everything’s on) and then head to the washroom to wash my burning face, and only then did I understand why people were staring at me in alarm, no wonder, my face was almost purple.

After a few minutes rest in the lobby I finally went out to get a cab home. The MRI noise kept echoing in my head till it was afternoon, and I know many people had absolutely no problem with an MRI scan, but I did, it disturbed me a big deal, and I didn’t like it one bit, the noise, the terrible noise, I hated it! Ok, you get used to it in a few minutes, but it’s not easy to put up with it for 30 minutes, and it’s so darn hard to stay still all that time. And regardless of how I reacted to the whole experience, I would never wish for anyone to go through it, ever (but in case anyone has to, request decent thick headphones, don’t settle for tiny airplane earplugs) ;)

September 21 2010

The MRI Experience (I)

Did you ever have an MRI scan? (I sure hope you didn’t and you wont EVER). Is it only me, or is this thing a torture machine?
My doctor recommended I have an MRI scan a while ago; as it is the case with almost all doctors here in Dubai, no matter how silly or serious your complaint is, they’d request extreme measures, but let’s not get started on that now. Back to the MRI. After a couple of weeks chasing the radiology department, I finally got myself an appointment, in the last week of Ramadan. I went, the doctor there asked me to get changed into the embarrassing hospital gown, and to follow him to the MRI room when I’m done.
It took me exactly 5 minutes to get ready, but just as I was actually going out of the room I took a quick glimpse of myself in the mirror, and thank God I did, or else I would have humiliated myself… because although I was sure I tied up all ropes of the gown, turns out they’re attached to only one side of the gown, I picked a torn gown, which didn’t look that… let’s say “decent” in the end. Luckily I found a bunch of other neatly stacked gowns, I tried them all, only one was appropriate to go out with, so I wrapped it around myself and went out.

Doctor: Ok, there’s where you’ll be lying down on your back, for 30 minutes, no moving, no shaking, no talking, nothing. You stay still, when we’re done I’ll notify you and get you out of there.
Eman: ok (piece of cake). I bravely go there, and it’s not that bad really, a bit cold, but it’s fine, nothing to fear.

The doctor clicks something and in seconds I’m actually INSIDE a horrible horrible machine, I’m facing a wall, all I can see is white, I’m freezing and I FREAK OUT as I hear his footsteps moving away from me.

Eman: WAIT,  listen, do you have to leave? can’t a nurse or anyone stay with me? at least so I’d feel the presence of a human being around?

Doctor: no, no one can stay, but I didn’t leave yet, I went to activate and test the panic button, here you go, you press this if anything goes wrong.

Eman: (What the ?) Panic what? what do you mean?
Doctor: (handing me tiny little earplugs), you MUST put these on right now, or else you’ll… he sees the shock on my face so decides to stuff them in my ears himself… before I can hear the completion of his sentence.
Eman: (freaking out more than ever), I take the earplugs out of my ears: what are these for?
Doctor: the acoustic noise, you wont be able to take the loud frequency of the sound without these, trust me. (And he leaves, as simple as that!)

30 minutes later:
I actually did pretty well, ok I’m freezing,  my back’s stiff and I can’t feel my shoulders or neck, but it wasn’t that scary, I barely even heard a sound, I must say, those earplugs did a great job  for their tiny little size. And as I happily removed them I heard the doctor say: ok get ready.
Eman: for what?
Doctor: there has been a technical problem, we couldn’t start the machine, we’ve been trying to start it for the past 30 minutes, and now it’s finally working, put your earplugs back on, NOW.

To be continued…

September 19 2010

Bubbles

On his 4th Birthday I asked Adam: so what do you want to do on your big day tiger?

Adam: wanna go to the aquarium.

Eman: hmm, nice idea, ok get ready we’ll be leaving soon.

10 minutes later, he comes, shoes on, water bottle in hand, and a small plastic bag with something colorful inside.

Eman: what’s that in the bag?

Adam: chewing gum. I want to take it with me to the aquarium, is that ok?

Eman: sure sweetie, you can take it with you. Now I feel like chewing some gum too.

Adam: sorry mom, can’t give you, these are just for the fishes.

Eman: what?

Adam: you asked me what I wanted to do today, and I want to feed the fishes my favorite chewing gum.

Eman: hmm.  That’s sweet, but I’m afraid fishes can’t have your yummy chewing gum, they can’t chew it.

Adam: why not, they have teeth, I’ve seen their teeth.

Eman: (the boy’s got a point) they can, but I meant they would swallow it, and their tummies would hurt (if not suffocate and die way before that),

Adam: but the fishes are smart, didn’t you watch Nemo with me?

Eman: I did but (reality is something else my innocent child… has anyone actually tried feeding fish chewing gum? maybe tiny little bits? just to see what happens! ok ok, grow up, you’re his mom for God’s sake.) So what’s that in your pocket?

Adam: a gum-ball.

Eman: keeping the big one for yourself, I see?

Adam: no, that’s for the Shark .