Sunday, 27 November 2011

Conversations with my Father-- Luck, money and everything in between

Me: I don't get it. You made so much money in your life and you only finished the 7th grade. I have a Master's degree and I can barely make ends meet!

Dad: Yeah, I don't get it either, but you know, I was always a hard worker and luck was always on my side. Like, I used to work as a mechanic and when the 1967 war happened everyone left to Jordan because they were afraid, and there was a doctor who had just bought a new car but he couldn't take it to Jordan so he just gave it to me. And that is how I got my first car and became a taxi driver; I would send and pick people up from the bridge, and it wasn't too long before I opened my own Taxi company 'Taxi El Bireh'...It's funny how life is... that's why habibti dayman ba7kilak ma tez3ali men 2ay eshy, you never know how things will change around.

Me: How does it make perfect sense to you to buy a winter coat for $500?

Dad: la2no if you are going to spend money and buy something, you might as well buy the best. Ana ma b7eb albes el sh'3al el mish mnee7a.

Dad: I liked making money and I liked spending money. I had a good life. I had fun... I used to renew sayaret el Mercedes every year! I loved cars.

Dad: Ya3ni ana mish fahem lesh 3aysheen fi Brooklyn bi 7ek 7ara?

Me: Because we are POOR dad!

Dad: Ya3ni bt2daro tla2olkom ma7al ween Amin a5dni el yoom (meaning the upper west side).

Me: No, dad we can't... places like that are very expensive. I don't think we can ever move there at least not now.

Dad: Well, I think if you guys manage your money better and you cut down on other expenses you can manage it. Life is too short not to live in a nice place.

Me: Yeah, you are right. We will see maybe in a few months we can get out of this place.

-- After my dad's visit to the upper West Side and Columbia University, he began to think that not only does Bed-Stuy stink, but that Brooklyn in general is gross.

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