Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Touched by Allah

It's hard meeting up with Christian singles in America, especially of the opposite gender, and of the liberal persuasion. As I've stated before, there seems to be this idea in most churches in America that it is wrong to look to date in a Singles Group; that such a group should not only not be a meat market (obviously) but also should not be a place to meet an SO. Which leaves precious few other places to meet such a person. Bars are really not the best place for that.

So I was excited about Meetup.com, an online forum where people can set up meetings in real-life, on any subject, not just singleness. I signed up for a few of them, like Barack Obama, progressive movies, and progressive Christian singles. I was really looking forward to tonight's meeting, my first- and not just because it appeared that there were seven women signed up, and me. It was at a Starbucks on Alki, and I rarely get over to West Seattle- but it is so beautiful out there! It is like a small beach town. Too bad the rent is so high.

Because of bus schedules I arrived an hour early. And I stayed forty minutes after the 7:00 meetup. And no one came. I kept on going up to people in the sparsly-populated coffee house and asking them if they were with the group. They weren't. And the evening was absolutely wonderful.

For round about 7:00 a guy talking on a cellphone near my table was using words that were eerily familiar- though hard to understand because of the loud Starbucks music. After he was finished with his call, I asked him, minin enta?- Where are you from? Turns out he and his friend were from Morocco! Oh, it was wonderful. We talked in Dareeja, Moroccan Arabic, for the next forty minutes, all about life here and over there. There were some words, like msoussa, that I'd forgotten, but a surprising amount of Dareeja came back. We talked about how good Tabib Filfila is (Dr. Pepper), the best Moroccan restaurants in town, and how much we missed the hammam (public bathhouse), as there's no real way to get clean here. How Americans don't know how to get tea hot enough or with enough sugar, but it is nice to have peppermint here. We traded stories of experiences with Homeland Security (but safely in Arabic so no one could understand) and of travels and life back in Morocco. At the end we also traded numbers for our portables, and I dearly look forward to meeting up with them again. I have to say, barring that one of the Meetup.com folks was going to be my soulmate, I much prefer the evening that God had planned for me instead- truly it was touched by His hand.

The next day I discovered that no one had met me because I had the date off by a month- it was actually March 27th. But imagine what would have happened if I'd gone only on the correct day.

7 comments:

quaintance said...

I had the same experience with Meetup. No one showed to the event I committed to, and I ended up eating dinner at a marginal restaraunt by myself instead of practicing my Spanish. I have enjoyed linkup.com because the flake factor keeps events from failing like that. Maybe something for you to look into; I know Firin has been working on getting it going in Seattle!

Glad you were able to speak Dareeja. I enjoyed hearing you speak at the restaurant in SF :)

@bdul muHib said...

Thanks! As I added today, it turns out the reason no one showed up from Meetup was I was off by a month! So I'll get another chance next month.

drh said...

Cool story.

Barsawad said...

Long ago, I once missed an interview for a college (an interview I considered very important then). I had mixed up the dates then; I was later told that by the dean of that college - I would have easily succeeded and joined that college - a hotel management one. and how my life would have been so different from what it has been!

Had I joined that college, most likely I won't have met my first wife, nor come to Yemen and most likely would have ended up working in East African hotels and resorts. As always, the Hand of Gad was there. And I thank Him for what my life has been.

Barsawad said...

I meant to say the Hand of GOD.

@bdul muHib said...

And you probably wouldn't have had an internationally famous blog of Yemen!

mom said...

:) (The Hand of Gad) (gadsook)!