Telling The Obvious – The Iraqi Way

It felt unfair that my fellow foreign readers could not read post number 12 due to it being in Iraqi Arabic. Therefore, I have created this post and have, to the best of my ability, tried to offer the most suitable translation for each sentence. Please note that the deep meaning is usually lost in translation. Here goes nothing:

1- The lights are turned off and you are about to sleep. Someone from your family suddenly opens your door, turns on the light and asks you:

Hey, are you sleeping?
Answer you wish to tell:
I am dancing and singing. You’re just hallucinating!
2- You are invited to some of your friends’ or relatives’ home. You knock their front door after arrival. They open the door for you and ask:
What, you arrived?
Answer you wish to tell:
We’re still on the way. We’ll be here in thirty minutes. Heavy traffic, we’ll be late!
3- You’re all set, sparkling from head to toe and set to go somewhere. You’re holding the car key in one hand and it’s blatantly obvious that you’re about to leave when your mother comes to you and asks:
Son, are you leaving?
Answer you wish to tell:
No mother, I’m going upstairs to the roof to straighten the satellite dish. Perhaps I could get a signal for channel Ar Ar! (a fictional channel)
4- You’ve never been so busy studying like you are now because tomorrow is your exam. All your books, papers, notebooks and what have you, are spread on the floor, the bed and the table. Your father comes in and asks:
You’re studying son, aren’t you?
Answer you wish to tell:
No father. I am changing the car’s oil and about to begin fixing its carburetor!
5- You have just dialed a friend’s number when your sister comes in (before your friend picks up) and asks:
You’re making a call?
Answer you wish to tell:
I am making a salad. But the knife is blunt and this is making it difficult to cut the tomatoes!
6- You are a taxi driver with no passengers inside the car but you. Someone waves their hand as they need a lift. You pull over and they ask you:
Empty?
Answer you wish to tell:
I have to pick up children from the school and send them all over to their houses one by one. I have to do this four times. But before I get to all that, I need to go buy some meat, a watermelon and pay the electricity bill!
7- Your are a passenger in a “service” car. (A “service” car is like a taxi, 5-seat passenger car. However, it acts as a bus such that each person is going to a different destination. The passengers you are riding with are usually strangers to you and each other. Other than that, a “service” car is very cheap – just like a bus). You’re sitting in the back seat and kindly ask the stranger sitting in the front seat to take the quarter (1/4 Iraqi Dinar) and give it to the driver. The person you just gave the quarter to, asks you:
One person only?
Answer you wish to tell:
No. Twenty others with me in the back seat and don’t forget to give me back the change!
8- You want to step down from the “service” car. So you tell the driver to pull over near the sidewalk wherever he can. The driver asks you:
You’re stepping down?
Answer you wish to tell:
No at all. I’m just testing my voice to check whether it sounds nice to the ears!
 —
Hope you enjoyed some of the most common “telling the obvious” situations that we Iraqi’s encounter to this day, inside and outside of Iraq. It follows us wherever we go. That’s what makes every culture unique.
Thank you for reading.
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