the fifth cup of tea

Many of my days in Jordan were spent walking all over the city of Amman in 100 degree weather with only one thing on my mind: I gotta catch ’em all. Pokémon Go had gotten really big in Jordan, which surprised me because I did not even think it would be available that soon in the country.

Every moment I was free, I would go out in the streets looking for Pokémon. Sometimes I would even leave the house at around 3 am and just go out for walks to catch some Pokémon before heading to the mosque for Fajr, the morning prayer.

One night in the middle of July, I decided to head out to the King Hussein Gardens and Mosque so I could check out this Palestinian bazaar. I took a taxi to get to the gardens. Taxi rides made it easier to catch Pokémon without having to walk.

Anyways, I got to the gardens in the evening and visited the bazaar. I bought a ring and some other handicrafts. Then I went to the mosque, which by the way was enormous, and prayed ‘Isha, the night prayer.

As I left the mosque and entered back into the gardens, I decided to start playing Pokémon Go because I knew I was going to do a lot of walking.

After a couple minutes I noticed two Pokestops right next to each other on the map. And both of these stops had lures on them, which were devices used to attract a lot of Pokémon to a certain location.

Intrigued, I decided to walk towards the stops. Once I got there, I couldn’t believe my eyes. On an 11pm weekday night, there were around fifty to sixty people playing Pokémon Go in the King Hussein Gardens.

I was walking around the area for about a good five minutes just minding my business. It was kind of a surreal moment for me hearing everyone having conversations about Pokémon in Arabic versus English. On the other hand though, it did make it easier to understand and engage in conversations with the people there.

I befriended a group of guys eventually and we talked about what kinds of Pokémon we have. I was having a great conversation with this guy that spent the last few years in Abu Dhabi, when out of nowhere this guy came literally out of the woods. He came to us and started yelling, “There’s a Snorlax! There’s a Snorlax!”

I found the snorlax in the gardens next to this mosque, the King Hussein Mosque.

Now, a Snorlax is a pretty rare Pokemon to find, especially considering that there weren’t many Pokemon in Jordan to begin with. When we asked him where it was, all he said was, “!هناك! هناك (There! There!)” And then he ran back from where he came yelling back to us, “!تعلوا (Come!)”

So, being the completely rational people that they were, everyone in the group chased after the guy. And being the completely rational person that I was, I chased after this group of random people that I had met not more than a half hour ago. We all really needed that Snorlax.

We got to the place, and thank God it turned out to be what we all expected. There was a Snorlax, and we all got to catch it. And on top of that, I was also able to snag a Hitmonchan. After a few minutes, the people that I had bonded with during the night left one by one, never to be seen by me again. But that’s okay because I have the story to keep with me.

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