Day nine is complete. I’m going to try to stay awake in order to write this blog 🙂 My grandma said that she would keep our kids this afternoon/tonight so that Jeff and I could have a little break. My husband calls her “a saint of a woman”. This allowed Jeff and I to have a nice, quiet lunch together at Osaka Hibachi and Sushi Bar. When the cook came out to cook Jeff’s hibachi he started out by putting two little bowls of sauces in front of us. He immediately looked at me and said, “Are you Muslim?” I told him that actually I was not, and tried to explain to him what I was doing. I asked him if he was Muslim and he said yes, and that he was from Indonesia. He proceeded to tell me that the reason he asked is because one of the sauces contained a tiny bit of alcohol. How thoughtful! We had a great time talking with him while he did cool tricks while cooking.
After lunch I decided to stop by Old Navy. I noticed another covered women in the store and I perused the clearance section for non-V-neck shirts that would cooperate better with my lifestyle for the next thirty-some days. When I got to the check out aisle I saw the woman again and realized that I actually recognized her. I turned to her and said, “Don’t I know you from Daarul Uloom (the local Islamic school)?” She looked at me with slight confusion and said, “Yes! Are you covering now?” I thoroughly explained myself and she was interested by what I told her. She told me that she has worn the hijab for a long time and has not had any problems with it. That was encouraging to hear!
Later on in the evening we went out to dinner with our friends Jamie and Danny. We spent time at One World, a local restaurant that is actually owned by two Jordanian brothers. After that we decided to pick up a bottle of wine at Campustown Liquors across the street. Jamie and I ran over there while the guys drove the cars over to pick us up. We had talked earlier about how we had met the store owner several years ago, and that he was a Muslim from Egypt, and I was interested to see if he was there (it had probably been at least five years since we had been in there). As soon as Jamie and I walked in I immediately thought to myself, “What am I doing in here?!?!?! I’m a covered woman in a liquor store!” After standing in an aisle with Jamie for a moment, I told her that I better stop looking in the aisle and go talk to the owner instead.
As I approached the counter I said hello to him in Arabic. He greeted me in return and then he said, “Don’t I know you? You and your husband, you lived in Jordan right?” Seriously, how do people have such amazing memories when it comes to recognizing me? I couldn’t believe it! I told him I was super impressed that he remembered that! I told him why I was wearing hijab and that I don’t usually wear it, and of course he told me, “…but it looks good on you!”… and of course he would say that! It was funny. Jeff came in moments later and we had a great ten minute conversation with him about life and hookah. He happens to be opening a new hookah bar in town called Royal Hookah that we had previously heard about. He even gave us his cell number and told us that we would be his special guests, despite the fact that we had not even been into his store in years. We had an excellent conversation with a man who remembered us from many years ago. What a great experience!
Once again, another great day in the life of a hijab wearing woman.