There's nothing like eating ghadaa ('lunch') at a cafe counter-top jiddaam ('in front of') all the action, from the hiss of frying fish to the soft thud of plates being placed before hungry eyes.

And today, there's an extra 9awt ('sound') in the mix: one of the counter-top zabaayin ('customers') is shouting at a waiter, pointing distastefully at the coffee before him. 

"7u6 ziyaadah!" the customer yells. 

The waiter rolls his eyes and reaches for the almost-empty qarsah ('bottle') behind him. He takes a pen and draws a line near the top of the bottle. "This is where the level was before you started coming here for lunch. Now look where it is."

The customer dismisses the waiter with his hand. "6annish!"

The waiter laughs, "ataghashmar, here you go" and proceeds to pour the remainder of the bottle until the coffee is ready to spill over onto the counter-top.

Suddenly the conversation to other side of me takes precedence.

"... and I really didn't want to hang out with her, so when she called 6annasht-haa."

"Nice. Then what happened?"

"She rang so much that I had to pick up in the end. And the first thing she says to me? 'shraay-ik baachir?' So I was like, 'shraay-ich ... al-qarn al-yaay?'"

Like I said, it's never a dull day when you're sat at a cafe counter-top.

Arabic Pronounced? English

6annish Forget it (>m)!
6anshay Forget it (>f)!
6anshaw Forget it (>pl)!
I ignored him
6annasht-haa I ignored her
6annasht-hum I ignored them
شرايك باچر؟ shraay-ik baachir? How about tomorrow (>m)?
شرايچ القرن الياي؟ shraay-ich al-qarn al-yaay? How about next century (>f)?