13 March, 2006

The Landlady Strikes Back

Well, the good times are over in Mezza. I have been asked to leave the apartment.
It seems that after nearly three weeks of not speaking to me my landlady, who lives with the three of us, is feeling "crowded" and wants me out.

I am not sure when it happened, when the change occurred. We started off well enough. My flatmate believes the woman got bored with us because we had neither the time nor desire to sit up all night watching "Star Academy" and "Superstar" ("Arabian Idol" for those of you in the US) with her. And, more importantly, we had no desire to be treated like toddlers, being told exactly what to do, when and how to do it. I believe she was compensating for not having children by taking in students. Only she hit a snag with us - three very independent women. She's soured on the three of us, but me the most. She has called the oldest of us a liar and a thief, locked the t.v. remotes away from the future doctor, and tried to lecture me about the perils and shortfalls of a woman who stays out all night. The Cold War is ongoing and the silence is actually quite a blessing.

So, the head of the agency called me in and tried to paint a happy face on things by saying, "Maybe it is for the best." I told him "the best" would have been for her to deal with me like an adult. So I have folks keeping an eye out for anyplace in and around Mezza. I won't be moving until I find someplace.

I do find it rather amusing that it took me nearly 32 years to get thrown out of somebody's house. Wasn't I supposed to do this 13 or 15 years ago? I guess I am a late-bloomer.

Work with FIRDOS is going well. We are very much pioneers here. After five years there isn't anything communications-related here, so we are starting from scratch. We don't even have printed materials! Soon we'll be starting work on the Web site and the short documentary film. For now I am combing through five years worth of CDs, slides, videos, photos, and disks looking for anything useful and cataloging everything. You learn a lot about good photography by looking at bad photography. I should rival Henri Cartier-Bresson, Margaret Bourke-White, and Tina Modoti when I am finished!

Next week is my final. My kids' complaints about their exam died down when I told them I have an exam the day after they have their mid-term. They get a kick out of hearing me speak Arabic before and after class. They keep trying to tell me I speak well, between all the giggling and wide-eyed staring.

Looking forward to the break next week and the chance to, maybe, get out of town for a weekend. I hope....

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