18 April, 2006

Still standing

Not much to add these days. We're coming off a four day vacation, which is never easy. Our exam and my kids' exam will be on the 26th. That, sadly, is the light at the end of my tunnel.

I managed fairly well on the mid-term with roughly 70%. As one of the women in my class noted, imagine how well I would have done without two jobs. I am learning and that's all that matters.

Going into the break I thought about getting out of town, but then decided to sit on my rear for some much needed rest. The traveling can come later. Actually, it was lovely to finally enjoy the house for a bit. My "brothers" Cheb, Ringo, Mike, and another Turkish friend who Cheb and I call "The Kofi Annan of Love" due to his international tastes and ability to juggle multiple "international relations", brought me a lovely gift of a meshoui grill (sort of a small hibachi) and then put it to good use. After two nights of being treated to grilled beef, chicken, and trout, I don't see how I could ever live without them. Seriously, I adore these guys. I teased them a bit by saying how nice it was to sit down for a family dinner, but by the second night we had all begun referring to the meals together as "family dinners". In fact, we're having another one tonight.

Last night there were fireworks over Jbel Quissiyoun to celebrate Syrian independence. I had the perfect vantage from my balcony. I must say I got a bit nervous when I first heard explosions. As an American here I get a bit nervous hearing explosions. One day at University we heard several air raid sirens go off during our longer break. The Ottoman turned to me and simply asked, "What haven't you told us?" So, yeah, there is sort of an expectation that if bombs drop I should somehow know about it.

Class is class. A classmate from England and I often sit together and muddle through our teacher's rapid-fire instruction in Arabic. The conversation usually unfolds like this:
"What did she just say?"
"Oh, I have no idea. Seriously, I'll just scribble the words I hear and look them up later."
"Was that last word with a Dau or Da?"
"I am soooo not the person to ask. Sorry."
Then our teacher looks about and asks "Tamaam?/OK?"
And we, of course, smile, nod, and reply "Tamaam."

So, not much going on. Just trying to stay upright and coherent for two more weeks until the storm passes and I can get down to having a real life. Hope everybody out there is doing well.
I promise to be more interesting in the future.


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