Like Jelly النور والشمس و

The tedious school work has started, and I feel rather jealous of people that get to travel around and observe and read books all day that they want to and are interested in, rather than writing down more definitions and meanings of words in Arabic than I could memorize in a weeks time. But khalass! No more, the teacher that teaches us media explained how OPTIMISM was the key word here.

The last two days have been difficult, academically and possibly taking a toll on me mentally. Daily class is what occupies us the entire day (when we’re lucky from 10 – 2:30 and 10 – 4:00 when we have colloquial class). And after leaving the institute, all anyone wants to do is flop down on a couch or on their bed and flip through Facebook or texts from friends and family at home before starting the dreaded, difficult waa-jib (homework).

Our long day was yesterday, and it tired me out completely, but ironically, my insomnia decided to sneak up on me and keep me up past 3 am. The first day of a million phrases and vocabulary words and overall first impressions of taking class and being oggled at non-stop took their toll as my mind sputtered up thousands of phrases, words, whatever.

But today was better! Though I got about 5 hours of sleep (definitely not enough for new country and new weather and new people and so much difficult Arabic) I started off the day with a tiny cup of Turkish coffee flavored with cardamom, which is apparently in everything here, in the food, the rice, the coffee.

The classes were more difficult today, but we got through it, as a group. I really like the media class because I’m pretty bad at following the news, and we talked about (or attempted) to talk about guessing the future of Egypt and the politics behind the Egyptian elections and Saudi Arabia’s extension of friendship to Egypt.

And listening is getting easier! After I happily fell asleep for an hour before dinner, in a tourist “we-are-partaking-in-local-culture” manner, some of the people in the program and I went to a theater, paid 5 JD to hear a relatively famous Egyptian band named Like Jelly. I would love if people took guesses why that’s their name, no one knows. But they sang and performed spoken voice and comedy all in an awesome musical, rhythmic, laughing, clapping mix and all in Egyptian Arabic, and I made out tiny bits and pieces. It was an interesting experience.Image

After kunafa on the taxi ride home, I could hold on to the train of thought of the conversation between our Palestinian cab driver who asked us how Obama was, and our program coordinator.

Oh and because of my lack of sleep I also had a semi-meltdown over the situation with my still-locked phone and a plan that might not be usable and just the silliness of the whole thing. Special thank you shout out to Mom for calming me down and her support.

The cleaning people are coming at 8am tomorrow so I have to get up at 7:30… But optimism! There will be more interesting Jordanian and Arabic things and learning and ان شاءالله less meltdowns.

4 Replies to “Like Jelly النور والشمس و”

  1. Salaam alaykum, salaam!

    I absolutely admire what you’re doing. I spent a period working in Jordan myself, near Wadi Musa. And I still have trouble mentally bringing myself away from the Middle East. I’m obsessed.

    You’re doing wonderful. Whenever I found myself in times of stress I’d take a few breaths and drop a couple salaams then move on. Stress is a thing of the past. Salaam this, salaam that- make it your new curse word. As in “What the salaam!”. Sure sounds silly but it does work 😉

    If nothing else. Throw back a plate of Kunafa! Oh, kunafa… another obsession of mine.

    Anyway. I’m looking forward to following your life in Jordan.

    Maa salaama

    1. Thanks that’s awesome advice
      Do you have any tips for meeting expats or locals and getting deeper into the local culture?
      Being a woman has posed a number of challenges to speaking with people that I never expected before the trip. So Salaam but are there tips to loving the Middle East even more?

      Yalla bye!

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