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steady on

September 27, 2010

After laughing at my roommate for having to deal with all the cockroaches in our home, I found TWO in my room last night…one scuttling around my doorway when I was getting ready for bed, and the other rustling in the corner just before I fell asleep. I sprayed it, and then it limped into one of my shoes and refused to come out until I poked at it with my finger. Gross. And then I had a dream about cockroaches! Double gross.

Saturday night, all of a sudden, I fell violently sick–my insides felt like they were waging a revolution against me, all twisty, burning pain. Needless to say, I had a restless night. When I woke up on Sunday, I felt weak and dehydrated, but a little better…until shortly after sitting down at church, when I was hit by a giant wave of nausea. Apparently I wasn’t better. I managed to sit through the service without falling over or throwing up, but just barely. I made a quick escape when it was over, whispering pale-faced apologies for rushing out and then having a half-delirious conversation with an old woman in the street who’d left just ahead of me. I’m a little afraid to see her next Sunday because I don’t really remember what I said or did…The good news is, after sleeping off and on for the rest of the day and through the night, I am mostly better. Alhamdulillah!

Also, I am enrolled in a part-time Arabic class. It’s a good pace/time commitment for me, and I lucked out because it started the week I got here (which is a totally random time for a class to start). It’s three mornings a week, and each morning is three periods: speaking, grammar, and topical discussion. The colloquial portion is a bit too fast for me, and the classical (grammar) portion is all review. But I like that being behind in speaking means I have to push myself to learn faster so I can catch up. As for the too slow grammar section…I’m toying with the idea of skipping out on that period so I can spend more time catching up (with permission, of course–another of my classmates is doing the same). I’ll decide soon.

As for language learning in general: Tuning into Arabic here feels like putting together puzzle pieces. I’m trying to resurrect the dim bits and pieces of fusha that I’ve kicked into some quiet corner of my brain since last semester. I’m trying to filter all of the ‘ammiya I hear through those pieces. And I’m trying to get a hold of all the new constructions I’m learning and fit them together with everything else…B in front of present tense verbs. Mish and ma for negation. Etc. It’s a process. But I still get the feeling I never respond to “hello” correctly…no matter which version of “hello” someone gives me (and there are several), I think I end up saying the wrong thing back!

More pictures eventually, I hope. To be honest, in public I’m too preoccupied with concerns involving being a woman and being a foreigner to whip out the camera.

The other big task ahead of me–responding to emails–I will get to very soon, insha’allah. Thanks for being patient!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Daniel P permalink
    September 28, 2010 2:57 am

    you know what they say about cockroaches…

    for every 1 you see, there are 50 you don’t

  2. Brian permalink
    September 28, 2010 3:44 am

    I found a mouse in my apartment last night.

  3. Dad permalink
    September 28, 2010 4:46 am

    Steph,
    you’ve got to keep your room clean if you want to keep roaches out.
    also baking powder helps if you spread them around the edges. take care of
    yourself. i’m glad you feel better.

    • September 30, 2010 10:55 pm

      my room IS clean! relatively. our apt is clean. roaches are just a problem here. 😦 i’ve sprayed bug killer on the edges but maybe i should try baking soda too.

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