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football and conversation.

January 17, 2011

The Asian Cup is on right now in Qatar, and surprise, surprise, I’m not watching. Hah. I fall asleep even during World Cup games. Sorry. I know that makes me a terrible citizen of the world, but it can’t be helped. Anyway, Jordan beat Syria tonight and the city was exploding with happiness. The win occurred just in the middle of my conversation class, and we all paused to listen to the shouting and fireworks (or gunshots? It’s always hard to tell) outside. When I walked back home in the dark, I passed clusters of cheering children and honking cars that drove slowly so they could wave huge Jordanian flags through their windows. People were in a celebratory mood, and I loved it.

Interesting: an Iraqi friend of mine told me that during the Asia cup, she’s rooted for Iraq (naturally), and Jordan and Syria. But she cheered for Japan against Saudi Arabia, and would gladly cheer for Korea or China over Saudi Arabia or the UAE. Why? Because Saudi Arabia and the UAE don’t look out for the interests of Arabs–“they only love themselves,” she said. “For example, they hold onto their oil money and get rich while the countries around them stay poor. Even Iraq always shares its oil with other countries.” I don’t know if this is a common view, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Back to the conversation class, which was actually the very first one thanks to a series of delays: Members include two older single women (one feisty, one kooky) and a handful of people around my age, with a variety of backgrounds. It went really well, which made me very happy. I actually love teaching the traditional class too (grammar and all that), but this is a bit more relaxed. I handed out vocab in the beginning and wrote a few questions on the board, and then we were off…I corrected grammar and pronunciation once in a while, but otherwise let the discussion flow. The topic was “family,” and somehow there were a host of hilarious things to be said about our families. Like…one guy who couldn’t remember how many sisters his mom had, or what the age difference between him and his sister was, prefacing everything with “maybe.” Or when someone said their father was “expired” instead of “retired.” We laughed a lot and learned more about each other…it was fun. I think I’m going to like it.

On the way to the class after hanging out in the street with a couple of neighborhood girls who tried to teach me how to whistle (and failed), I saw this:

I can’t help it, I’m still in love with the endless joy of living on a high hill in the east: Amazing sunsets. This is probably my third or fourth such picture, right? And it doesn’t even do it justice.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Brian permalink
    January 18, 2011 8:06 am

    Awesome!

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