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“quality time” time

June 16, 2011

My time here is ever so rapidly slipping away from me, which is the cause of much anxiety and consternation (for me). Not that I’m not super excited to come home and see all my friends and family. I am. I promise! It’s just…

Well, tonight I was standing in the street telling off some boys (that I know well) for setting off fireworks near the grass, which had briefly caught fire. The sunset was all bold and orange the way it gets on a clear evening, and there was this cool, yummy breeze wrapping around us. I thought about how in less than three weeks I wouldn’t be standing on these hilly streets anymore, backlit by the sunset and yelling at children. How I wouldn’t be here in the thick of summer, when the grapes ripened on the vines overhanging my apartment, and when the only bearable part of the day was the cool night.

It made me sad.

On the other hand, this week I’ve done a handful of awesome things with my time, in addition to catching up majorly on sleep. The last week in particular was an absolute marathon of teaching and tutoring thanks to final exam season. This week has been blissfully (disconcertingly) free in comparison.

-I went to a cinema for the first time to watch the new X-Men movie with an awesome friend (and actually first roommate).We had assigned seats (like in Korea!). But the theater was pretty much empty, and when we walked in a few minutes late the movie had already started, which totally scandalized our sense of Arab time. Anyway, that meant it was completely dark…so we ended up sitting wherever we wanted. Still, nice attempt to be organized, Jordan.

-I went for an evening kanafeh run with my Iraqi friend and her boys. And by “run” I mean “slow walk” because little legs + all uphill + lots of distracting things in the street = pretty slow journey. But we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly…when we got up to the top where the restaurant sits at the edge of our modest little plaza, next to the fairy tale mosque, I made my friend laugh by explaining how different it was to be walking there with her family instead of by myself. I.e. I didn’t hear one single word of awkward street harassment. Just got a lot of double-takes and weird looks…like, Who’s the random Chinese girl with that gorgeous hijabi’s kids hanging all over her?

-I baked carrot cake with the assistance of a bored and occasionally sullen teenage girl who balked at the idea of putting carrots in a cake but also was excited to bake a cake for the first time. It was delicious. I gave half to her family. It remains to be discovered what they thought…Jordanians’ taste for cake is totally weird to me. First of all, the cake you get at local bakeries is dry and bland and flavorless. But I have watched many a local freak out at the idea of…say, frosting with actual flavoring in it (such as cream cheese frosting, the best kind), and cake that actually tastes like something (lemons apparently don’t belong in cake, ever). Apparently that’s all just gross.

Anyway, I have more such quality time dates planned for the rest of the next few weeks…but it all feels a bit like I’m just biding my time, you know? Which is just the worst feeling, really. So I am drifting in and out of this persistent melancholy, trying to enjoy every last moment but also dreading the pack-up-and-say-goodbye that awaits around the corner.

our famous mosque

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 18, 2011 12:47 am

    Asalamu Alaykom,

    I’m leaving from Egypt in a few days. For me, I’m heading back here again. You? Sounds like you are all done. You’ve really been having some good experiences in Jordan. Would you return? Do you know what you are doing next with your life? I mean…none of us really know…but we try to make some educated gueses. I hope you leave yourself open to twists and turns which might not be what you would have chosen but which are (in the big picture) right for your plan. Sending you my best wishes for a bright future!

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