- See that writing up there? I am learning Arabic. Melissa and I host a weekly Meet Up group in our office where Sam teaches us beginner's Arabic. I can now greet you (for several times of the day), say good bye, ask where you are from and what your name is. I can also answer all those questions. And now I can write the letter "A". It's fun to learn. A bit of a stretch for this old brain. The locals are happy that we try at least a little.
- Not all flatmates are created equal. This "gift" was left in my garbage can last night. Let me explain. There are three of us in the company two bedroom apartment. I have a single bed in the living/dining room which I really don't mind. Last night one of my flatmates asked if we were going to be home in the evening because her friend's parent's were in town and wanted to fix her dinner in HER flat. OK, we made plans to be scarce so she could have dinner in our place. We went out. No big deal. We do that a lot anyway. But we were tired so didn't stay out real late. Got home. The family was there. Flatmate makes no introductions. We dissapear into M's bedroom. A few minutes later the door closes. We wait and hear no sounds so venture out. We find the kitchen a horrendous mess. Every dish dirty. Nothing washed. The aforementioned flat mate has an attitude that we have a maid and she can deal with any mess we leave for her. M and I always try to take care of our messes at least a bit. Anyway, this morning I wake to an awful smell in my bedroom. The above is what I find in my garbage can. Thanks so much! Sometimes I feel I am back in college. And not in a good way.
(Post script: the maids did the dishes. The stack is up to the ceiling(!) And unfortunately there are fish scales on about half of them so we get to rewash. Oh happy day!)
- I had a date this week. With a young handsome foreigner. "Cougar material" M described him. We had a delicious dinner at a seafood restaurant where we sat side by side looking at the water. There was a particularly funny moment when I mentioned that my father was a professor and I asked him if he knew what "entemologist" was. When I explained he "studies insects" the guy chocked on his water. He asked "what is it exactly about sex does your father study." Studies insects...studies in sex...I guess they sound similar. We had a nice drink in Trader Vic's afterwards where we watched good salsa dancers and hookers at the bar looking for business. Then by cab he dropped me off home. It was romantic, safe and a nice way to spend the evening. Go Cougs!
- I spent three days at a Middle East Parking Symposium. I am by nature an introvert and so these kinds of things are not typically easy for me. Add in the factor that I am one of maybe four women at the show and the other women are all positioned with co-workers who are men and easing them into the crowd. Many of the men are Middle-eastern and not approachable. I did meet a few (see above note on being a Cougar), walked away with a new project, made some important contacts. But it was otherwise a difficult, uncomforatable three days. I miss working at home where people are generally much more approachable.
- There's been a transition inside me. I have moved from "newbie" to host. Acceptance is the best word to describe it. I am no longer a fragile newcomer filled with anxiety and grieving for what I left behind. I am just filled with anxiety. And grieving for what I left behind. But busy with the business of trying to make sure others are supported and dealing with their own fragility and shock from their arrival. Being put in that position forced me to move along. I'm more resigned and committed to make this the best I can within the limitations that I have. It's a process. I am proceding.