Saturday, October 24, 2009

On my walk back to the office from Subway (the chain restaurant that made its way to the Middle East), I had to cross 3 busy streets. Crossing streets in in any country outside of the U.S. is sure to be adventure. The cars are speeding down the lanes, not bothering to pay attention to the lane divisions or the street signs, or even pedestrians. I wasn't really scared- I was used to it by this point.

Next to me also waiting to cross the street, I noticed a petite woman covered completely in black. While I see these woman all the time, none of my friends are so conservative as to cover even their eyes and hands. I was intrigued by her small frame, her cover, and the fact that she was following a 50 year old man by about 3 or 4 steps. "Please, how can I talk to her," i thought.

As we crossed the street at the same time, I feigned fear. In broken Arabic, I exclaimed loudly, "Oh no! I'm scared!" as the taxis and buses sped towards us. The covered girl jumped into action and immediately positioned herself between the cars and myself. She grabbed my arm and guided me across the street. We crossed 3 streets together.

When we finally reached the curb, we parted ways much to my disappointment. I thought to myself, "If she turns around and looks at me twice, I'll follow her and introduce myself." I turned around, and then she turned around. "Okay, one more time." I took a few steps and turned around again, and saw her turn around as well. YES! I ran back towards her, and as I did so, she took out her cell phone. We exchanged numbers, waved goodbye, and I skipped back to work.

I don't even know her age- I couldn't see her face or eyes or hands. But her voice was young and cheerful. And kind. I called her yesterday (all in Arabic, by the way) and now we have plans to get together tomorrow, inshallah. I have many Arab friends, so why should this excite me so much? Maybe its because she was so mysterious, or maybe because of our silly meeting, our maybe because we are meant to be friends.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


My favorite German left today. We celebrated her last night with dancing in the street, as she decided that she could be culturally inappropriate at-least one time before leaving. So Judy sang, "You Said" in the street, arms freely waving and feet skipping. Life here without her will be quiet.

Here we are at her going away party with two of our friends. (Sorry about the bad quality, but I was using a special "underwater" disposable camera.)