The Other New Year
There's this FB app. where you try to wrote 750 words a day. But it is nearly impossible to share what you write with others, so I've decided to put my exercises in my notes. It's a littl...e unsettling because what I have here is pure unadulterated, unrevised me, write, write, write, no fair looking back and revising. I guess I've turned the app into see how fast I can write 750 mediocre sentences.
My summer ends and a new school year begins. I quickly fall into the routine of five mornings a week, waking at 6, finishing breakfast and a quick Email, Facebook and New York Times glance, shave, take care of my teeth and sweeten my scent with some sort of spray given on some sort of present giving day. Dress, hurry downstairs to load up my pockets with a fatter wallet than used on vacation—I take with me when I travel maybe one or two bank cards, a form of ID, some cash. My fat at home wallet has these things and more. I carry enough ID to get me checked into an emergency room, an insurance card, driver’s license, car registration. . .so much more than necessary, business cards I’ve yet to throw away, receipts from ATM withdraws that become irrelevant as the balance changes, phone numbers on slips of paper, most of them without names, and stuff.
We have had meetings all week which have been training sessions for new textbooks, and I am breathing a little easier, have a less queasy stomach knowing that despite all the hullabaloo about our new program, teaching English is teaching English and English books are English books so there was nothing much to be gained from attending these session other than being reminded that I can no longer slumber past six, take no morning power naps, and adding to my morning routine tying a neck tie five days a week.
I’m glad that I took the 9 day Eid break and went to Kathmandu. I spent most of my summer in the US with all of its conveniences like mega-hardware stores, super dooper big Wal-marts and the like. We have most of all these conveniences here except for a few--like everybody speaking the same language. But had I not gone to one of the poorest countries in the world where wood is a chief energy sources and the population does a lot of walking up hills while carrying heavy payloads atop their heads, by now I'd be pissing and moaning about having to work in "this" part of the world.
It rained hard during the trek. I picked up a few leeches. I came back to Sharjah appreciating everything they have here, taking little for granted. These feelings of appreciation will not last, but by the time I start to focus on what isn’t available, I’ll have another opportunity to leave, and leave for a place where people transport themselves on foot and eat the same foods three times a day.
I don’t know if I could ever live in then US again, or any western or even eastern country that has so many consumer conveniences and goods readily available. That rules out the US as well as Korea, the UK as well as Japan. And to an extent China and Germany. There’s a part of me that needs to be reminded of what I have or have available to me and not just materials things like a guitar part I can buy in a shop and not special order, but freedoms like freedom of speech.
So I am back and give or take a day off here and a day off there, semester breaks and a Muslim holiday which might be an off week sandwiches between two weekends giving us 9 more days to travel, it will be another 9 months or so before I have to leave. Must leave. Recharge. Learn to appreciate.
Yes the traffic here is often extraordinarily nerve wracking and often insane drivers do things that gets my heart rate up to its maximum and anger management becomes unmanageable. But after 2 months in America, where people have more courteous driving habits and maintain lane integrity, use their indicators, don’t tail gate, I now see that the worst of the driving here is not all that bad.
Home sweet home or more appropriately, housing accommodation sweet housing accommodation. Fat and happy cats. TV with enough watchable channels to turn me into a well rounded couch potato (well rounded in more than one sense of the phrase). Less eating. More exercise. Blog again.
The days go by quickly, or quicklier and quicklier. June is not so far off into the future as nothing in my life now is not far off into the future, including the end to said life. So as I stated a few days ago on my Facebook status update, DO appreciate every minute as though it’s your last, except for what you know to be your last minute and then panic.