Sunday doldrums

Posted by sue on February 18th, 2007

You know that feeling you get sometimes on Sunday, when you look to the week ahead and the very thought of it makes you tired because you’re not ready for the weekend to end? I’m definitely in that mode today. This whole week I’ve been feeling more overwhelmed than motivated about my Arabic study—it just feels like it’s going to take much longer to get anywhere with it than I have the patience and stamina for.

And, I admit, the initial excitement of being in a new place has worn off. We take heat and restaurants for granted again after feeling their absence in Morocco, but that just leaves Cairo a big, noisy city where we hardly know anyone. We did go to a pretty rockin’ party on Thursday night, hosted by one of my classmates and his housemates—they have a huge party-pad apartment downtown with amazing Nile and city views. And while we had a good time and met some cool people, it’s a young and ephemeral crowd of Arabic learners, most of whom will go home (to the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, the U.S.) in May or so. It’s weird to be in essentially the same boat as all of them, while still feeling a little too old for this sort of thing!

But what to do? One big reason we left L.A. was to get out of a big city and find more livable places in the world, but the other big reason was that I wanted to go somewhere to learn Arabic. But these two goals right now feel mutually exclusive, and ultimately the big question is: Where can we live where both of us can find satisfying work and a good home? And what to do in the meantime?

11 Responses to “Sunday doldrums”

  1. Mom White Says:

    Sue, don’t feel old and out of it. You should start trying to get something lined up in Washington, DC so you have a feeling you are headed someplace. Languages take a long time (even for a genius) to learn. I just turned 70 and I’m not crying over that. Health is all and a loving relationship. HANG IN THERE.

    Mom (White)

  2. Cathy Says:

    Anywhere you go (abroad) is guaranteed to be chock full of people that you don’t know. Since you know it’s not forever, you can get through it. Study hard and try speaking with as many natives as you can. I think that people who are unafraid of embarrassment gain fluency more quickly, because they have the courage to talk to more people.

  3. sue Says:

    Yeah, the boldness factor is something I struggle with. Len often makes the 20 words he knows go farther than the hundreds of words I know because he’s not concerned about combining them in strange ways.

  4. Rachel Says:

    I understand your comment about Len’s ease of use — I was a “Len” in Paris many years ago. But I had a great time because I wasn’t concerned about anything being right — I just went with it. Maybe boldness isn’t the issue; perhaps relaxing your expectations of yourself is the real answer. Once you relax, you’ll fall into the culture because you do know so much — it’ll just click for you after a bit. Then again, this lengthy bit o’ advice is based upon 4 days in Paris, so what do I know. ;P xox -R-

  5. alberto Says:

    Hey Sue,

    don’t feel too bad : ) Beside the arabic language, what you’re learning now is invisible to you. Dont’forget you’re learning (or I should say you learnt) to live in a very very very different environment, with really different people, exploring places and yourself as well everyday.

    I understand you’re now used to do all of this by now, but such things are incredibly valuable despite any age and someday I’m sure you’ll enjoy the benefits of it.

    I’ve met some people who, despite really big income never left California in all their life, Len and you, instead have tasted the rest of a planet in a way that (will reconcil you more with french fries : ) ) is allowing your brain and your heart to be more open and capable to read life from even more different point of views. And this is really a treasure.


  6. Heather Says:

    Go to Hawaii! Everyone else too! Come on, let’s go! They need translators and cafe hanger-outers!

  7. kelli kauth Says:

    hey sue,
    i have to agree with alberto! just the fact that you took this giant leap to leave everything that was familiar (except len =), and explore a world that is not only strange, but potentially hostile to your gleaming american faces, speaks volumes on your strength,a nd endurance and sense of adventure. i envy you the ability to make that leap. hang in there! this is a wonderful adventure you are having… and just let the words out, whether they are intelligible or not. the fact that you are making an effort to speak their language, is going to smooth over any mistakes you make in grammar. miss you guys! BSG just ins’t the same without len dancing in front of the spoiler =)

  8. jim Says:

    I think Mom White has it rock solid, from the gate. Not necessarily D.C., because that’s still inconvenient for me. :) But gigs. Start lining it up, because you are building a fantastic foundation for yourself.

    And take some to congratulate yourself on the huge, daring, unique adventure you guys are having. You are kicking ass. When in the midst of kicking ass, you can become so good at it that you forget you are kicking ass. I’m telling you, you guys have been kicking ass for so long now, that it’s just looking like normal to you. That’s how freaking kick ass you guys are being.

    The world has a lot of uses for the skills, brains and character you guys are bringing to the table.

  9. len Says:

    It’s true! Mom White has been telling her little ba-ba L-L that he kicks ass since Ugus was five! Right on!

  10. jim Says:

    Aw. They used to pass the same wisdom on to us, back in NJ, in Sunday School. We’d usually get the “God says you kick ass” sermon right before they rolled out the dollar shots of communion whiskey.

  11. christian Says:

    < a href = “ lopped@clamps.mysticisms“>.< / a >…


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>