The past few weeks have been a blur of full-time Arabic training, full-time management training with part-time Arabic training, inventory lists, luggage shopping, property manager emailing, and fevered list-making. There have also been blood tests, bike rides, hair cuts, board game parties, long runs, pottery classes, grocery shopping, and dog walks mixed in, and I read The Beautiful Ruins, which was pretty good. The snow has melted, my block shop scarf finally arrived, and we’re moving around the world in a few months.
This is a sort-of apology for not blogging, but I can’t bring myself to feel particularly bad – if this were a hundred years ago (or even ten), I’d be apologizing to a book with a lock on it. So whatever. Here’s a picture of my haircut.
Arabic is incredibly difficult – when I first found out I would be getting a few months of full-time (one now and one after my other full-time training in July), I felt pretty confident that I’d be more or less fluent. Now I feel like I’ll be lucky if I can order a meal or buy a camel hair rug (note to self: look up word for rug).
The problem is that, unlike French or Spanish, the words almost never sound like a word from another language I know, so there’s no deducing or guessing when it comes to the meaning. When we were in Mexico, I felt pretty confident blundering my way through with very limited Spanish, because I could understand about 80% of what people were saying. In Arabic, it’s all or nothing – I either know a word or stare blankly at my teacher, eyebrows hopelessly furrowed.
I’m still enjoying it, especially because there’s no pressure to reach a certain level by the time we go. But I’m also glad that I’m not spending more time in full-time language training, because did I mention it’s difficult?