The defining woman, that relationship, in a friend of a friends life was a colleague. He really liked her, everything about her. on her half day she left the office to go home and he stood up and followed her out the building and onto the bus. half way back to Bab Tuma the person sitting next to her got off and she shifted over so my friends friend could sit. they talked until they reached the end of the line, where she asked him where he was going. he admitted he didn’t really know and invited her for a drink. when they got to Abu Georges he realised he’d left his bag and money in the office forgotten in the daze he’d followed her in. They had a couple waiting for a work mate to drop it off and they talked and talked and talked.
everyday for a couple of months they had a drink and a chat after work. then they’d go home and talk on the phone. eventually he admitted he wanted more. she agreed she did too, but that it wasn’t possible. hes not seen her since.
they never even kissed
My friends Syrian girlfriend, lets call her Nisreen, had had one previous boyfriend, who she was with for 6 months or so. Then she ended it because it wasn’t possible for it to go anywhere without getting married. they used to hold hands, and talk. Shes in her 20s but has to be home by 11pm, and they didn’t have anywhere to go to be alone. While sex was defenently not on the menu it meant they couldn’t do anymore than kiss shyly and slyly, without tongues, in deserted alleys with Nisreen being caught between doing what she wanted to do and the consequences of doing it. needless to say those consequences would have been far worse for Nisreen.
One of my European friends hear is going out with a Syrian guy in his mid twenty’s. initially he got other guys to buy condoms for him. now he buys his own, but only after going half way across town to a mall. Is that normal at home to?
The less said about my big exam the better, I think. My friend Shareen attempted to write hers in the persona of a Georgan girl that her teacher really likes, but discovered half way through that she couldn’t spell ‘Georgia’ in Arabic. R came round after he finished work at midnight to give me some last minute grammar; he clearly thought two days of exams, back to back, without some of his support would kill me. That paper was hard, but good. we do this thing called ‘imlah,’ its basically dictation. The person reading ours was a level 4 teacher and she went really fast and kept on making mistakes. Sometimes she put tanween (little lines at the end of words you don’t normally pronounce) on, sometimes she didn’t. half way through the director and his henchman came in and glued down pits of the exam papers we were writing on, pretty distracting. my class is pissed off, especially as other classes say it was read really slowly with the long vowels (you don’t write the short ones) and stressed letters (which have a spechial mark) emphasized. tomorrow is the oral. I’m really looking forwards to ‘Mahad Wednesdays,’ our study group that will meet weekly at the Mahad.
The soot from my sobias stove pipe has just discovered Newton. I’m sat watching the fine black particles fall out of holes in the pipe like snow. like the real thing its beautiful as it falls but a real mess. Damascus is under a sobia induced smog, the city has a whole new way of being filthy. I keep on removing soot from my ears. I had an indoor BBQ at a friends flat for new years and a really good time. R and I practiced talking about it for my oral several hours before it happened