Economically Syria is about on par with Greece now. Sanctions, the import ban, ongoing chaos, the price police. There are theoretically 45 Syrian Lira to the dollar, but it hit a low of about 104. but a month ago it was up to 68, and, theoretically again, I’m pleased because it’s good for Syria*. Things have got a bit cheaper on the street, and I do still have 22 theoretically nonexistent lira in my wallet. Of course, it is a bit annoying that the only thing about the situation that is improving is the only thing that benefits me by being rubbish – I have been driven back to the world of work.
It hasn’t improved in my absence. In my previous teaching jobs we could just get on and do it. Not here. We have to use the in house method, which is similar enough to the one that was inflicted on me when I first came to Syria for me to be having flashbacks. The teachers hate it, it doesn’t work. The center is papered with dire, ungrammatical, threats detailing the punishments for not using the method, all signed by the director. Hes got a network of spies and is always popping up unexpectedly, promising new wonders from the headquarters in London and threatening to withhold parts of peoples saleries. Hes worried that we might steal the method, nothing to do with teaching is allowed out the building. At the same time, its strangly difficult to hate him. It’s Syria in miniature. Like the big Syria, the beuacracy is pointless, and emploies 5 clueless people and one person that does everything. No problem is ever solveable, I might think I can cover a coulleges class, they might think it, but the 5 clueless people know its not so. Again, like in the big Syria, nothing can ever be explained. If the students say ‘a orange pen,’ I must tell them they’re wrong, but not why. Given my low tollerence for both rules and stupidity its not suprising I’ve become a little dissident. Students I’ve given cover lessons to have requested I replace theire standered teacher, which is embarrassing, and others have asked me to do privet lessons, which is forbidden, but with the current shortage of native speakers in Syria i dont think little Syria can knock on my door in the night and fire me, which is a great pity.
*My flat mate studies economics. He reckons it’s a disaster. At 104 L to the dollar Syrian exports were incredibly attractive internationally, fueling economic growth. This is the kind of willful stupidity that I’ve come to expect of economists. Aside from the war, ‘made in Syria’ means ‘will break immediately.’ Abers agony uncal got it right when he described the profession as a pestilent sore on the vagina of humanity