I'm settling in and enjoying the city life more and more every day! I spent some time talking with a friend about my language study a couple of days ago. My job for this week is to find a "nurturer." A language nurturer is someone who will spend hours and hours with me every week nurturing me in Arabic. There will be a lot of visual learning and repetition. My nurturer doesn't have to be a language tutor, so I would really like to find someone my age who I will connect with. This means I have to get gutsy and start introducing myself to random people. I met one girl in my apartment today. It was a short conversation because she speaks about as much English as I do Arabic. I was really happy to do it though. My plan is to pursue a friendship with her if I see her again, enshallah (God willing).
Yesterday I went shopping on my own, with the goal of speaking only Arabic. There is a mini supermarket that I can find most things with little difficulty, but there are also fruit carts and bakeries on almost every corner. The fruit carts and bakeries demand more conversation (as well as being cheaper) so I decided to try those out. I found a fruit cart in an Arab market where I had to walk past skinned animals hanging from the celing. The tails were still attached to the animal and everything. Gross! I wound my way through the meat to the fruit in the back and as I began to order, I realized that the smallest number I knew was 1/2. This meant I ordered 1/2 kilo (at least!) of every item. The people helping me where absolutely thrilled to teach Arabic to an American so they pointed out and named every fruit and veggie near them commanding me to repeat. I did, but don't remember a thing they taught me. All said and done, I ended up with 11 tomatos, 13 cucumbers, 8 apples, and 3 mangos. A few too many fruits and veggies for me, but it was fun. If only you lived closer, I would invite you over to eat up some of it!!!
Today, I adventured to the airport to drop friends off and then found my way home as well. My taxi driver didn't know where to go do I directed him...in Arabic!!! Then, I bought a water filter, had a key copied, and bought a pitcher...all in Arabic!!!
What fun this is!!!
Here's the view off the balcony attached to my room. You'll notice the clotheslines. Yep! No dryer here!
Here's the view of the road outside my flat. We're on the 4th floor. It's fun view and I still hear all the horns, car alarms, donkeys, etc.