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Tidbits and Teasers

I know I have not posted for a while now. I have taken some crap for that, thanks sister.

OK, so we are back in Sharjah. Mary Ann is working and loving it. Now that we live on campus in our spacious apartment (condo?) she has a   71/2 minute walk to her office. Some people who live in the same block as us actually drive the three blocks to the main part of the campus. I forgive them. It is always about 100 degrees f. I don’t think the aircon in the car could possibly cool it down in the 2 minute drive, but heh, it is the thought that counts. We have still not decided to buy, lease or rent a vehicle. The university gives us a free bus ride to the Sharjah Co-Op to shop for groceries twice a week, and every other weekend we have a driver who takes us to Dubai. We go to any one of the huge malls and window shop(all we can afford), see a movie (about US$8 for the ticket and the popcorn is always stale) and have dinner. We also do a lot of people watching. There is a fascinating collection of expats and Emirates to watch go by. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we just shake our heads.

Both of us just started an on-campus class in spoken Arabic. They have a class to learn how to read and write it, but there is absolutely no way I could ever decipher that writing, and much less of a chance of ever doing the calligraphy needed to write it. I cannot read my own handwriting in English, so just forget it. Last night I tried to repeat in Arabic that I live in Sharjah, the teacher laughed and told me I just said I live in a shoe box. I have a long way to go before I can do anything important like order a pizza.

I am enrolled in an upper level history class titled something like America and the Middle East. Classrooms are like playing tennis. You never want to play tennis with someone worse than you, that is no fun. I am in a class where everyone is smarter than I am, so I am having fun. There are only six people in the class, but these people actually study and come prepared to discuss the readings. I throw in a few impertinent comments for comic relief, but intellectually I am outclassed. OK, it has been 30 years since I had to be prepared for a classroom situation. Luckily I am only auditing the class so I won’t have to go on academic probation and embarrass Mary Ann. I think my prof is relieved that I will not be turning in any papers, so he won’t have to grade my dribble. In this class, there is one Palestinian, one Saudi, one girl from France one girl who says she can’t be defined by any geopolitical borders a guy from Chicago (yup, the Chicago by the lake) and one girl from either Bahrain or Qatar.

This last girl and the guy from the KSA got into a friendly argument about a sword that was returned to the Saudi’s last week by her country She said “that sword was given to mt grandfather and passed along to his father. It was a present from the King of Saudi Arabia, we should have kept it.” The guy said something about the sword being  mythical and  magical, or maybe just worth a lot of bucks. Everyone was leaving the room and I missed it. So I have a meeting set up with this girl for Monday to get the whole story. She is going to bring pictures  and tell me all about it. I will post on Monday or Tuesday and entertain you with a little ME lore, so stay tuned.

By the time you read this I will be another year older. Mary Ann is taking me to Muscat for my birthday and the weekend. Where? Google it.

I will put up a post on Sunday (this time with pictures, I know you like pictures) all about our weekend in yet another country.

One last thing. I have a good buddy who is in Afghanistan at this moment embedded as a historian, journalist. If you find him on FaceBook (John R  Bruning) you will be treated to some amazing photography and stories. I have known him for 20 years. We are oil and water politically, but I admire his gumption to go where he is, zooming around in helicopters and writing about it. So check it out. If like me you think FaceBook is just too insipid to be involved with, then he has a blog at http://theunawriterslair.typepad.com

Stay tuned and tell a friend, and for goodness sake, make a comment.

OhMan off to OMAN

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5 Responses so far.

  1. FW,

    I know about being back in class after a 30 year “break”. I went back to college in February (9 units over 3 classes MWF) and it took me a while to get the hang of things again. Things went well – all A’s – so I took the plunge and signed up for 16 units over 5 classes this semester and it’s kicking my butt! M-F is like a damn job and THEN I have to come home, get some food and rest and the start studying, But, it’s the best thing I could have done as I work my way towards a BS in Healthcare Management.

    As I write this, Roy Halliday has just thrown a no-no in his first postseason start.

    CF

  2. Janny says:

    Hey many belated happies, old son!! Really enjoyed your last blog, and I am terribly glad you don’t live in a shoe box cuz your Apt. sounds fab. I think Mary Ann has had her fill of the slumming experience!! viva Bocas
    and the termites that held hands to keep that house together!! Asi es la vida!

  3. Steven says:

    Hey Forrest,

    It is Wednesday here …… but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! The best time of the year is starting ….. Playoffs baby. I know your teams are out but I also know you will be following the games. Sounds as if all is well …… give my best to Mary Ann and keep the writing going.

    Steven

    By the by ….. almost through with your first novel …. sorry it is taking so long …… I am loving it ……. so much I may want to take a crack at turning it into a screenplay ….. with your permission of course. We will talk when I am through.

  4. Susan says:

    Glad you’re writing again Forrest. Have a great birthday! Looking forward to the photo’s. Our best to Mary Ann.

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