Sunday, May 8, 2011

I miss you

There are always the basics I am excited to see when I return: friends, family, the important things.
However I have given some thought to what else I am excited for which in turn is things I appreciate about where I hail from:
The ability to drive. I have not driven a car since January 18th, 2011. This in turn means my mobility is limited to the kindness of others, or the mood I am in to negotiate with taxi drivers. (Driving is also insane here, and no one has the insurance to back me.)
Being in shape. I know traveling abroad is not an excuse to get out of shape, and I haven’t gained a lot of weight. However I had completed a marathon shortly before I left, and had been in pretty solid condition. Here it is either annoying difficult to run while conservatively covered in the heat, dangerous to do it at night lacking running trails. At Drake I also have a gym, which is easy to get to. In my area there isn’t a ton of possibilities, and I have been doing pushups but it will be nice to get my heart rate up again.
Food. Specifically knowing I am going to get what I ordered. The food is good here, though the variety lacks unless you are willing to pay big bucks and most importantly ordering is the equivalent of Russian roulette. I am ordering off of an Arabic menu, to a hindi waiter who may be talking to a Malaysian cook.
Alcohol. Okay maybe not specific tastes but the ability to have a beer at night is nice, and now that I put in my 21 years of time, I can do it, whenever I want in many states. It is a nice social setting, and one that you can have here only in a hotel (expensive,) but most of the places are rather shady and contain women (not the kind I mention below) of ill repute.
Sleep. My sleep is generally interrupted by a sun that bakes the flat roof above my head. This is fine when the average day includes a nap (I don’t generally get to take) and then restarts and goes till 2 am. My bed and I will undoubtedly have a great reunion.
The other gender. Are there women here? I think so. I mean there are these creatures in black that wear really nice smelling perfume and pretty colors on their heads. I see them interact with each other, but they are off limits to me. I imagine the first time I see a woman back home that I can interact with I will be at a loss for words and probably just stare. Greg and I were living in Salalah and took great joy that a fully covered woman asked us how we were (kaifick?) That has been the extent of my female communication with women I am not living or studying with.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Good morning Ian. Yes, I miss you too. Like you said, it is the little things we take for granted in our daily American lives. I feel you are ready to be "home" and get back to tasks at hand. This is final week at Drake and the campus is gearing up for graduation of its seniors. That will be you next year. It a sad yet joyous occasion for family and friends. The campus looks so beautiful with the green grass and trees finally budding. I pray for a safe return and a good transition back. There will be lots of emotions going thru your head during this time. Take it easy on yourself and let yourself feel the feelings. I am excited to see you back around Des Moines soon. You have been missed. Later and love Jane

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