Oman - Week 3
Update: the rumors about Arabic are true
It's hard. Like, the I-study-for-several-hours-a-night-and-still-struggle kind of hard. We learned the basics of the Arabic alphabet, reading, writing, and introducing ourselves, all in two weeks! Thank goodness I have these cool cats to study with.
As someone who literally daydreams their way through life, having to constantly give my undivided attention has been something new. I have had to (reluctantly) come out of my typical-quiet-student shell and actually talk several times in one class period (in another language!). Woah. Talk about a shock to the system. BUT, the reward of being able to use what I've been learning is definitely worth it.
The other day, my lovely roommate Jill and I went to a shop during our class break, and we were able to actually talk to the shopkeeper in Arabic (it was only a few phrases, but still). He seemed so excited that we were trying to communicate with him in his own language, and even gave us a gift. We left his shop with our hands full and our spirits uplifted. This little encounter that lasted less than 10 minutes was exactly what we needed to remind ourselves why we have devoted these next 4 weeks to such a difficult task.
Yes, Arabic is our main priority these days, but that doesn't mean we don't have an occasional adventure (these are actually necessary to maintain our sanity). We've become obsessed with chai karak, a magically spiced tea that is served in cute miniature paper cups. We often take breaks from class or studying just for an excuse to wander outside and sip the sweet splendor of blending cardamom, sugar, milk, and black tea. Other mini adventures consist of becoming acquainted with Omani Domino's pizza (which wasn't bad), the divine Omani sweet shop, the fresh fruit store, and several local restaurants within walking distance. The institute we study at also plans little excursions for us each week.
It's so hard being surrounded by these amazing desert mountains and not being able to just go climb whenever I want! *sigh*
Aaaaaand, now that we have finished our 2 week introduction to Arabic, we will begin the actual 4 week program. By "actual", I mean that our highly talented teacher will suddenly "forget" how to speak English.
*mentally calculates how many chai karak runs it will take to survive*