My Life is an Open Kitaab

Last night, at the same time as deciding to watch another hour of CSI:Las Vegas, we decided that it was absolutely impractical to get up at 6:30 and that we were going to have a lie-in. So even though the sun shining through our lack of blind woke me up at 7:16am, starting at a more student-friendly (i.e. Late) time was most refreshing. Breakfast might not have been omelette and crepes, but we had vast reserves of watermelon for sustenance. Having a full dish each this morning, we’re still only just half way through it. Well, they say you are what you eat, so watch me turning green.
Talking about people being green, Billy wasn’t feeling too great today. There’s been a 24-hour bug going around, and seeing him out of sorts today was so sad, when the only two times I’ve seen him not smiling were after losing his sandal and getting ripped off by the taxi man. What a guy. It was a bit glum in class today learning the new vocabulary too. The words were not too hard, but included was “she died” and “saddening or distressing”. Fortunately we could use lighter examples, like “In my house there is no food. It is saddening”. Better than “two years ago, my mother was in a car accident.” “Really?” “No. It was all I could think of”. Great imagination there Hannah.
As a lighter option, this afternoon we had cooking club again! We were making an amazing thing between a crepe and bread. To begin with, it was just cornmeal, flour and water, and we dared to think that it might actually be healthy. False alarm, we were literally rolling in butter my friends. I’m talking an entire dish of melted butter and oil mixed together, into which we were to plunge our hands, and knead into the dough enough fat to supply seven heart attacks . Yes, it tasted amazing.
One of the best things about studying in a language school is the language humour that pours forth at every opportunity. I think my favourite one was, when talking about Life, Love and Deeply Profound Things, Charlotte’s comment “My life is an open kitaab”.
Another great language blunder was to be found in James’ Beginner 3 class syllabus. His discussion topic for yesterday was “Do women are equal to men?” Well said Google Translate. But really, it was a fascinating discussion by all accounts. It wasn’t so much the fact that they are or not, but how women are treated as unequal throughout the world. Sobering topic huh? But it’s been on our minds a little what with, well, being here. One of the main things we find hard to deal with in our culture is the fact that while we are equal, we are different. It doesn’t seem quite right to say this, but it’s true! We are not the same, yet working together, we are something beautiful and so valuable. But in the world, we see so little of this. Even watching Mulan with the girls earlier, I was thinking, “do women are equal to men?”
Yes, we watched Mulan earlier. Like how I slipped that in? We came back to the flat with the sincere intention of studying hard for the midterm on Friday. Settling down with our books, we began to revise verbal rules and terribly studious things like that. But we all know that Girly Study Sessions often turn into Paint Our Nails and Watch Disney Sessions. Please tell me I’m not the only one? But still, we have plenty of time chiselled out for some proper revision of all the many things we’ve learned in our 10 days of being here. Thinking about it, there would be nothing sadder than having this amazing experience, and going home with nothing to show for it. But even if all we’ve learned is to be more confident, we’re already seeing fruit in our communication with our waiters and taxi drivers. Genuinely, I’m absolutely loving not using English!! With a crazy mix of Arabic and French, we usually manage. And realising that you just got through an entire taxi ride without using English once is such a great feeling!
Happy days here in Rabat, loving the joy of communication and language. Beautiful world!
Hannah

I am a final year BA International Relations student at Sussex University, and I’m also studying the Arabic Language Elective Pathway. Alongside this, I am acting as a Student Language Ambassador, in hopes of convincing the world that a language is a beautiful thing :)

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