Saturday, January 15, 2011

Skating in Syria

Well, I guess I should apologize.  Here I am making a blog and being all gung-ho about it, and I haven't updated it since Thanksgiving.  So, all I can say is, my bad.

In my defense, the end of last semester was filled with a whole not of nothing.  I was basically just studying Arabic the entire time, and that has a limited novelty.  At any rate, last semester ended on December 17th, at which point I high-tailed it to Amman.  My three weeks off were pretty fun, but I'm not going to talk about them here.  If you're really interested, email me.

Upon arriving back in Syria, I was greeted with the unfriendly reminder that it actually gets cold here.  Fortunately it's not the kind of blistery cold of -10˚F accompanied by mountains of snow.  However, it is an inescapably constant 35-40˚ annoyance.  There are no insulated buildings in this country and not a whole lot of central heating, but understandably so since the summers here are nigh unbearable.  However, this means that currently there is little refuge from the cold.  Even the newest student, from Norway, commented on how cold it is here.  However, we did manage to find a skating rink, and at $6 per hour (including rentals) it's not a bad deal, despite the cratered ice.

In other, non-weather related news, my roommate Chris and I have recently moved to a new place.  We were living in the aforementioned apartment which had an amazing view from the roof, however we were also living only with foreigners.  So, we made a decision last month to move to a monastery (it's called a deir in Arabic), but it's actually just a student house.  It's in the "new" old city (Jadaida) and, in addition to the one kid in our program who already lived there, we're living with 6 or 7 Syrian students, and a dentist.  So, this basically means more Arabic in life, which is always a good thing.

Hopefully my next update will not take me two months to come up with, however no promises.