Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wandering the Streets

So I've been wandering around town alot the past few weeks, taking some crappy pictures and whatnot. With the departure of my family, there's nothing to do at 2 am anymore so I've been trying to catch up with all of the oscar nominations (each DVD has the warning across the bottom "this copy is for academy screening purposes only"), my pick this year is Juno, it put me in a good mood for about a week. I'm also starring in a lame video production of an Arabic language series with some of my co-students, so I am also busy after school memorizing scripts, and don't have that much time to sit and miss Alexa (and..., oh yeah, Vanessa).
I'll also be moving into a new apartment this next week closer to the University, which is in a poorer and thus cheaper area where I'll probably have more interaction with 'normal' Syrians, as opposed to the wannabe cool kids that hang out in my area in front of the expensive coffe shops and eye me warily when I pass by. I actually found a gypsy camp in Damascus down by the river behind the Sheikh Saad area and was considering renting a room from one of them in thier mud hut for $40 a month, but it had no washing machine or fridge or hot water or kitchen, etc. and I didn't want to go to the bathroom in a hole three feet from where I laid my head for 4 months, even though the gypsies would probably be good for my Arabic.

So tomorrow I have to devote an entire day to getting my new apartment contract approved by the Syrian gov. It goes something like this:
1. go to the ministry of housing and pay a guy to get some forms,
2. go the the US embassy to get one of the forms notarized and stamped,
3. go to the Syrian ministry of foreign affairs to get that paper stamped again,
4. return to the ministry of housing and present the stamped papers which they then stamp again,
5. go to the ministry of finance to pay the taxes on the contract (need stamps from 7 different offices),
6. return a third and final time to the ministry of housing and get my rent contract approved (stamps from four different offices)! and I used to complain about the DMV...

Axexa is doing fine at her grandparents house in Maryland and is apparently a child prodigy, reading Balzac and composing symphonies, they are off to Peru in two weeks and will stay there for almost three months. My mom is going out to DC see her before they leave, sure wish I could be there, or they could be here... or we could all be somewhere else.

I'm sure glad to be away from the hype of the primaries, nobody here really understands what is going on in the US or seems to care. The only thing that anyone has said to me is that if Clinton wins they'll be convinced that the US is a dynasty like Saudi Arabia. First Bush and son, and now Clinton and wife. He said this standing right under a big sign of Assad. Like Saudi? I said. But he didn't seem to get it.

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