Friday, July 29, 2005

Kalimaat Ka-alkalimaat (and some pictures, too!)

So Nathanael left this morning :( Tunisia is not going to be quite the same without him. Fortunately, I have so many big changes coming up that I'll hardly have time to be sad about his leaving. Yesterday was the final day of class with Homer, and next week is the beginning of the second session. In a classic Cari-Homer exchange, I attempted to convey to him that I am going to move down a level in the Arabic program and thus was not planning on taking the final exam. Of course it took two separate attempts taking about about ten minutes each and full of sighing, stuttering and gesticulating wildly. When he finally understood (which I actually can't be sure that he ever really did), he told me that perhaps we would see each other next month after the the test. I meant to say "possibly." Instead, I said "boring."

My living arrangements have been finalized for the next two weeks. I will be staying with Katie, Lorraine, Ann, and Eric in an apartment in downtown Tunis that was rented by the undergrads last month. I'm really excited for the change. I'm moving in on Monday, I think.

There is an end of session party tonight at the dorm. People form various countries are performing acts in a style from their particular culture. Adam and I are singing a couple of old-timey bluegrass tunes. It should be good fun. Tomorrow morning there is a "graduation" ceremony. I'm not sure if I even get a certificate since I didn't actually take the test, but it's all the same to me since I'm not getting any Yale credit for this anyway.

Despite the rather sad farewell this morning, I am kind of having a really fabulous day. I got up early for a final petit dejeuner with Nathanael and Nora. Then I partook in two activites that pretty much always make me feel better: napping and shopping. I spent the past several hours poking around the shops in Salambo and Le Kram. I talked with shopkeeppers, met some nice women my age, embarassed myself over and over again (but really that just goes along with being in public for me), talked with my favorite chwarma guy and bought some earrings and board games in Arabic. I haven't even been bothered much except for one guy in the supermarket and this fellow sitting next to me in the Internet Cafe right now.

(He just gave me a note that says (in english): "hello. You look very nice and would love if I can invite you for a [squiggle that could either be coffe or wife] some days. My name is Lomwis. ##.###.### Cheers." Gotta love those Tunisian men...)

After this I'm on my way to the city to talk to the director of the school about next month and warm up for the party tonight.

I haven't yet been able to upload pictures, but Nathanael has uploaded some of his, which I will now proceed to steal.



Here is a picture of the commune on our first day of school. It's early, okay?

From left to right: Me, Nathanael, Lea, Nora and Adam



Another view out of the bedroom window



The Colosseum of El-Jem south of Tunis, on the coast of Tunisia (the third largest Colosseum in the Roman World)



The Great Mosque of Kairouan

And I'm spent.

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