Life as Normal


Sat in the lounge slightly hung over from our dinner party last night, cutting out a large Easter bunny I have stuck on card for my prepositions-pin-the-tail-on-the-bunny Easter special tomorrow for my junior group and listening to BBC Middle East Arab Spring discussion.

Demonstrations outside apparently. I say apparently because we haven’t seen or heard anything first hand (hamdulliah). Death toll today 25 according to BBC according to human rights groups here apparently. Had a call from boss today staying stay home / get stocked up etc.

‘will it be okay to walk to work tomorrow?’ I asked. Annoyed I am told don’t go out. Don’t want to go out but don’t like to be restricted.

Last night was the first dinner party I have ever attended where the topic of conversation was almost entirely dominated by politics.

Life has been great since Dan got back. We’ve really enjoyed being here together and making plans. It has been so much more enjoyable having a job that is not hellish and living in the city in an apartment which is perfect for us. Went out on the roof. Looked at the mountains surrounding the city. Looked at the sun setting over the tree tops of the nearby park and reflecting on the dark glass of the four season hotel nearby and Blue tower hotel. Looked at the birds swirling overhead. Looked at the ivy tumbling over the wooden shutters of the balconies opposite and the soft ripple of the Syrian flag. All so at odds from the news back here in the apartment. But the men hanging around on the street, people going into usually closed doorway, white, mirrored window cars zooming around the empty streets leave me wondering what it is we cannot see.

Our speakers have broken and it seemed pointless to buy anymore even though we were having a dinner party last night because we could get evacuated on Saturday. They have been saying that every week of course, ‘be prepared to be evacuated on Saturday’, ‘pack a grab bag’. Finally today we have done that but it has felt unnecessary here otherwise. It’s very frustrating to finally have life to return to some kind of normality and find that we are living in the threat of imminent drastic change. Last week we pulled up all the weeds from the plant pots and tidied up the balcony. We bought strawberries and herbs to plant. Should we bother? Should we bother to frame the photographs we’ve had printed to hang in the apartment. How long do people wait in such situations before deciding to carry on as if everything will always carry on?

Every week the bosses at my work place interrupt my daily life to have a meeting where they ‘update’ us and tell us to carry on with our daily life. On Wednesday the ambassador visited the meeting and spent over an hour commending us on not losing our heads. I kept thinking about the lunch that I was missing and how I had to teach in 20 minutes. ‘Just carry on as normal’ they say. We try but they keep calling meetings.