Last week I was in London and raving about the street cleaners knowledge of their city. This week I’m in Damascus, Syria – yes, my friends all give me a hard time about the ‘jet setter’ that I am – to learn Arabic over the next five weeks. And this morning it was a street cleaner who took me, along with his cart, to the building where I was having my Arabic lesson.
Everyone here – admittedly the men – is really friendly and willing to help with directions. The reason I chose Damascus over other Arab capitals such as Cairo and Beirut was two fold. I had never been and I also heard Syrians are proud to speak Arabic, even with foreigners who stumble, get the masculine/feminine/pronoun endings of verbs wrong and generally confuse the listener while being confused themselves. And my first four days have proven this to be true.
Today I had a hilarious trudge through the souk to meet up with my fellow classmates, realizing only halfway through that I had inadvertently switched from asking for directions to the garden to asking how to get to the handbag. The three of us, the two men selling water and I, had a good laugh.
Hopefully I won’t make that mistake again soon.
IMPRESSIVE. good luck and would love to know how it went
It was really fantastic. Can’t say enough good things and now already miss hearing Arabic 6 hours a day.