Have gotten to meet a good few people here. Friends of friends who quickly become friends. We do lots of going out in the evening to visit people and enjoy hospitality. The routine for local people here seems to be to have you round about 5 and serve you 'atey' (tea) and bread. The tea has a whole complicated ceremony with actions that don't have an english translation - as I've discovered when I was set homework around tea vocabulary! They wash the tea leaves first then brew in a pot for quite a while so you can talk and talk. The tea is poured into a 'kes' (glass) from a great height to cool the liquid down. That kes is then often poured from one glass into another to cool it down more before it is put back in the pot! Ah, and of course there is the sugar. I am getting Jo to get mine poured pre-sugar because I don't want an early onset of diabetes. They seriously put in BRICKS of the stuff. It sets your teeth on edge just watching! The bread is phenomenal. They have batbot bread which is a flat round bread that is good on its own or with butter and anther flat, oily bread that I can't remember the name of right now. So good. So fattening. Men here like their women large. Seriously.
Had an interesting conversation with a guy about learning Arabic who said that those who work at figuring out the script do much better long term. I guess this makes perfect sense so I'm trying to get the hang of some of the writing. It's only 28 or so characters and little kids are taught the alphabet so how difficult can it be?? I'm overlooking the fact that each letter can be written three different ways depending on whether it is at the start, middle or end of a word. I'll be fluent before long, I'm quite sure!
Have been sampling a quite staggering amount of home and shop baked desserts. There have been three birthdays this week, a general meeting up of friends twice and probably other things my guilt is blocking out! Honourable mentions go out specifically to a friends cinnamon buns that were PHENOMENAL and my tarte aux poires which did not fail to impress!
Had an evening strolling along the beach with friends. The grown ups walked and talked. I jumped across the dried, seaweed-covered rocks looking at rock pools and shells with the 11 year old!
Language lessons are going a bomb. I can very slowly and 'with great concentration sometimes manage...' (NOT going to finish that Arrested Development quote T&G!!) ... give directions, name places round town, greet people, count to 11 (?), say the alphabet and give a little information about myself. I'm really enjoying it and the words that even a few days ago I thought I would never learn are beginning to stick.
All for now!