Saturday, 26 July 2008

Day 29: Dream

I woke up in the middle of the night today and couldn't sleep so I decided to go to the roof and sit in silence for a while.

I will miss this silence. Cairo, like this NYT article says, is a city where you literally can't hear yourself scream. The average noise in Cairo from 7am to 10pm is 85 decibels, a "bit louder than a freight train only 15 feet away." In some ways, it's nice to live in anonymity in a big cosmopolitan city where you can get lost, but at the same time it must be nice to live in a place where you can tell the microbus driver (no cabs here) take me to so and so's house, and he knows automatically where it is. That's how small Tarim is.

Sometimes, you just need silence to think. And what I thought about tonight is what I want to take back with me from Tarim.

My mother had a dream about me and had it interpreted by their neighbor (the elderly habib).

She dreamt I was pregnant. In Arabic, the word pregnant, 'hamel, literally means 'the carrier' i.e. you are carrying a baby. Well, the interpretation she got is that the pregnancy symbolizes the knowledge I have gained from this Dowra—which I will go back 'carrying.'

I'm still kind of sketchy about dreams—any dream you have you could say was a 'vision,' how could you distinguish either or? Plus you can get a dozen different interpretations for the same dream. Either way, it's a beautiful interpretation, and I wish it was true. That I truly come back from this Dowra with knowledge that I carry and then pass on, but I'm not presumptuous or arrogant enough to think that. So for me at least, the dream was just a manifest of my Arab mother's subconscious desire for me to get married and have kids :)

But it definitely is time to start thinking about going 'back;' tomorrow (or today, as it may be) is Day 30, which means three quarters of my time here is up. We leave on Monday morning for Makalla/ Al-Rayaan on a four day trip which I'm really excited about but sad at the same time because it means we'll only have six days left in Tarim when we come back.

I feel like I've taken root here. It's only been a month and yet the day now feels as natural to me as any jam-packed day I had back home. I've realized a lot about myself, good and bad, but I'm still not clear about what exactly my resolutions are for when I go back home, and what, if anything, I'm going to change about my life.
UstadhaMoneeba (our house supervisor) told us once that Tarim is like a well, and so we must take as much water from it as we can. So I'm taking in the water, but I'm not exactly sure if my container is good enough not to let the water drip out or evaporate. And even if it is, what am I going to do with the water?

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