I’m living in a crazyworld. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jordan and my center, my kids, my landlady, my neighbors- it’s all great. But frequently during my day there are moments where I just have to stop and look around me, wondering how in the world this could be my life. There’s no other way to react. Today, for example, our center’s bus driver appeared at the door of the older girls’ classroom grinning and cradling an iguana. For the last 3 weeks one of my students has come to school wearing the same pinstriped suit and a clip-on tie. Last week I got into a heated discussion with my school’s principal about the spelling of the word “butter.” (He insisted that in British English it’s “buttle.”), and yesterday I walked into the older boys’ classroom where they all immediately fell to the floor and started doing push ups. Frequently I’ll be talking to someone and they’ll just casually flip open their phone and start filming me, and the number one conversation starter I get every day is invariably “What did you eat last night?” The guy who works at the post office has my cell phone number, and when I come in for my mail, it is understood that I will sit down for tea and cake he can ask me how my family is doing. Every morning I go for a run in the fields around my house, and sometimes I get chased by wild dogs.
This is my life. When people ask me how I’m doing, I usually just give an answer that reflects the last 20 minutes or so- “I’m good- I just ate some really good falafel with my landlady!” Giving an answer that reflects the whole day’s experiences usually seems daunting. The upside is that I am never, ever bored at work (or any other time I’m away from my apartment). The downside is that so many things happen every day that there’s no way I’ll ever be able to remember them all. But maybe by the end of these 2 years I’ll be completely used to everything that seems so crazy now. I’ll be back in the U.S., drinking endless cups of sugar-tea and flipping open my phone to film strangers on the bus. So when I demand to know where you’re from and everything you’ve recently eaten, be patient with me. I’ve been off in another world.