Monday, March 30, 2009

Incommunicado, Language Barriers, and Never Present Social Cues

Well, here I go. It's been a long while, I know. Rest assured that all is fine (relatively speaking). There have been some definite rough patches in the last month since I have written, and I'm not perfect but I read Orientialism too, you know. Which is to say that I know better than to allow my bad mood from personal situations affect what I have to say about my time here, the people, the place. So I took an accidental hiatus. Of course after that it seemed that so much had happened that I didn't know where to start. I suppose I will start from the beginning.

My living situation has been very difficult for me, for various reasons, most of which I will not discuss here. Suffice it to say that part of the problem is the culture and my experience of it as a foreigner. Despite what Edward Said speaks of as "penetrating into a culture" and "experiencing it" positivisticly, there is a marked difference between the world of Nerval, Flaubert or Lane (the likes of whom he was writing) travelling through the Middle East in the 19th century as men, and the world in which we live in (and I specifically) today. I have to say that I feel that even if I were to live here for ten years, I would always be treated as an outsider and as different. I can't leave the house without lewd comments being made about me or without being hassled by men who think that because I look like the girls on 90210 that I must act like them as well. Even the Israeli soldiers give me creepy looks when I pass through checkpoints. On the whole I am not bothered by it any more, though how I am told to respond to it does bother me immensely.

Anyway I must run now, but more will come later today, I promise.