Thursday, January 1, 2009


Ah, another year. I've been reading a lot of happy-new-years-gaza-here-are-some-more-bombs type sentiments. Zeineb and Shaima at the salon looked shweya m3asaba today so I tried to cheer them up with tall tales of my new years night. A few of those things might have been true. They feigned smiles and eventually I asked why there were so out of spirits and they told me the world was broken and Gaza is being destroyed with all its people and I stopped talking about my adventures on the playa. I eventually fell asleep as they were curling my hair. I'm starting to think of my trips to the coiffure as fifty-dirham midday naps.
A day of firsts, I turned in just before all establishments on the playa, both classy and seedy, started charging a 200 dirham entrance fee. The cab stopped as though he was looking for me, and didnt make the usual comments I get on the way home from a late night, although he did try to charge me four times the cost of the ride and when I saw the "cuntur" (I usually only use such language in kesh) read "libre" I immediately Hashuma'd him as hard as I could like it was a sport, and he agreed to let me go for just twice the price.

This morning I finally made it back to the Fndq Shajarah to buy bedcovers and the mool offered me a beautiful off-white and white one for 250, and when I accepted he stalled for a couple of minutes while talking to a friend then re-entered the shop and explained something about a telephone and a high price and a question and then gave me fifty dirhams back. He was holding it in his hand, it belonged to him, I was smiling in approval, and he gave it back. M3amrni shouft shi haja pHal hakada.
The other firsts were less pronounced but still events I would consider firsts no matter what the date because these things happen in Tanja all the time. Nothing ever changes but b'safa 3ama, the details are changing enough that everything you do feels like the first time. Everything I do. I finally know how to not reflexively always speak Arabic in second person I don't know why I keep talking about you.

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