Arid Letters

The Diary of an English Teacher in Arabia


Ennui To This

Yesterday, I began journaling because I felt incredibly bored.  By the time I was finished, I realized that I wasn’t bored anymore and had no reason to be.  Writing is funny like that. 


Well – they warned me.  The other teachers talk a lot about the boredom.  They say it’s unavoidable.  I shrugged this off.  After all, momma always said, “Only boring people get bored,” right?  I thought, sure, maybe there are less opportunities to socialize here, not so much busyness as I’m used to, but that’s o.k., I had been craving less busyness in my life.  I remember specifically saying, not too long ago, back in the States, “Gosh, I really, really wish I could feel bored, just once.”

Well, I’ve found boredom, and honestly, it’s kind of sucky.

I don’t have internet or TV hooked up in my apartment yet, which is probably a good thing.  Just because I’m bored doesn’t mean I need to tune in to something mindless.

Here’s the list of activities I have available: read, write, study Arabic, revise some documents for work, exercise, cook, nap, or have a bath.  Yeah – I consider having a bath an activity.  What of it?  Actually, I only have a shower in my apartment, so this last option is kind of out the window.

The thing is, I’m tired of reading and studying Arabic, since that’s all I’ve been doing since 7.30 this morning.  It’s almost four in the afternoon now.  I arrived in Qassim with one week of classes left in the semester, so although I have to come to the office every day, I don’t exactly have anything to do.  So I’ve been spending my days reading and studying, which is great.  However, by this time in the afternoon, my brain is tired, and I’m ready for some recreation.

A bus leaves from the compound to take people shopping from four to six in the evening.  The last two days (my first days in Qassim), I went out with the shopping group.  I stocked up on groceries for my apartment (I had ostrich for supper the first night, and camel liver last night), and I took in the sights, such as they are.  Malls are one of the main recreational outlets in Saudi Arabia.  However, these shopping trips were already starting to feel boring, so I decided to stay home this afternoon and check out the gym on our compound.  Good plan – until I found out that from four to six the gym is reserved for ladies only.  You go girls.  I’ll just, y’know… not go… until later.

So.  I’m going to put on some music.  And cook my supper now so I can eat it right when I’m done working out later.  As soon as I finish exercising, I want to quickly eat, shower, and go to bed.  I’ve been going to bed very early, then waking up around four in the morning.  Don’t ask me why I wake up so early.  Maybe I’m hoping I’ll find something to do.

This was the supper I ended up making for myself.  The rest of the roast ostrich, along with roast carrots, cauliflower, onion, and fried green tomatoes.  Moussy Classic non-alcoholic malt bevarage from Sweden.  The cool part?  This meal cost me like three bucks.  And music is always free, this is what I was listening to: .  Props to Devanshu Narang for being one great DJ.  My friends may be far away, but they still keep me going.