20 days felt like 2 days, tons of outings and visits felt like one short dinner out….This is what best describes my short, surprising visit to Damascus. At 9 AM, 3 weeks ago, I was standing at my family's door knocking, they were having their morning coffee…my mom opened the door, her eyes widened, it took her a full minute to register what she saw... and then burst in tear while hugging me….My sister and older brother rushed to see what was happening, they were startled and froze for a couple of minutes as well. My younger brother then came rubbing his eyes to wake himself up as he didn't believe he was up….ten minutes later, all were silent, I started to get confused not knowing what to say….I wish I had a video cam with me to tape those minutes. My family was expecting my visit; however, I arrived few months earlier!
I had always wanted to do so….. to be far away…and then come unannounced and surprise everybody….nobody back home knew about my visit!
Then the word spread and I got swamped with friends and family members…members that I don't even remember knowing before…but after all this is part of the social life in Syria…. It comes in one package….no picking or choosing of what we want in that package.
During my short stay…..I celebrated my 30th birthday…. I'm not happy with how old I have grown to be…. knowing that I still have lots of checkboxes yet to fill…. A new era has begun in my life. The 30s are usually the mental scapegoat for the 20s…whatever we fail to achieve in our 20s…we convince ourselves that we still have the 30s to make everything come true…. I no longer have that luxury, alas!
So here is a brief summary of my empty life checkboxes:
Education: I still need 8 months to obtain my first Canadian Business degree. Add two years to that to finish my studies as a whole!
Family: I live alone… I have no special one and the environment that I live in doesn't help at all…. Short visits back home aren't enough to meet that one…. I'm tired with dating in here as well….for one I know that nothing serious would come out of dating a local girl or a peer international student in here. I know for a fact that I want my life partner to be Syrian and being aware of how old I'm…I just don't enjoy relationships that are doomed the moments they start!
Work: I have a job…but yet to start a career as without a Canadian degree there is nothing to be done in here!
Social life: It sucks big time…. I'm too old to go out partying….and partying is all what there is in here!
Friends: All are either back home or scattered around the globe….as for her…I do have many friends…or better say acquaintances but not enough cultural bases to start up something that would last….just things that fulfill the little of social needs that I have.
Health: Nothing has changed hamdillah….but I'm smoking more cigars these days. Cigars and Argileh are two bad habits that I have picked up here in Canada…
Despite all this....my 30th birthday remained a special day as I got to spend it with family and friends...not alone in Canada!
I'm going to post about Syria, they way I saw it during my visit, but I will do that soon on my Bits & Bites blog!