I lost my place but I can’t stop this story

So I’ve gone off on a sabbatical of sorts.. but, I guess since I’m Muslim, it’d be like a khelwah? Only without the spiritual enlightenment and ascending of spirit and descending of peace and grace. No, it was really closer to me wallowing in self-pity. You know Jim Carey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas?

“4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger – tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?”

Yeah. It wasn’t pretty. Or it was. Pretty pathetic, that is.

Buttt it’s over! And I can now open this blog again without feeling the urge to pound out some seriously monotonous and depressing “why me” drivel.

Instead, I come bearing news! After two and a half – actually, it’s two years and eight months, but hey, who’s counting? – years I’m finally moving back!! Plans are for either mid May or June, but either way I’m out before summer starts. 

You’d think after two years and eight months of constantly searching for that silver lining – and sometimes resorting to making it up – I’d be ecstatic. Well, I am and I’m not. I think this sums it up best:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Maybe I should pull a Yogi Bear – when you come to a fork in the road, take it – and accept whatever happens as what is meant to happen and not look back and wonder. But I’m already missing Syria. In fact, while my brothers are going around playing our traditional traveling game – what’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get there? – I’m always asking everyone what they’re going to miss most. So far, no one voluntarily admits to missing anything, although I’ve gotten three to concede that they’ll miss the convenience of having a mosque around every corner, but my list is pretty long. Lol. Maybe I’ll post it up when I’m done =)

Oh, and funny thing happened. My answer to my brother’s question was “Subway – EAT FRESH.” And then yesterday, I went to a new mall – which, considering there’s like ONE mall in Damascus, you’d think they’d endeavor to build the new one pretty much no where near the preexisting mall. Well it isn’t. There’s about 10 meters – if that – between the two malls – in Damascus –Damasquino – and I was going solely for Second Cup when my friend’s student let her know they’d opened up a Subway! The real deal!! Holy crap, eh? It wasn’t exactly the same since they didn’t have my regular Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki or BBQ sauce but the Teriyaki Chicken was pretty good and instead of my cookie I got Lays chips =( AND the cute guy who used to work at MY subway wasn’t there (and I really hadn’t realized till now that I’d sorta integrated him into my Subway experience, but there he is! And yo, it’s completely beyond my control. He’s made my sandwiches at not one, not two, but THREE different Subways. This guy knows my sandwich. And unless Subway is cloning this one cute guy to attract customers like hmm… me? he has every right to be an essential – and much missed – part of my Subway experience! So there). But subway followed by a butter pecan latte at Second Cup, whilst playing Sudoku? It was the closest I’d expected to get this side of the ocean. 

So now my second choice has been bumped to number one: Timmie’s here I come! XL black coffee  and a cinnamon and raisin bagel, lightly toasted, with cream cheese. *drool*

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14 Comments

Filed under Canada, Cultural Observations, Food, islam, Only in Syria, Personal, Poetry, Syria

14 responses to “I lost my place but I can’t stop this story

  1. Hmm Robert Frost, very fitting!

    I had the very bagel you described from Timmie’s today for lunch. It was good 😀

    Moving is a big thing. My question is which place feels more like Home to you?

  2. SO GOOD to see you back here! I’d love to see your list sometime. 🙂 Congrats on the upcoming move. I am sure you will love being home, but I wonder if you will fit in as well as you did prior to living in Syria. It’ll be interesting to hear once you are back in Canada. Keep us posted as time permits. Enjoyed the food talk — and drool! 😉

  3. I’ve miss you so! Yay for Subway though.

  4. Seen

    I’m glad to see you’re back to posting :)and I hope this move is for the best inshAllah…are you coming to Toronto by any chance?

    I’m wondering though…I’m pretty sure there’s more than one mall in Damascus..Town Center, City Mall, the one in Kafarsouseh(I can’t remember the name)..unless those are on the outskirts? But that Damasquino looks pretty cool- where is it exactly?

  5. Ayesha

    OMG ARE YOU MOVING BACK TO CANADA?!

    YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    eeee this is so great!! Are you moving back to Alberta or to Ontario? Please move to Ontario! Oh, it would be so great if you lived here, hon! There’s so many more opportunities here for work and education and all that and plus if you moved here then you could come see me! (: How can you pass up an offer like that?!

    When will you be coming back? Whee, I promise, if you come to Ontario I’ll drag you to the nearest Timmy’s (there’s like, three just outside my house LOL) and treat you to every single doughnut they have! They’ve got this new kind, it’s cherry and it’s shaped like a flower, you’ll love it!

    I missed you by the way (: Glad to see you’re back. I can totally relate to that Grinch thing, haha! I guess, sometimes it’s just easy to be in love with your sadness, huh?

  6. sabiwabi

    great poem

    ALWAYS take the less traveled path

  7. You are really really going to miss Syria.

    As challenging, even infuriating and inconvenient as life can be living in these countries, we learn new things, we develop new skills, and we learn more about ourselves and our capabilities. There is a reverse culture shock, called re-entry – it’s an established phenomena. Be prepared! 🙂

  8. That poem by Robert Frost was for my father’s tombstone. He loved it, hummed it and kept it close to him during his life. Today is the first time I’ve been to your blog, good to remember my father, glad you’re inpspired by the words.

  9. Molly

    I’m so with you. so so with you. I want to be home before summer as well. InshAllah. Is it your whole family going?

  10. Liya – I’m wondering the same thing.. I’m not too sure, but I guess I’ll find out in a few months!!

    Susanne – Too true. Three years is a loonngg time. But then again 18 is even longer, so I hope I’ll fit right back in!

    Mona – I’ve missed being here! And Subway is genius. Hands down.

    Seen – About the malls, you’re right. There is another mall, City Mall which is in Mezzeh (I think) and the other, the Town Center is out of city limits… which is why I don’t include it. The Damasquino is literally right next to Cham City Center.. 10 steps max, me thinks.

    As for where, it’s not Toronto, unfortunately. Back to Cowtown for me.. err Calgary, that is. Bas, Allah ye adem li fee khair, I believe. So thanks for the prayers. Ameen for us all, inshAllah =D

    Ayesha – Woman, you tempt me =( but it’s back to Alberta I go… last I huurd, ain’t no cows in Ontario ta keep a puurson company. Ya know how uh luuv mah coww tippin’. Loool. Nott. But here’s the deal, if I ever head east, I’ll take you up on that offer. And if you ever mosey along westwards, I’ll make it worth your while 😉

    Sabiwabi – sound advice. It’s the only way to go

    Intlxpatr – Me thinks I’ll need a crash course in assimilation to speed up the re-entry process =P!! But, you’re right. I’ll definitely miss this side of the big blue.. there’s never a dull moment.

    Shirley – I’m glad you enjoyed the reminder and I’m sorry for your loss. There’s no doubt that this poem is inspiring; I know it’s certainly helped me at times =)

    Molly – Poor, poor Molly! Sounds like you’re taking the Grinch spiel to a whole new low =( Chin up, it’s bound to get better, inshAllah =) And no one’s quite sure who is going and who is not. I am for sure though. Front and center babyy!

  11. Salaam Alaikum,

    Aaah, I was hoping you’d still be there in November, so I could bump into you. Nevermind, you’ve cheered me up with the Subway news.

  12. Wasalaam! No, unfortunately I won’t =( But like you said, Subway will make it all better! And check out Second Cup, if you do go by. It’s a Canadian thing, but it’s great 😉

  13. ooh, I missed your first post back!
    I think you are on to something… They have a whole set of alluring clones at Subway’s! 😀

  14. lool!! I’ve run into a few of the ‘clones’ so I know what you’re talking about. In Syria they tend to put the fries in the sandwich which sorta give it away… but this one is for real. A completely fry free subway. That alone was heaven =P

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