It is hot hot hot. According to weather websites it is 34 degrees C today. Just as I acclimatized to 29 degrees. This is very abnormal as it should be much cooler, but voila le global warming. However, when this breaks, it will really snap. Entirely contrary to Vancouver with its long spring and fall, Damascus has a long summer and a distinct winter, with no much in between.
About to meet with a friend for coffee. This is a guy who I met at the Damascus airport, who I swear was just one person behind me at Heathrow security, and now lives across the street from me. And who I've met twice in Bab Touma. This area has an extremely tight Arabic-learning community and it is unbelievable how many connections - for better or for worse - are made in the 2-week period prior to each university session. I know people in 2 houses within a block radius; I think my coffee friend knows people in 4. And then indirect connections branch out.
Last weekend consisted of "adventurous days". This included some travel admin (i.e. visa extension, a 10-step process involving 6-8 people, the end result was someone telling me I didn't need to do it) and a trip out to Palmyra and Bosra - sightseeing days which are great but also have their fair share of "adventure" that is undesirable, like taxi-haggling and the non-existance of return busses to Damascus. My taxi-related vocabularly is improving immensely, like "Please turn on the meter" and "It is prohibited to not use the meter". At one point, after refusing 10 taxi drivers who wanted to charge 4 times the known amount, I gave up and decided I would just pay whatever to the next one. And the heavens sent down an honest one who turned the meter on.
Started Arabic yesterday and have done my verbs: past, present, future and present participle.