“Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man’s last romance.” A Woman of No Importance
Speaking of romance, yes I found Danielle Steel books in my university bookstore. In Arabic. Sitting amongst Charles Dickens and Joseph Conrad and Shakespeare, there they were! So of course I had to stop and look and see what else is stocked (I only went in to buy index cards, which of course they didn’t have). The bookstore also had Eclipse, also in Arabic, and a couple of recent-ish fiction books in English. I was pretty entertained that the books they had in Arabic were romance and vampire books. What I really wanted to do was take a picture of the books, but I thought that might be pushing it. Maybe I’ll sneak in during an off-peak time and try to snap a photo of it!
Now, similar to the Palestinian concept of time (see earlier post), there is no real concept of standing in line. This can be frustrating, as you can imagine, like today when all I wanted to buy was a notebook and two pencils at the bookstore. There are two female students standing at the cash register asking for textbooks (like at UVA, you’d go to the corner to get those bounded reader books – not you, E-schoolers). So I wait for the one cashier to get their bounded readers for them. During that time, about 6 more students came into the bookstore, took one glance at me, rightfully decide that I have no idea what is going on, and crowd around the cash register. They are polite in kind of waiting for each other to call out which reader they each need (if you can be polite in such a situation?), but there’s no concept of “I was here first so I get waited on next.” This whole time, I’m standing exactly where I had been for the past 5 minutes, waiting patiently for my turn. Ha! Silly foreigner. So one of the female students leaves from her perch at the desk, and I quickly slide in. And as soon as I catch the poor cashier’s eye, I wave the notebook and two pencils at him and directly hand him my money! Success.
Even though I have no idea how much a notebook and two pencils cost, so I have no idea if he gave me correct change back (like most places, there’s no computer or scanner to scan prices, and no receipts). But, really, there’s just a trust thing here.
And on my way home today, there must have been a new shipment of imports at my supermarket and I was thrilled to be able to find actually packaged lunch meat!!! I’m not really sure which type of meat it is (I could tell the other package was salami but I didn’t want that), but I have been searching and searching for packaged lunch meat. The only other meat I’ve seen is at the butcher shop, and I don’t really want to go buy a chunk of meat to cook – as I only have a stove top and a microwave, plus it’s just not as convenient as pulling out a slice of lunch meat to put on a pita with hummus. Which is exactly what I did as soon as I got home from the supermarket today!!