Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pre-Jizan Thoughts

June 20, 2006 4:30 PM
33 The Stream Edge, Oxford UK
6 hours at the Examination Schools finally behind me, confetti and flowers still in my hair, a black velvet ribbon tied loosely around my neck...

Received an email with “good news: Saudi Telecom has finally installed a tower at the camp site- now we have mobile phone reception within 2km of the area!” Should I write back saying that I wasn’t aware that mobile phones didn’t already work in Jizan? Dear Lord, what world will I be entering on Saturday? How do they have Internet but no mobile phone reception? Do they have Internet?! Will I be able to keep up this electronic thesis diary? What about checking my wall postings on Facebook?!

June 21, 2006
2:30PM- Oxford Train Station
Struggling to get my suitcase onboard as a stuffy train conductor watches me from the platform. Finally, he decides that I’ve blocked the door long enough and intervenes with false cheer: “May I suggest that you buy a bag that you yourself can lift? There won’t always be someone to help you with it.” Wow. Taken aback by his chivalry (or lack thereof), I decide not to flaunt my “rowing” muscles at him- or to retort that I could lift him on the train, too, if only the wheels of my suitcase were not stuck to the bottom of the platform. And with that, I bid farewell to fair Oxford, its dreamy spires, and its not-always-friendly townies. And so begins the journey towards my shrimp city, err… hamlet.

8:30 PM- “All aboard” Saudi Airlines 116 to King Abdulaziz Jeddah International Airport. One guess as to what’s playing on the TV screens… Yup, the Ministry of Tourism’s promotional video for none other than: Jazan Province.

Beloved blog-readers, time-wasters, Noura-lovers: forget Granada or TapkapI Palace-- Jizan is where it’s at: colorful Islamic calligraphy engravings and mud-built huts; rows upon rows of mango trees; prancing gazelles; glorious purple-orange sunsets; and intricate woodwork that would make my classmate Janelle weak at the knees. Of course, the camera may be concealing just as much as it reveals (typical of “environmental” documentaries, there are no people in these shots— what else are they hiding?) But still! How exciting! I just might apply for a week off to explore the Fifa Mountains, Farasan Islands, Bin Malik and Lajab Arreeth Valleys. Any takers? They should start operating direct flights from London.

10 comments:

Janelle said...

Noura, I will trade pictures of the wedding for pictures of the wordwork there ok! It sounds like you are off to an amazing adventure. Keep us all posted!

Love,

Janelle

ivyzhang said...

Hi!enjoy your trip to Jizan! I will check your blog frequently and know your interesting experience there! let's do keep in touch, i'm so pleased to know you from our program and had a wonderful time together, you are a sweet girl!

if you are interested, you can check my blog www.xiuyingzhang.blogspot.com

Jordan said...

I love it already! Best of luck with the research, my interview-buddy. We'll compare notes at some point...

Love,
Jordan

paul said...

hey shrimp! hah, i had to. well, i was just thinking, i have pretty big muscles... that said i think i should come on your data generation trip as "hired muscle", or body guard, or man to wave fan... there are hundreds of other good reason for me to come, and i think jordan should too, and janelle, and ivy, actually everyone from the course should come help you collect data. that my piece.

Diana said...

Hi honey!! Just wanted to say hello and good luck and that I'm so proud of you - sounds like this summer will be quite a trip (literally and figuratively of course). I miss you tons and tons! Love you!!

Diana

Hyewon said...

Oh, so challenging and adventurous! You don't know how I miss you here, habibty...I'll pray for you everyday. I really hope you can have an internet access there and the work is going well. Luv ya!!!!!

Kevin Ferrone said...

As always Nora, it's great hearing from you. I am sure you will have a wonderful experience while in Jizan. I have a little trip of my own! I am moving to China in September. I decided that living and working in a normal repetative job was just not cutting it for me right now. I will be living in a city called Linyi City and teaching english at Linyi Normal University. I'm really excited to go and my older Brother will be teaching at the same University as well! Anyway, good luck with you trip and maybe at some point the meisters will reunite. Bye for now Nourameister!!!

-Kevin

Anonymous said...

Wow Noura! I am impressed and extremely jealous! I may just use your blogspot in Civics class next year. You know me always on the prowl for new info on Saudi Arabia. Take care!
Ms. Jeanie

Ghazal said...

Nouratttttttttttte, How is Jizan the hippest place in Saudi ;) i am sure you are having a great time with all these shripms lool..are you coming to Jeddah this weekend? Miss you alot. I keep forgetting that you are in Saudi and i can call your saudi phone hehe..I will call you today :)

Love ya,

Gaz

Anonymous said...

Hija!
Miss my huggy girl :)
I'm already in Kyiv.. Preparing for my trip to Poland the day after tomorrow.. a bit afraid of my fieldwork..
Hope you are having fun with yours :)
Dzvinka

IT began as a field diary for my summer in Jizan (2006) under the title "Watch Out Bubba Gump." Now I'm not sure what it is... but I do know it's time for me to start writing again.