Beginning is the Hardest Thing

‘Business or pleasure, sir?’

‘Does language study count as business?’

‘Ah, I guess that’s a bit of both, then. Enjoy your stay, sir.’

I don’t think I’ve ever had a worse case of cold feet than I did last night. If I paint myself as a seasoned traveler, the reality couldn’t be more disappointing. I spent most of this morning flying about the house in a panic, weighing, re-weighing and rearranging my suitcase, adding and removing books, cursing and swearing about how little I actually know about what happens when I leave the airport at Tangier. Shameless.

For the record, I had cold feet before going to Spain last September. Not quite this bad, but I still had my doubts. I suppose knowing Sevilla and being very confident in my Spanish did help, but having a firm knowledge of where I’d be sleeping that night was an added bonus. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had precious little over forty-eight hours at home that had me unsettled, most of which I spent traveling anyway.

It could also be the fact that I’m striking out alone.

I’ve forgotten my little green Arabic grammar book. It’s not essential, but it would have been nice to have – like so many things in my life. Al-Kitaab will do.

On a similar note, I’ve a lot less baggage this time. 18 kilos of hold luggage and a much slimmer rucksack than usual. Benjamin learns. It’s only two months, after all. I’ll need to invest in some decent sandals when I’m out there, though. Like as not it’ll be much too hot for socks. That might mean haggling, and I hate haggling, but… I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. This is why I’m heading out alone rather than waiting for the others. I have to push myself. I have to, or else I’ll never learn.

The gate info will be up in a minute. I guess I’d better get up and get ready to go. I’m not feeling quite so jittery anymore. Excited and a little scared. Good combination! I’ll see you in Africa. Ma’as-salaama! BB x

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