Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting Anxious!

The Leaving Day (as I will name it- 26th of January in other words) is approaching and I find myself needing to write more frequently. I guess I am just getting more nervous as the time to leave my only home is drawing closer.

So now there is more hassle with the University. I got another E-mail telling me that I still had to send a certified copy of my diplomas to them by the 25th- of January! Ok so for anyone living abroad this very sentence poses several challenges that none of my German peers could even fathom. First of all:
Which diploma? As I went to school in Jordan but did English classes in school which did not count towards my grade and were only meant to educate me for my British A-level examination I was understandably a bit at a loss about which Diploma to choose. I didn't have a Jordanian one so we could just scratch that option. My school Diploma looks only vaguely legitimate as it is from Jordan and for anyone with average geography skills that sounds like it was probably obtained with a 50$ bribe. So I can have that one certified by the school itself though I don't really know how much more legitimacy that would lend it! And then of course there is my A-level Diploma which I figured was the one they wanted a copy of except they mentioned a grade list. Fine. We'll copy, certify and send them all!

That's when the next problem pops up:

Jordanian Postal Service (read: Crappy-Rubbish-Unreliable Postal Service): For anyone living in or especially having grow up in an Undeveloped or Developing Country this comes as absolutely no surprise. For everyone else with the benefits of fantastic speedy mail this should sum it up: When we say snail mail, we mean SNAIL mail. Likelihood is your letter or package will get lost in what passes as our postal service, will get sent to the wrong address or reach its destination months after it was originally sent, possibly even after a letter sent at a later date to the same person. Welcome to Jordan!

Add a chaotic and slightly broke family and you get what we have here. A week till the Diplomas are due, a rubbish postal service which is guaranteed not to get it there by then if ever, and a few E-mails asking if we can bring the Diplomas personally when we get there 2 days after they are due. Hmm. Wonder what my odds are of surviving the super organized disciplined world that is called Europe. Any thoughts? :P

Her is some Good New though. My mum is coming with me for two weeks to help me settle in! You know. Through all the craziness that is happening right now ( I haven't even told my neighbor I'm leaving yet. She's gonna kill me!) I think this might be my way of working through it all. I can't seem to grieve. Or at least I don't know how. I think I'm still a little in Denial. I think despite having started packing my bags and drawing up a list of cheap stuff I need to get before I leave and places I need to visit before I do and the people I need to say goodbye to I think I still don't quite believe I'm actually leaving. It's like I'm reading someone else's story or book and I feel so bad for them and wonder when in the plot line they are going to manage to do all the things I know I would have to do too -if I was in their place that is.

In addition to that I have never grieved about leaving before. Not since I was 8. And I don't think I grieved then. I've grieved a lot about other people leaving so much so that when people leave I'll settle into my comfortable withdraw-and-be-sad-and-hurt-for-a-bit-and-then-act-like-nothing's-wrong-routine as soon as someone even mentions they might be leaving. But I have no blueprint for grieving about leaving home myself (that territory is almost as uncharted for me as the German Railway system for me). So I think this is my subconscious attempt at resolving what I know is there but simply can't seem to access. I think that this blog is more for me than for everyone else, and the reason it's a blog and not a private journal is cause I wished I'd found something like this from other (especially European)  TCKs, and if anyone ever needs this I want them to find this and know vaguely what to expect and that they are not alone.

Anyway here is a beautiful shot of my city by Photographer "Noor Renfroe".

I think I will always love this city but once I leave I don't think it will actually ever be Home again! :S

Starting to really get nervous!

8 days! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Home Is

Home! Such a confusing concept.

Relient K says: "Home is where the Heart is and my Heart is where you are." Who were they referring to? Was it their Significant Other or was it their Family or something a lot more abstract. Was it a feeling? Where was home? 

The Sisterhood of the traveling pants wondered something similair. I guess it's not just something TCK's struggle with. It says in one of the books: 
"What was Home anymore? Home was time and Time had passed" 
So I guess they didn't have it figured out either. So i have to start packing today. I need to drag out my big suitcases and start sorting out wanted from unwanted. But how do you take home with you?

Do you take all those little gadgets you've collected or those posters and pictures of loved ones or try to recreate ur former home in the new place? Maybe, just maybe it's taking my teddy bear that I've had all my life in Jordan. Or maybe it's taking that huge world map I bought last summer and hung up so I could feel more grounded. Or maybe it's just knowing that one day I'll find it. even if it's not a place. One day I'll find home. The feeling of it, the knowledge of it!
I stuck pictures of the people I love to the 
closest empty spot on the map!
Until then I'll try to understand this bureaucracy called University! So the UM Guesthouse that I'd applied at for a room wasn't answering after their average time of 2 weeks, then three and then almost four so I decided to write to them in an effort to get a response and to check whether or not I even had accommodation! They wrote back and told me my Faculty had not verified me. Oh joy. I had also, on the same day written an E-mail to my Faculty asking them various questions they had neglected to verify! Like my Student Number, Method of Payment and what Diploma's they wanted exactly! After a bit of hassle and despair the University and the Guesthouse wrote back to me simultaneously to give me all the information and tell me that I  had in fact been accepted and now had (an admittedly more expensive) room! I was psyched! As psyched as you can be when you feel like the nails to your own coffin are finally beginning to hold it together. ;)

So the ticket is booked for the 26th in the evening at the Queen Alia Airport over Gatwick and on to Amsterdam. Then we (mum is coming with me) are going to rent a car and drive down to Maastricht and check into my Guesthouse room that Friday. Then Saturday is sleeping and exploring and unpacking. Sunday morning we are going to visit the Maastricht international Church and then.. then we are going to drive down to Germany for about 4 hours to my grandparents' village where I'm gonna see my grandparents and my cousin (who is coincidentally one of my favorite people in the world)!
Of course my grandmother's are yummier!
There my grandmother has already got our Menu planned out. First day is "Maultaschen" as is our tradition whenever we first come from abroad. Then second day is "Spaetzle und Sauerbraten" which my grandmother has mastered to utter perfection! I can't say how excited and at the same time anxious I am.

There is this author of this blog called DrieCulturen who is dutch and lived in Africa while growing up. Somehow I would love to meet her and on the other hand I'm a bit intimidated. But anyway. Her blog is really good especially for TCK's I'd say.


10 more days!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Embarking on Adventures

I am a huge Lord of the Rings Fan, and seeing my life as an adventure to be embarked on gives me some comfort and some familiarity. C. S. Lewis was quite right when he said, "We read to know we are not alone."

Bilbo got launched into his first adventure quite by surprise in The Hobbit (the movie of which I am uber excited about btw)  and in a similair if not equal fashion I was launched into mine. (I mean I wasn't accused- or being complimented- or being a thief and I didn't have 13 Dwarves and Wizard in a my cozy
Hobbit hole and i was certainly not unused to change and traavel.. :) but still!)

It's an unlikely situation. A German-Slovak, who grew up in Jordan most of her life, whose Besties are an American and an Australian and who is dating a Bolivian is going to Maastricht, the Netherlands. It even sounds absurd to me! But hey, so was going to find a Smog in the Lonely Mountain with 13 dwarfs and a wizard as an inexperienced thief!

My adventures are of a slightly different nature though and my challenges a lot more bureaucratic! So I got an E-mail telling me I was accepted to the University College. After that the real confusion began! All i got from various E-mail was to deduce that I did have a student Number and despite my University telling the dorm I applied to that I wasn't one of their students. Oh well, I do hope it will get sorted!

Of course there are other adventures next to the overwhelming bureaucratic one! One of them would be a long distance relationship. It's gonna be hard. I already know that. But here is why I think it's gonna work:

  • He's surprisingly committed for a guy who is 18! It even took me by surprise as I didn't have a lot of faith in guys concerning commitment!
  • We've been together for a year. I know I know. It's not that long but it does feel pretty long and I am as sure as ever. Call me a crazy teenager!
  • My long distance best friendships are good! Not just good, they're as good as ever. I mean of course they change but when we see each other it's like nothing has changed! My best friend moved back to Australia for her year 11 and 12. this was when I was halfway through 10th grade. It was tough! Like really tough. But i visited her and she visited me and last summer we spent two weeks together again and it's like nothing at all has changed!
  • Where there is a will there is a way. Need I say more!

Honestly I think this might be the scariest of all the coming adventures as my heart hangs in the balance. :)

Then there is of course the adventure of starting life outside my parent's home. Needless to say I will be moving out. More specifically out of my room, my house, my city, my country and even my continent. JOY! Yes, I am a bit scared. What tipped you off?!
Ugh Europe. At least it's not Germany where i'd have to actually try to fit in! Phew! At least this is Holland where I can say I'm from Jordan and probably get away with it! Things to get before I leave:

  1. Over sized Jordanian flag.
  2. Necklace with Arabic inscription.
  3. Nancy 3ajram CD (atrocious Arabic music that is gonna remind me wayyy too much of home!)
  4. Family picture where everyone looks good (Ok, ok, that's asking too much!) :)

Mum and Dad

I am needless to say a bit nervous by now and am getting the packing tingles.

17 days!

Us 5 girls a few years back!