Leaving Amman

مُغادَرة

root: غ-د-ر / verbal noun of form III / definition: leaving


The sun, the great balcony view, the sleepy Ramadan atmosphere… all of that is behind me now, as I type this post from my home in London, where it has been grey and cloudy (or maybe just metaphorically?) since my return.

With all the mini adventures and late night dinners we packed into our one-month trip—in addition, of course, to the four intense days of class every week—I’ve returned pretty exhausted, and I still keep slipping into naps throughout the day.

It’s the good kind of exhausted though, the kind you might feel after finishing a marathon: your legs may be giving way, but the sense of achievement has you beaming from the inside.

And I think my exhaustion was clear in the oral exam we had on our final day in Amman, when I accidentally translated from English into English at the start of the interpretation section… I was wondering why the words were coming to mind so easily!

Overall, our month in Jordan was just amazing, and I wish I had more than a month to soak everything in. Within those four weeks, I noticed how much more comfortable I felt speaking Arabic—even on the phone—which was probably the most important thing for me.

It’s made me wonder what my language skills would be like if I had done a year abroad during my undergraduate degree. Or even spent time abroad after my graduation. (I think the pandemic would have ruined the second option though anyway.)

But, looking forward, it’s made me realise that I really need to spend some more time abroad for the sake of my language skills; the linguistic immersion you get in a target-language-speaking country is just unparalleled!

So I may have left Amman, but I think—and hope—it’s only temporarily so.

Don’t forget to check out last week’s post Dictionary Finds: لا تدمري which kicks off a new series on this blog for Arabic words and phrases that need particular attention and reflection. Happy reading and إلى اللقاء!


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