June 15, 2014

"An Accident and Arabic"

Dear Reader,

As soon as I climbed into the car, we were hit.

The other driver was worried about getting her kid to school on time, not about avoiding our parked car. She tried to pull into a spot in front of us, but she cut it way too close and her mirror carved a big black streak into the side of our car. I took pictures, and our flustered friend apologized before quickly ushering her child into the school. While she was inside, my mom told me to call the police.

I called, excited to finally use my Arabic to say things other than "I want to eat shawarma today." The first man I spoke with didn't seem very happy to take my call. He got our basic information, muttered something, and hung up. My mom and I weren't sure what to do after that. Soon, though, the phone rang and I answered, greeting the caller in Arabic right off the bat.

"Peace upon you." 

"............And upon you peace. How are you?"

"Good, thank God. And you?"

"Thanks and praise to God. Where are you?"

"Next to the American School in Khalidiya."

"Near the Ambassador's house?"


"We will be there in 10 minutes, God willing."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

The man on the phone seemed to be very happy that I had talked with him in Arabic. Sure enough, when the officers showed up and got out of their vehicle, they had big smiles on their faces. We all walked up to greet the officers and as I shook hands with both of them, we spoke again in Arabic. With all of the pleasantries taken care of, the two men got down to business and wrapped everything up quickly. "With peace!" I called out to the officers as they walked back to their car. "With peace." They replied.


I've said it before and I'll say it again. And again. And again and again and again. I love to converse with people in their native language. It makes me want to high five everyone on earth. Twice.

And in just a few short days, I'll begin six weeks of intensive Arabic study and immersion in Rabat, Morocco.


1 comment:

  1. We all know that everyone makes mistakes as shown in the car crash which makes us human. So, when you called the police, I would guess that the guy was probably tired from so much work previously. Next, that conversation you had with the second person seemed to be garnished with a great deal of respect for one another. In my opinion, I think what you did was astonishing because there's not much people I know that would be able to communicate well in that situation.

    Good luck on your studies.^^