On homesickness and more

I have been getting the question "are you homesick?" a lot lately. My answer these days is "no, not yet." I miss my family and friends something fierce. But no, I still haven’t exhibited the usual symptoms of homesickness. These usually entail cravings for an eclectic mix of food items like falafel-flavored chips, Ras al Abed chocolate (sorry for the politically incorrect name, but that’s what it is called), Carolina milk, among others. But so far, I haven’t been hit with the usual cravings. I know it is coming sometime soon, but nothing yet.

However, there is one thing that I have been craving a great deal: serious news bulletins. See, I come from a place where television networks present news in the chronological order of the apocalypse. First comes the bombing, then the death and destruction and then the misery manifested mostly on children and women’s faces.

But here, news bulletins are like one long soap opera whose characters are leading eventful and sometimes tragic lives. You can spend weeks following the travails of the runaway bride who left her husband-to-be. Then there is the story of a cute girl, an A-student high school grad, that disappeared in Aruba. Last — but not least — there is the uplifting tale of the Boy Scout who managed to keep himself in one piece after getting lost in the woods.

I have been watching the news almost every night now for a month but still there is no sign of the apocalypse. The Iraq war is mentioned every once a while but usually at the end of the news bulletin, as viewers start losing interest.

Anyway, no I’m not homesick yet. I’m just missing my daily televised dose of death and destruction.

11 thoughts on “On homesickness and more”

  1. Hi Faryoz,
    Thank you for welcoming me to the US and thank you for providing me with this video footage. Now I AM homesick;-)

  2. “Withdrawal pains” is the term your looking for. I look forward to reading more of comparing news broadcasts from a totally unbiased and a new fresh look of one who seen both sides from the inside. I bet you can write a book on the subject. Enjoy these times they are very precious.

  3. Let me tell you the pattern that you might go throug, if it follows mine.
    First, excitement- no room for homesickness or so.
    Second, homesickness starts to hit hard in a later stage. Then, homesickness comes and goes like the wind; a situation, or person or anything that reminds you of home will spark this sickness. You then start dreaming to go back. You make it finally back home. You come back, you start to wake up. Because of your success here, you start to resent on the bad things overthere and why you, or others were treated the way they were.
    What next !
    I dont know, but I will tell you when my journey in America continues in the next five years or so.

  4. Hi Natasha !
    Last night I went to see a film that you have mentioned here before , I watched West Beyrouth the film , seeing the movie was the closest I could get to civil war in a country that I love , both physically and emotionally . While googling it , one of the first available info. happens to be this sight ! The film , along with others was beeing screened in connection with the arab days in Prague. I kept wondeing about ras al 3abd , which seems to be a giant ferrero roche ! I loved the film , laughed so hard , that I couldnt breathe ! Tonight , I saw a Palestinian film , Rana’s wedding and also an Algerian-french film -100 % arabica. Both were really good , but nothing tops West Beyrouth ! I suppose that watching the movies made all the aromas that come hand in hand with homesickness sort of surface… from the falafel in fresh bread to the arabic coffee… after the films tonight we (my fiance and I) walked for what was probably hours to enjoy a good falafel sandwich , I also had a shawerma… just in case I craved it later in the week ;-), I hope your missing of all things special and unique come after much longer !

  5. Trish Sorenson

    Yes, our networks tend to tone down everything because our feeble hearts can’t take the slaughter we have brought upon the people of Iraq.
    And soon coming to a theater near you – Syria and Iran.
    And, just another thing. Who the heck told you America was the land of milk and honey? That’s a Biblical reference babe.
    And refers to the part of the world you just left 😉
    We usually refer to ourselves as the land of opportunity.
    I don’t know about anyone else but opportunity does not translate into milk and honey here.
    Also, could you change the name of your blog. I think it should be scribbles from the heart of america not the middle east. Its misleading, hon.
    Trish

  6. Trish, hon, would you kindly cut the condescension. Did you arrive at this blog and take time of your undoubtedly busy schedule just to correct a few things? Wow! You are so kind to provide all that visit here such wisdom. All of us are so pleased you came by to set us straight and put us on the path to righteousness.
    This blog doesn’t happen to be yours, so what it’s titled or what it discusses is really not in your purview now is it? If you have something of real value to add to a discussion by all means, sing out. But if you just stopped by to let us know what a really big brain you’ve got cooking up there, well, I for one would rather you shut your pie hole.

  7. I think the use of ‘the land of milk and honey’ was perfectly appropriate Trish. While it may be a “biblical reference,” it has become a part of modern parlance. Originally it may have referred to the Jews search for the promised land but as some time has past since that period it is now commonly used to simply refer to the “promised land,” wherever that author thinks that might be. And certainly for those outside its borders, America and its media movements represent the good old USA as a promised land where, yes, opportunity abounds. I think you’ll find references that have moved beyond your biblical bounds. There’s even a movie so titled. And Tom Paine waxes poetic about it. And that’s really it’s use here isn’t it: a poetic incantation that captures readers’ imagination.
    And Faryoz the Shawarma footage was fantastic. I don’t know how many times I’ve stood outside that place but I never got to see how they made that slab of meat 🙂

  8. Natasha, glad you’re not feeling homesick. As for the news bulletins over there, I totally agree with you! Friends sometimes ask me why I don’t work in North America. I always say because I can’t work for stations that sometimes begin their bulletins with cats being rescued from tree tops.

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