As per request from someone *cough, cough*, I’ve decided to post a day in the life of myself as an exchange student.
Every weekday I wake up at 6am. We all come down and have breakfast together at around 6:30. (My oldest host brother is always late, because he CANNOT be woken up. It’s amazing. Cold water doesn’t even work.) We have a different breakfast everyday. Sometimes its donuts, sometimes eggs, or cereal or even hotdogs! My favorite is flatbread (called hubis) with zatar, a spice mix of oregano and thyme with olive oil. It’s delicious! We leave for school at 7. Our drive to school is beautiful! I always read the store signs- they’re in both arabic and english. It’s a great learning tool!
School starts at 7:30. Before the first lesson (they’re called lessons, not periods) we all time up according to gender and class, and sing the national anthem. Or rather, everyone under the age of 12 sings it, and the rest are “too cool”, or are like me, and don’t know it. Then a younger student yells something in arabic while raising the flag. I am told it is something to the effect of “Long live Sultan Qaboos”. Then the student population echoes him, and this is repeated several times. After that, a terrified-looking elementary school pupil reads from the Quran in a tiny voice.
Then Mr. Danny takes the microphone, and the english begins. He says good morning to us, and once again, the little kids are the only ones to reply for the most part. They all say “Good morning Mr. Danny” in the slowest unison humanly possible. It’s hilarious! He announces the news of the day, and then dismisses us to the sound of an arab club hit. (It’s probably not a dance hit- it just sounds like one. I always dance in line, much to the glee of my classmates.)
Then we have our first 3 lessons of 35 minutes each. Every day of the week has a different timetable. (another British english word) After our lessons, we proceed to breakfast-our first of two breaks. Everyone goes to the cafeteria, which is across the courtyard. Our school is a comprised mostly of a series of open air hallways surrounding a brick laid courtyard. The line is more like a clump. You can either choose to wait your turn, or cut everyone. Both are perfectly acceptable, and practiced equally. The first day I got angry, but now I just bypass everyone. Why wait?
Today for breakfast we had eggs, sandwiches and fruit. They always serve juice as well. It’s very popular in Oman. Also, everyone eats very quickly, then leaves. Theres not a lot of lingering at the table- at least at school. After you’ve eaten you go sweat to death outside in the courtyard. Some of boys play soccer or basketball, and the rest of us just roam around until we are called to line up again. We order ourselves in the same fashion as in the morning. (Each class has a girl and boy line. There are also usually 3 classes per grade- 10A, 10B, 10C etc…
3 more classes, then lunch. The lunch food isn’t my favorite, so I usually just have some juice. My host family eats lunch after school anyways. We have our last 3 classes of the day, then leave. I’m usually one of the first ones out, so I wait out front.
After we find all 5 of our members, we walk through traffic like Moses parting the Red Sea. It’s amazing.
When we get home, we have lunch Part. 2. Then I do homework, and play around with my host siblings. We have dinner, do some more chilling out for a while. We usually go to bed at around 9 on school nights. However, if we have some shopping to do, we’ll go out at 8. (It’s after the little ones are asleep. Stealthy, I know.)
About 4/7 days of the week there is someone else at the house: either cousins, neighbors or friends. The house is always full. It’s lovely.
I’m having the time of my life.
from Muscat with love,