Monday, October 11, 2010

No Coffee and Tea...Something Strange

Before Dr. J can get his PhD he needs to finish his dissertation.  Before he can finish his dissertation something like 30 audio files still need to be transcribed.  Dr. J and I have already done quit a few.  Then I quit working on them.  It isn't that I mind his research.  I actually find it quit interesting.  What I hate is the monotony of typing and trying to tease out garbled heavily accented words.  After doing a huge chunk of interviews I felt I was going to go insane.  The work needs to be finished though and so I recently picked up the work again.  I figure if I just do ten or fifteen minutes of interview a night I'll make some progress.  Tonight  as I was typing I heard a funny interaction. In the Middle East, good manners dictate that coffee and tea be offered at all social sit downs.  As Dr. J is conducting the interview a secretary comes in and drops off the tray of good manners.  The interviewee offers up tea and coffee.  My husband tell him, "No I don't drink coffee or tea."  The interviewee says, "Really?"  My husband says, "No it is against my religion."  The interviewee says in a disbelieving tone, "Something strange."  When I heard that I just had to laugh.  He is right.  It is something strange, as do a  lot of the practices he performs as a Muslim appear to the rest of the world.  Human beings, we are so funny.  We are normalized into things as a child, religion, culture, mores, politics, nationality, city identity.  It all makes sense to us.  Then we enter the rest of the World and they are foreign.  They are something strange :)

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