Today is my anniversary….. my three month blogging anniversary. For some time I had been talking about my love of writing and it’s calming effect on me, and my eldest, Sarah, suggested that I write a blog. I really was not enamored with the idea as the notion of going public with my thoughts and words was (and truth be told, still is) quite frightening to me. She kept encouraging me by saying that it didn’t have to be public, that I didn’t have to share it with anyone, and that at least I should try it for three months and see how it goes. And three months on it’s still going….. very well for me Alhamdulilah. At first I was put off by the thought of the technology of it, after all it’s only comparatively recently that I got my head around Facebook, so she helped me to set this blog up, came up with the name after a brainstorming session and also the description, both of which stimulated me to write…. and write I did. I have really loved being able to put my thoughts and experiences down in some kind of order and go through my pictures, and I have so enjoyed reminiscing over the past. Even when I can’t think of anything specific that excites me to write, once I sit down it seems to come from nowhere, and I expect this is the ‘blarney’ in me!
I love that I write to an invisible audience, as I know that nobody is reading what I write… at the moment anyway. But this could change soon…..Sarah is now threatening to ‘out’ me, because somewhere the parent/child dynamic seems to have shifted and she feels that she knows what’s better for me than I do myself. All with the best of intentions and lots of good humour of course!
So, furiously back-peddling here, before I write any more drivel on my life here in Algeria I want to emphasise that, I don’t mean to sound disrespectful when I talk about the bureaucracy here, because every country has the right to demand whatever they wish from foreign nationals who wish to visit or live in their territory, and I am aware that, after all, I am a guest of this country, but if you don’t have a sense of humor and are not able to find the funny side of things here, you could go slowly insane (or maybe even very quickly depending on your personality).
So to reiterate…. I love Algeria and I will do anything I can to stay in this wonderful country that I now call home, but I cannot leave my brain and my sense of humour at the border. And to be honest, Algeria is not the only country wrapped in so much red tape it’s almost choking, because bureaucracy in England is rife also. I had the same midwife for each of my last four children and with each successive child there was even more paperwork to complete, so much so that she said she spent more time on it than on nursing. Unfortunately England has been forced to go down the same road as USA in that so many people are suing all sorts of organisations and individuals for huge sums of money for the most petty reasons that everyone now feels the need to ‘cover themselves with indemnity’ against everything imaginable. Even something as simple as opening a bank account is now a headache, with banks trying their best to cover themselves against any charges of funding terrorists, fraud etc. Every time I travel back to England and Ireland I think to myself ‘Algeria really isn’t nearly as bad as I thought!’
I hope also that I don’t come across as condescending and patronizing about the social etiquettes and norms here. I love all the things that make this country unique and that are so different to what I am accustomed, and I want to document them, primarily for myself, because the longer I live here, the more these customs become normal to me and I take them for granted.
I love this country… I really do. And, whenever I go back to England and Ireland, I always come ‘home’ to Algeria Alhamdulilah.
|Driving along by the port into Algiers|