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I blame the interwebs.

October 3, 2009

Apologies for nearly two weeks of blog-neglect.

Both the internet and electricity have worked only half the time lately, and nothing quite takes the wind out of my blogging sails as having to take a 30 minute dehbab ride to find a coffee shop, where every other westerner this side of Mecca is also trying to load Gmail.

I guess it’s worth mentioning at this point that a dehbab is basically a tiny bus-like vehicle — half go-cart, half skipping rock — that costs 10 cents to ride and will take you most everywhere in the city, so long as a) you survive the hackle-raising maneuvers of the khat-chewing driver, b) you can read the destination scrawled in Arabic on its front hood as it screams past you at mock 2, and c) it’s actually going where it’s supposed to be going. None of the above factors are guaranteed. Despite their obvious pitfalls, Paul and I have taken quite a shine to them.

I’ll give a better blog update later, but for now, I wanted only to leave you, as a kind of personal exoneration, with a note from the novelist Jonathan Lethem, who writes about the difficulties of updating one’s blog in this month’s Harper’s Magazine:

“I do not think I shall visit my blog anymore. It is not so much the smell that discourages me—gulls have skeletonized the corpse in the entrance way, and the lapping tide has salt-rinsed the floor-boards where the intruder’s blood was once caked as thick as fruit-leather—as it is a certain malodor of memory persisting there. The stink of my disappointment being that stink which the sea’s salt can never rinse.

“I study my blog through binoculars from the distance of the boardwalk, but never approach. Gulls wheel over
my blog’s entranceway, vultures at my kill, much as they do above the splintery planks of the boardwalk, scavenging the greasy paper sleeves containing, if gull should be lucky, some remaining tidbits of cakey frankfurter bun, the last dark rejected french fry like a withered witch’s finger. Let anyone imagine I gaze at the horizon. It is a kind of horizon at which I gaze, an inner-made-outer vanishing point, a place where feeling ventures out to make a meeting with language and finds itself savaged.”

(More soon, pinky promise.)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2009 12:28 pm

    Thanks for the update Haley, sounds like blogging is a bit involved. Does that make us the scavenging gulls?

  2. Joe Stephens permalink
    October 3, 2009 10:03 pm

    I love your description of the dehbab, especially “half go-cart, half skipping rock”.

  3. October 4, 2009 3:23 am

    I love that blog quote. Brilliant. Miss you.

  4. Jane permalink
    October 5, 2009 5:44 am

    I read Letham’s story and thought of you! I tried blogging once — it didn’t last long. On the other hand, I wasn’t in a far off land where there are stories under every rock and photos that allow us a tiny glimpse of what you’re seeing. Thank you for taking Mr. Toad’s wild ride to keep us posted!

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