i hate talking to Libya via phone, i get all flustered and i have no idea what to say to people after sallam and how are you and besides there is only so many times that a person can say 'how are you' by the 10th time you just want to scream.
i guess not living in Libya makes it hard to find a subject to talk to people about, people who you haven't spent 24 hours with never mind a life time, what on earth can one say?
so I've never really loved the prospect of having to call on Eid, bereavements, any occasions where it meant calling family back home because i guess the sheer embarrassment kills me.
plus why is it that us Libyan and Arabs per say exaggerate every things to the max...for some one like myself who has lived all her life in the UK and who can speak 2 languages, and i can safely say that my Arabic is not bad hamdullilah i felt that i was relatively confident to begin with until a few years down the line when Aunt came to visit, she informed me that another Aunt of mine has been saying that my Arabic accent was very cute!
cute! how so i asked
to which she responds that apparently according to her whenever i speak to her on the phone i speak baby Arabic!!!!!
basically like this: Ass alamu allykum, kef il hal, kef hal ik ya khwalah??
lets just say that did nothing for my confidence.
now I'm petrified of speaking to anyone back 'home', i have images of them rolling around laughing at me when i speak to them.
it doesn't help being married either as i now have to speak to in laws, my god!!!
its actually really funny to watch, i pace around the room similar to a man waiting for his first child to be born, i find myself walking through out the flat, sitting a few seconds here and there and i can only breath properly after i hand the phone back to my husband.
the latest incident was when we called to say congratulations to his brother for the birth of his new baby daughter.
my husband was speaking to his brother then all of a sudden i found the phone attached to my ear, my heart was racing like a horse in a race.
the conversation went something like this:
me: sallamu allikum
brother in law: wallaykum sallam
me: i generally asked about his wife's health and his and the usual stuff you say..
he replied the usual answers.
me: inshallah itrabah fee izik
he thanked me and said inshallah the same for me soon.
then i did the mistake of continuing the conversation instead of ending it
me: shin samitooha? (what did you name her)
me: mashallah, isim ijanin (beautiful name)
him: you think so?
me: (cant believe I'm having a conversation) yes of course, its a change to the usual names that every Libyan seems to choose
him: like what?
me: oh you know, Aisha, khadijah (Libyans tend to pronounce these beautiful names as 3esha, khdijah missing parts of the 7uruf- letters).
silence and then laughter.
my husband was looking at me with a smirk on his face, then whispers to me 'sondes have you forgotten, my mums name is Aisha and my sisters name is khadijah'.
oh the shock and horror..
then i started digging a hole for myself by saying to my brother in law that the old names are always the best balhh blahh, he was still laughing.
i gave the phone back to my hubby and buried myself in humiliation.
i hate phoning Libya...