Laura Finaldi in Jordan, 2012

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Here’s to never knowing what’s next

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I submitted my first story to Carlene on Sunday night around 6 p.m. It was really good to get if out of my hands. Since I spent the entire spring semester writing longer stuff for her magazine writing class, I haven’t written anything short or newspaper-y in a really long time (besides the occasional story for The Huntington News, the paper I will be managing editor of upon my return). I think I like the shorter stuff better. It’s more concrete and concise. But I can never make up my mind so I’ll probably go back on that statement by the end of this trip.

Anyway, we’re almost two weeks in, which is totally unreal. I can’t believe that two weeks ago I was still in Boston, saying goodbye to my bosses at the magazine and at Conor’s. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it at all, but at this point, I’m actually starting to feel at home here. I’m getting used to coming into school and drinking a cup of NesCafe (the weakest, most watered down coffee in the world), listening to Arabic being spoken (which is so cool) and watching the lip-dubbed Turkish soap opera my family loves so much.

I have no complaints. The only bad thing about this trip is it has turned me into a chain smoker. I realize this is no one’s fault but my own. Actually, it’s kind of my host father’s fault. Every night when I come home, he’s always sitting on the couch with a pot of Turkish coffee and a pack of cigarettes. We sit for a few hours and talk about politics and economics in Jordan. Mostly he talks and I listen, but it’s all really good, cool stuff. During one of these sessions, he caught me smoking Marlboro Reds from the Middle East and was so appalled that I was smoking “bad cigarettes” that he went into the fridge, pulled out a pack of American Reds, and dropped them on the table in front of me.

“Smoke these instead. They are much better.”

Sorry Mom.

Today I’m working on chipping away at a decent angle for my next story on the collapse of the Jordanian middle class. I like the idea of doing something related to business or the economy, because when I get back to Boston I’ll be working at the business pages desk at The Boston Globe. I always say, if I can crack business, I can crack anything. Cracking business in Jordan would be like cracking business in America times infinity. I think. We’ll see. But first, I need to make this pitch way more specific than it is.

This weekend, we’re going to the Badia, which I’m told is much more rural than Amman. We’re to expect no internet service. That’s pretty much all we’ve been told to expect thus far. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I’ll be sure to fill all of you readers (if you’re even out there) in about what happens. Adventure!

Here’s the song of the day. I can’t believe I haven’t posted a Tupac song yet, considering he’s my religion. This was the first song of his I ever heard:


Written by laurafinaldi

May 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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