Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Letter [Part I]

Have I mentioned that I’m single? Not only that, but I’m “too old” to be single? And that for a while there I lived alone in an apartment in the Middle East in a neighborhood where no one really spoke English? Well, in case you’re just joining us here at TYD, that’s the skinny on me.

And just when I was getting settled into a groove, where I genuinely felt comfortable in my neighborhood, where I no longer had visions of being attacked by any [lame-o] followers, things changed. [Dunt, dunt duuuunnnt!]

The protector guys down stairs were working day and night to put up a nice patio roof [??? I have no idea what to call things sometimes] in front of the dukan [gas station without the gas] on the bottom floor of my apartment building. The guys were up on makeshift ladders, hammering away. The ones who knew me, watched and greeted me from afar. The ones who didn’t stopped hammering and just stared. I felt their eyes and didn’t mind. I was wearing a black fleece over my red, polka-dotted dress, jeans and sparkly sandals [the ones my “FRIEND” threw in the garbage]. My hair was its regular, hot mess and I was tired but happy. I nonchalantly and quite enjoyably approached my building with my hands resting in my front pockets. I smiled and stopped to admire the work they were doing, wishing God’s strength on their work.

“Pssst. Sarrrrrrah. Ta’li. Bsurra’ [Come here. Hurry.],” came the hissing of a high school boy on the ladder. [I still don’t know his name, but we like him. If I only bought two tomatoes or three eggs, he’d wave me off and give me a candy instead of making me pay in the dukan. I liked him. I should know his name.] He tucked his hammer under his arm, reached deep into his pocket and nearly fell trying to give me something. I reached up and saw that it was piece of notebook paper all folded up. I started opening it to read it there, but he scolded me and hurried me upstairs and off the street.

Intrigued and a little scared, I sat down and opened to this in blue ink:

*Dear Sara;

How are you ? And how do you do here in ___? I’m so sorry for my msg, and the way that I’m talking to you, but I’m really need a help from you …

I’m teacher of English language in the Ministry of Education in ___ but my job can’t make me enough to live well here in ___, and the money of the government didn’t enough to continue my free life. And I try to get more money but I haven’t someone to help me. So, I see that you’re the only one who has the ability to help me to travel to the United States of America to get more apportunaties to get more money. And if you please to agree to help me because I’m really need for help. Please gives me a chance to help me and I have the ability to do what ever you order me anything …

Thanx a lot for your reading my msg and I hope from you to reply on my msg which tells me your agreement and if you accept me please mention in your msg a date ( when and where ) you can see me even today . And it will be a nice time which I’ve ever met a person like you …

Your Neighbour

[his phone number]

Well, first of all, he spelled my name wrong so of course I’m not going to be interested. Second of all, I don’t know him. I don’t know who this guy is. I’m totally creeped out. I have… a stalker? Do I know who he is? Have I seen him? How does he know about me? Oh yeah, I’m the only foreigner I see, too. Does he live in my building? Does he think this is romantic? The kid isn’t “WeldAli,” right?

I immediately text some foreigners near me, a married couple, who help me when I need. [My protector guys think I’m the man’s sister. They can’t understand any different.] “New drama in a new stalker department. Email coming. Advice & protection requested. :)”

I’m alone.
I don’t speak the language.
I probably am not reading some social cues here.
I don’t know this man who’s written to me.
I don’t know why this boy has delivered the letter.
I don’t know who’s watching.
And I don’t want to respond. Or followed. Or hoped after.
They know I’ve received the letter… Now they’re just waiting.

Is he my neighbor? Does he live in my building? Do I pass him every day? Will he accost me in person? Is this a normal pursuit? Should I take it seriously?

What would you do?


  1. hmm...something I hadn't thought of. next time a boy asks me out, i'm going to check to see if he can spell his name before agreeing.
    what would i do? make like whitney houston and hire a bodyguard.

  2. Guys perspective here: It doesn't sound like he's asking you out at all. He's asking for money.

    You are likely the only foreigner he knows and *everybody knows* Americans are rich. It looks to me where he is requesting a "date", he means a time when you can meet to discuss you giving him money...I'm not getting the stalker vibe at all...just the "I'll ask for help from the rich American to pull me out of my circumstances" vibe.

  3. I have no idea! I tend to be too trusting with people who are being nice but easily overwhelmed as soon as someone needs something from me... looking forward to part II

  4. I kind of agree with Billy's "guy perspective," which is that he's asking for help, money. Except that the Middle East perspective would be that any guy sending a note to a single girl suggesting a meeting would be quite happy of any romantic developments.

    I think I would totally ignore the message. Looking forward to your next post!

  5. Jordan: You're.... hilarious. Thanks for that.

    Billy: Whatup?! I have a guy reader?! Right on. You make, like, #5--that I know of. Haha. So... yeah, I'm smarter than I look: Of course he's asking me for money, maybe a way to the States. But still--what do I do? How do I handle this? I get accosted all the time for marriage and money--that it's "my duty", as an American, to hand out money. But if I give out money to one guy, they'll all come asking. Or what if it becomes a multiple time request? And what if he expects other things because I entertain this approach? Really it comes down to: He shouldn't be in contact with me. And he knows this, so he's sending a little wussy letter. At best, it's low-risk for him, in terms of "saving face" and all, but as I live alone and without adequate language skills, I'm the one who is set on edge. Does he follow me? Do I see him? Does he live in my building? Will he get angry with me and do something physical? Is this a collaborative project? You don't have any questions about this??! But really? No stalker vibe??! He hasn't identified himself, but seems to know me... that's not stalker-ish to you?? You think I'm drama, don't you? ;) What would be "stalker-ish?"

    Jill: I don't trust men. haha. Not in general, but definitely in specific. This set me off--I didn't trust "my guys" anymore since they helped transport the letter and knew who it was who wrote me. Made me so sad. :(

    OT: Hey girl. :) Romantic developments. Ahhhh, yessss... haha. Well, stay tuned...



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