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Hurry Up And Wait

September 19, 2012

Although the only international reporting experience I have is in Jordan, I am well-versed in the practice of putting off everything for tomorrow, or even never, from my Peace Corps days in Kazakhstan. In Kazakh, Koremuz means “We’ll see.” Insh’allah, “God willing,” can have the same meaning. Often when I wanted to confirm an appointment with someone in Kazakhstan, they would say, “Yes, yes, we’ll see.” Putting koremuz at the end of the sentence forgave the person for anything that would happen that might keep them from that appointment. Like, say, they stumble across someone or something more important, a tea break materializes, or they didn’t want to meet you in the first place but didn’t want to offend by saying no.

I have to remember to be patient here. I have to remember that journalism is a different animal in many places outside of the United States and I’m not always going to get my stories and interviews as fast as I would like, no matter how many times I call them or show up at their empty office. People will break their appointments after confirming them, but (deep breath) insh’allah, they will be rescheduled. People will not be where they are supposed to be when I call them, but insh’allah, we will eventually connect.

Tick-tock. Wait. Wait. Wait.

(I tell myself) Take deep breaths when cultural elements keep you from sleeping through the night before a day of interviews. Don’t get frustrated when people tell you later, tomorrow, or maybe this week when you really need them hella! Have realistic expectations of the people around you.

Mantra, mantra, mantra.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Gina permalink
    October 11, 2012 11:51 am

    Loved this post… I totally remember Jordanian Time

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