Today we have a new exchange student, Saaid from United Arab Emirates. Saaid, as becomes instantly obvious, is terrified of dogs. I wonder if the agency told him we have two? Hassan is trying to reassure him, but so far to no avail.
Hassan is the only Arab we have hosted thus far (among four now) who is not afraid of dogs. In fact, he seems to like them. He seems even to like Coco, the Chihuahua, who makes himself generally pretty unlikable to all races, sexes, and cultures. But Hassan is different. He is, as he says, an "American Saudi." Which is getting to be about the same thing as a breath of fresh air.
Roy, the Japanese student, having eaten all the available food stores in the house, left some weeks ago for bigger, better refrigerators. And Abdul went back to Saudi Arabia.
Mamdouh, as elusive as ever, may or may not still be in the US. May or may not still be maintaining his vampiric hours and habits. We simply don't know. And although he does continue to receive mail at our house in the form of overdraft statements from the bank. These continue, as ever, to be of no concern to him.
Next time around I wouldn't mind having a student from southern Alabama or Mississippi--still foreign countries, but English speaking to some extent and sharing a culture with our own--including a love of football and of pork in any form.
I also wouldn't mind a female for a change, for members of that particular sex tend by and large to be familiar with such habits as the washing of dishes, clearing off the table, cleaning of bathroom counters, and such like.
They are also inclined to like dogs, thanks to an innate maternal proclivity.
Also they are easier on the eye. By and large, I mean.