4 Mar 2005

Coffee, bread and flowers

Finally it is Friday. I have always loved its mornings. Very peaceful. People in Egypt, or at least where I live, start their mornings after noon prayers. Certainly not me. I have a little routine I inherited from my father for Fridays.

I wakeup early, take a quick shower, get newspapers and walk to an old coffee shop next door. I choose the bar seat, and sit silently watching the now old 'am Ismail makes me a cappuccino which he serves with a freshly baked croissant. 'am Ismail etait a serious, dignified man since I ever met. He has been working in the same place for more than 30 years. He hasn't changed a bit. Apart from mumbling some sarcastic comments mocking his customers, he never talks to me, just a nippy greeting smile.

On my way back after coffee, I ramble on the streets, buy some flowers, get fresh baked bread for my ma, and fruits mainly Kiwi and Strawberries (very good together actually-- you have to try it). Because of this weekly chores, I am 'friends' with the old newspaper man, and the owner of the flower shop on the corner who would personally fix my request seeing me. I like that. Having people know what I want without the need to explain; feeling that I am part of their lives and jobs, even for these 5 minutes, and not an en passant customer; seeing the big smile and hear the friendly cheers when I enter. At times I am flabbergasted at these people ability (especially my flourist) to intuit my moods and inner state, just from the tone of saying 'sabh el kheer, ezzayak.'

I have been doing this simple mini-hike since I was 7 or so. It is almost the same route with some modification to the company. Initially it was with my father who I joined when I was tiny. Later during school my friend M.M.M--now living far and away-was a regular chum, now I mainly go alone. Every stage has its own beauty. With my father, it was safe, formal and classical. It was our little intimate time although we hardly talked. I still remember that I never held his hands except when crossing the street. Both of us would walk silently, our only connection was the sound of our foot-steps, the only assurance that we were close. My favourite enjoyment was trying to make little cadence combining the sounds of my father steps and mine. Tic-tak tak-tic, a habbit that I still do sometimes. Later at school, my friend M was and still is my walking buddy. Together we act more like street slouchs. We will just laugh and giggle in the street, making fun of eachother, watching out for weird people. He is my very best friend; very funny especially when he stares while drinking his famous cup of tea. It is with him that I feel the most at-ease. Whenever he is in Egypt, he makes sure to go for a walk. Now, at this stage, I enjoy it doing it alone except when Z decides to join, or if I accidently stumble upon a friend.

So....what makes me write that today. Well, sounds like I am going to leave my neighbourhood sometime soon. Z is thinking of building a house in 6th of October, or buy one in Sulaymania. At some point I wanted to have a big house in these areas but I guess I was influenced by friends who either moved there or will in the near future, and the possibility of this area being a potential community area. But for some reason, I like to live downtown. My brother suggested that we get a small cozy apartment downtown for our weekdays, and have the sulaymania for the weekends. Sounds wild but needs someone flexible. Doesn't sound like Z will be up to something like that.

2 Comments:

Blogger :..M..: said...

Egypt..I loved my vacation there. It brings back such wonderful memories..I don't even know where to begin.

I'm so glad I've somehow reached your blog. It just warms me to read this post..to read what you write.

3/05/2005 07:43:00 pm  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Sounds more like Paris than Cairo (or Cairo in the 20's). Cairo is lovely on Friday mornings.

Is it really feasible to live that far away at a place like Sulaymania?

3/06/2005 12:44:00 am  

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