3 Jun 2005

NO SOONER

...had I came home from Cilantro than P. called asking if I was willing to join him to Cilantro, this time in Heliopolis. Well, I had just arrived home from the other Cilantro, however, I said yes. It had been so long since I last visited Helioplis. Why not. So, he stopped by and I drove there. Well, Helipolis is awesome. I love this place too but don't like to go there because I feel sad.

Anyways, we went to Cilantro in the Korba area. The weather was actually nice and the streets were not busy. Cilantro was super crowded. P. and myself sat there surrounded by students from all kinds. Laptops, papers, notes, cigarattes (vicory mainly a new brand probably), groups studying. No one had any books, all notes. The guy sat next to me was studying english literature. Well, I joked with him and said pointing to P.'well, if you need anything you have england sitting next to you.' Not a funny joke. The table next to us from the other side sat this group of 3 veiled female students, studying and smoking. Strange, I thought to myself that they smoke in public. How regressive I am thinking this way, right?

In fact, I always laugh when I remember how I smoked for 2 weeks in the States. It was during December when I decided to go buy my first cigarette pack. I took my driving license and bought a pack of white Marlboro. I still remember that I was shy doing that. I thought that the old lady gave me this look. I don't think she cares, but I was self conscious. I was doing this whole cigarette suuff as a joke. I tried to make myself feel as if I am stressed out, being away from home in this busy place, so busy with work and alone. I knew I was just pretending but wanted to just live the sillyness of this stage. I still remember so vividly that during a very cold winter night, I was working in the lab and I just decided to go downstairs and smoke. It was freezing cold, but just pretending that of God I need to a cigarette. Of course I didn't need any, I didn't even inhale this shit. I just houff houff the smoke and would laugh at myself for doing this stuff. Pretending. Well, because of this 'pretending to smoke' crap, I met this guy from india who I think became my smoking buddy, but not for too long, only until this pack of mine was gone. I never bought except this single pack and decided it was totally stupid thing to do. It was all a pretending to be stressed out, when I was actually enjoying my being away and busy life in the states. Smoking is totally not my thing.

Anyways, P. and I had a great connection. He is doing his masters in TEFL at AUC. Had a PhD in christian theology from Uof london. He had been travelling for more than 20 years all over the place. Never settled down, just going from here to there. Joining peace corps in Tunisia, yogslavia, south east asia.... Extensive traveller. The conversation was so cool, and it totally suited the mood I was in. He kept saying 'I know nothing. You knew more', but the guy was just so well versed in sufism, hinduism, religion, theology, politics, philosophy, Islam. He met many professors who I have been reading their stuff. Hawtings for instance was someone I wanted to meet and work with for so long. Although I never liked his long sentences but his ideas and research area just is among the many things I wanted to research one, satanic verses, roots of the Corn,... many things. At any rate, P. and myself for some reason connected very well. A little scary.

Later on, we took a short walk around Heliopolis. There are really great old villas in that part with Hurumah entrance and nice architecture, in fact, more authentic than that in Zamalek. But just walking there and seeing how some of these places are just being turned into garbage places makes me really sad. We walked past the church. I stopped to say hi to my dentist and then went to get some syrian food. Food was great but the service was horrible.

Our next stop was Huraya bar in Bab al-louk. It is just behind AUC. I always pass by this bar or coffee place but never thought about entering. They serve stella, tea, people sit there and play chess. P. said that they are professional players. This hurriya bar is interesting. Feels like a coffee shop in a train station. An old bar from the 1920's. Very famous for famous writers sitting there, musicians stopping by after midnight for a drink, westerners just sitting there read and drink beer. P. does that all the time. He is very famous over there. The waiter is his friend, the guy who cleans the shoes is his friend, the chess players are his friends. Very funny. I just didn't like it that much. I didn't talk in arabic at all. Just pretended I wasn't egyptian. I talked english to the waiter and let P. do all the talking in his semi-fluent arabic.

The most interesting part was meeting up with this Irish friend of P. He was like 65 years old man who has been living in egypt for over a decade. He is brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. I can't say more than that. We talked for like half an hour, and I couldn't help but just listen, listen and listen. I mean, this guy is really very well read, together with P. they just hit it and I just felt like this ignorant baby.

I finally dropped P. off at his house in Mounira and headed home. Z. called on my way back home. Perfect timing actually. I told him about my day, and was just in the mood to tell him everything that bothered me from him the past couple of days. How I was so pissed at him last night that I was just going to cancel our lunch plans and leave him waiting at the restaurant; how I was really pissed at our recent fighting that happened twice in a row this past week and last night over trivial stuff. He laughed and called me stupid, and agreed that he was also thinking about that last night, and that both of us are just too stubborn at times to stop arguing and let go. Well, yes. I second that. The best part that we just cleared out this stuff. I think we both are stressed out.

(my english is getting worse and worse. maybe from switching languages. I will re-write this post later.)

3 Comments:

Blogger Mohamed said...

Can you post something in French for a change?!

6/12/2005 01:35:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Is my english that bad? will see. In fact, i have nothing to say in general these days.

6/12/2005 01:46:00 pm  
Blogger Mohamed said...

No, that's not what I meant tab3an. I just need a change.. even if I don't understand it!

6/12/2005 01:50:00 pm  

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