29 Sep 2007

CRAVE

I am just craving to go to France. Sit in a cafe. Listen to french people mumbling around me. Reading newspaper. Smoking cigar or cigarette. Smell of a great espresso. Fresh air. People walking steady and fast. Clean. Determined. Knowing or thinking they know where they are going. Elegant. Civilised. Grumpy. Cheerful. Clean blonde kids. Cute brunette kids with long curley hair. Small grociery shop selling fresh fruits. Flourists selling big blossomed yellow flowers. Cloudy sky. Cracks of some sun rays. Bicylces. Active yet not corwded streets. Smell of fresh baguette and freshly baked cake and gateaux. Great cheese.

I want to open my eyes in a small tiny room with big windows overlooking a small building entrance. Wooden floor. Take a fresh shower. Dress simply. Go down the small clean wooden stairs. Go out to my tiny street. Greet the annoying lady at the bakery shop. Get one fresh baguette. Go get a tiny piece of chevre. One red tomatoe. And ride my bike to a small cafe. Order coffee, eat my cheese and read. Watch people. Dont have to worry about a single thing. Live like this for sometime until I feel something.

Truth is. I can't live in this egypt anymore. It might be kind and nice place. But it is certainly not my place anymore. I feel like a stranger here and I feel out of place. Nothing interest me anymore here. I find that most things seem unfamiliar anymore. The people. The attitude. Me. And certainly him.

SHOPPING

For some unknown raison, i decided to go shopping at carrefour, Maadi. I must have been very bored or maybe too optimistic to consciously do that. I took my car and went there. Ah, I remembered, I wanted to buy a bathroom curtain!! But again, why did i choose to go there? No clue.

It was really a shameful experience. It was ramadan. Weekend. And it was crowded. The least you can say about it is that it was crowded. But this is not a big deal. Crowded places means it is good, and this means that this country is economically doing good...etc. However, there is something in our crowdeness that is really interesting. It reveals the desperation and capitalize on the worst of us. You know, get the worst out of you. Of course assume that we have any good side!

Initally, people stare at your shopping cart all the time. Check out what are you got yourself. I happen to buy San Pelligrino, a sparkling water, that I am sure they mistake it as beer or alchol. So they look to it, stare and stare then look to you. This staring part either to my cart or myself annoys me to the extreme. I mumble or give them a look. I really feel annoyed. Why on earth do you check my food out. You know what you want, go get it. You have the whole hyper market to yourselves. Or you really dont know what you want and thus checking mine out maybe I got something that will inspire you? Or it is just that you want to make sure you shop more than me? Want to know where I stand with my shopping? COncerned about my health and want to check what I dont get so that you advise me? Give me one damn reason why do you check out what I get? Seriously!

Lined up for getting vegetables and fruits, people really treat the food in a bad way. Grab the poor tomato out from among its fellows and then squeeeze its balls out as if giving it an oragsm and then throwing it back. Why do that? The tomato simply shows its freshness right from a look. Why do you have to treat it that bad. Debate and debate. Complain about price. And then buy or throw. Well, we will buy it from oum sayeda better. Ok, why screw the tomato if you can get it from the lady in the street? I think part of the abuse.

This other lady, she hit the Large size Heinz Ketchup bottle and she broke one on the floor. Then by the time she wanted to check out what happened, another bottle was kicked and broken. Then her husband snatched the cart and the cart hit another one. So here we have 3 bottles of Heinz ketchup on the floor, totally broken and the red blood ketchup spread on the floor. Her husband, looked around. Saw me looking and no one else, so he ordered his wife to move it and leave the things out. No reporting. Why would he do that? No responsibility. Break the thing and fly. It is sure the carrefour people responsibility to clean up and account for the 3 bottles. Ok, at least tell the cleaning people so that they clean up. Why would he do that?

I think part of the problem is that they really dont realise that they need to do any action. Really. They are used to having someone else do this on their behalf. It does not cross their mind that who does something has to report it. Seriously, this doesnt register in their mind map. They know, if I did something, what is the best way to hide and assimilate it. Only! This is what they have been trained well to do. Take and run. Break and run. Screw and run. I first and no one else deserves to be or do anything.

Men are crap!

ZAMALEK RE-ROUTE

So they finally re-routing Zamalek! They have a stupid, far from brilliant plan for Zamalek to change all the street directions for some weird reason. Well, cause Jamal is living here now in this area. A weird enough reason I suppose. Not sure what does re-routing this side of zamalek with a famous person living here? No clue. As my friend told me, they want to confuse people's brain so that they dont know have time to do any harm to the guy. (Well she always says it in a very funny way that cracks me up everytime I ask the same question).

I was going from crave wanting to go to Diwan the other day in my friend's car, when I realized this reshaping. Seriously, i guess it has been for a while now but I never noticed it because I dont drive in zamalek side streets. So I tried to navigate but alas we ended up going round and round and it drove all around zamalek to just reach 26 of July! I was pissed actually. Cursed and cursed. And then I realized that they simply, just simply, changed the street directions. Why? Not sure. Did any one ever complain about that before? No. So why on earth did they want to perplex us. To keep having our minds go round and round trying to figure where the hell are we all the time. Braeking us free and away from all the familiarity we promise ourselves everynight to wake up find it the same. why do that? Am I over reacting? It is just a damn street re-routing! God no! It is part of a the politica of etranger! Make you unfamiliar, subtely, so so slowly that at one point you feel like a stranger in the very midst of your own home. Already I am having that, so this adds up.

I took a picture of the brilliant new map of the vision of the re-routing. Hanging carelessly on one of these lousy, rusted barriers they block the streets with. So small. Hanging in shame behind the ass of an officier who is just standing there not knowing what on earth I am doing here. It is lousy. Not clear. Not even comprehensible. Just a map that is part of trying to show the people that, 'We've got you a plan and a map. So it is part of a strategy, guys!' Smart Asses. Oh, I mean, Asses!

Now, Mar'ashly street takes you to Muhammad Mazhar. Muhammad Mazhar is one way now going towards the Nile. They opened all the streets on the Left and closed Mar'ashly! Kinda funny. You can now keep going on Isma'il Muhammad till the very end instead of having to turn left on Shajar el Dur. You can go on straight. Opened the streets on the right. Switched the AUC hostel street. Now the big wide right turn is closed with barrage only leaving you a small tiny space to take right on Mar'ashly. Annoying. Zamalek now looks likes a huge wide round about where for you to reach any place you have to go in circles. Not sure stilll how does this differ from before! There has never been any clustering at any of these streets except on occasions of wedding, but it is still the same. Not sure how changing street direction can possibly ever forever mean better traffic.

Everywhere sucks!

7 Sep 2007

KAFR ABDU

So into this huge huge extended family gathering. X's cousin got married to this guy and they lived in zamalek. Almost 2 blocks away. So! Her mother got them a real big gathering and invited everyone to come. And we did.

I dont particularly enjoy family gatherings. I have to be this little cutie pie. Polite and delicate. They do think so because my presence is always light. I hardly say what I mean. I notice. Exchange looks with X and smile. Giggle. Or at time crack. I could never tell them what the hell is going in my mind. Cant trust they will spread it around and become the bad duck. So luckily I got myself a nice partner who understands me and most important thinks the same. Well, he actually observes me to make sure I am ok and not over bored.

Its interesting this huge family gathering, especially those I attend to. He would tell me a year ago, and warn me againt these gatherings. I surprised him until now that I handle that gathering so damn well. That I am so loved and admired by the family and they all want to come sit and chat with me. Again I dont mind. As long as you are gossiping about your own life, your sex life, your husband that's absolutely fine. Dont ask about mine. I am happy listening and mumbling couple of opinions that I think are basic and they think is so wise and mature! Anyways, if it's enough to make you think I am cool, then be so. I am happy.

At times when I am absolutely bored for no particular reason, i will just attach myself to a group of women (what else) and pretend I am so following what they are saying when I actually hardly hear them. I nod. Smile and look into the eye as if I am really there. I would find myself laughing and nodding when I am not even hearing a word or most likely think that this topic is so god damn boring and old and trivial. I look around trying to find any nice thing to observe.

At other times, I would just sit on a chair space out, until the cute N. would come to make sure that I am ok. I would absolutely smile and say yes yes. Invent anything.

At other other times, I just stand next to him and remain silent until he in a mean way ask me what i think in what has been just said, or point to me as the expert in this or had done that. He smiles. I give him this look and find myself saying something, or asking him to repeat the question please! DAA..

But the one thing i like is after these gatherings, we talk talk talk talk and see if we both have noticed the same hidden body language or who said what and how this or that reacted. This is the fun part.

But big family gatherings! Not for me. I go along as long as it is once or twice a month. No problem.

So, we will go visit R. our new neighbour. Issue is her husband is so antisocial. Will hardly talk. R. is much younger than me in some non-age sense. Her mother is already calling me her older sister. I am not anyone's older sister.

SECULAR

Well well well....

Hate me or love me. Can't you do something in between?

Well, they can't.

Probably because I am too. Either like or dislike you. If you fall in the grey area between lik and dislike, then you will think that I am weird. I will meet you, smile, nod but hardly will stop to talk. You will feel that I am just not interested. Although I donot intentionally do that. I am just not interested. Not even realizing it until someone tells me.

In fact, I dont 'dislike' per se. I just dont see you. I have no reaction. Or maybe an inner one that tells you what I think of you silently. Although again I dont really think of it at the moment.

Someothers I totally know who they are inside and they are just putting on a show to sell and present themselves, and I know exactly why the hell they are doing that. At times, I enjoy just watching them with this smile! Unintentional also. Just look and space out. I swear unintentional. No biggy if I give them this little praise maybe as a reaction to my guilt feeling of probably telling them how silly this all is.

Anyways, I am not crazy about being loved by all. Not really important. A decision I took decades ago. Not because I was/am wise. But simply because I cant do it. My freshman year at school I tried doing that. I did it amazingly. I would recieve tons of calls and knew almost all my class. Then I could not take it. Felt I will suffocate. Popular! So what! But I hardly had time to do anything that I like. Being popular and liked is a great feeling, but not for me. Anyways, I ended up withdrawing step by step. Selected some random people I enjoyed and clicked with and confined to them. Watching the others join groups, surround themselves with huge network, fight and makeup. On and on. It is absolutely great to have a huge network, especially if you would predict that at sometime there will be facebook where number of friends you have is an indication of some sort of something!

For me, I see people I know on facebook but I dont add them. Dont request them. I find others that I knew and forgot years ago, requesting me to add them. I think for a second and say, well, at least I contribute to a good cause: increase head count in his list. Why not?

So it is a matter of choice of what you want. I certainly enjoy being alone. Talk with a friend or 2. Enjoy walking, good food, good wine, beautiful scene, light company, outings that are not too loud, where i can escape and have a space to be on my own internal. I think over and over and find that you can do anything you want, say whatever you want, as long as you are not all over me its fine. Say what you believe, and I choose to listen and nod and maybe discuss with you if I am interested. As long as you dont insist that I believe in what you say, or answer you back to everything you say, I am cool.

RAMADAN

I hardly chat. When I do, I find this smile crawling into my face. Chat is interesting when you take it to 'check it out' and detect what's happening.

So,
'How's ramadan doing with you this year. ?' Wrote a friend.
I smiled. I so damn sure what he meant. But I said,

' SHoot!! Did it start already! I thought it was next week.'
'No no. Next week still' (yea punk)
'So, what did you mean?'
'I meant are you getting ready for it'
'How so'

He knew I might not get it probably or that it totally not in my agenda, so he tried to appear less islamic to a moment.

'did you buy yamish, meat...'
'Oh no no. I dont do that. X and me eat very light food anyways. We dont cook except healthy food.'
'Good diet.'
'Oh yea'

But he wont let me go like this. recap.

'So any intentions for ramadan.?'
'Yea. Probably fast'
'Only?'
'Is there anything else I should intend. Fast, pray maybe and walk'
'Walk? Why walk'
'Yep. walk after breakfast with X. and drink coffee. Go to Gym. Library.'
'Really?'
'Then I dont get you. What are you trying to intend for?'
'Make an intention to pray at a certain mosque, if you are going to pray tarawee7, finish quran.'
'Ah ok. I got you. Well, our program you are asking. Well, nothing much. we intend as we do every year, to have light breakfast. Go for a walk shortly after breakfast. Drink coffee. Walk around until night prayers and pray at the closest mosque from wherever we are. This year will go to Library 3 times a week to study for our PhD exam.'
'Oh. NO tarawee7'
'Well, if X wanted to do that he can. I dont do it, will go to the gym instead. En bref, no kill yourself intention for ramadan for me. What about you?'
'I intend to pray at this x mosque. Read koran. Go to less invitations.'
'Great. So how does that differ from mine?'
'Well, it doesnt. Just that you are mazag! Light attitude about it'
'versus what?'
'Having a clear intention and put an effort. This month is a holy month...and you should do everything that is related to God' ....etc

And on and on...

To me ramadan is ramadan. Holy or not. I dont really care. I like that it is under control. I know when people will leave. When the streets will be busy. When to walk. When to drink coffee. That's what I like. This holy month attitude I feel is over commercialized.

BACK TO PUBLIC

So have been out of the public life for sometime. What do I mean with that? Not interested. Not interested in what's really happening around. Less and less social. Interact very little. Avoid to have talks or go into any debates or arguments. I just focused so much on being with myself and with a couple of friends that I, not particularly enjoy, but I can float with. Just a couple. Why would I seek more! Anyways.

Even in that selective ones, in those selective, cool, upper scale places and attitude, i felt so damn bored. As if all words and all topics are screwed discussion. Or not particularly discussion, but mentioning and bringing it up. After a year, we talk about the same topics. More or less. I stopped even talking, I listen and mummble couple of sentences just to keep converstation going. I think I am bored inside. Nothing about anyone or anything. Just me, myself and Haal are all bored.

Conclusion, we are mostly bored. Most likely confused. Certainly tired. For sure afraid to change. Absolutely fearful from change. Definitely cultivated a false ego. And there is no doubt we are growing more fragile than ever. Our basic needs naggs us more and more. Inner recognition pokes us in our sensitive spots harder and harder. Conscious pierces deeper and deeper. But.

We just dont move on. We stumble backward. Stay in where we are and blame it all on someone. And we will forever feel stuck. Couple of years back I chose the title ' endless chase', and it is indeed endless chase. How mature I was back then. How naiive I am now. More lost years and more pending issues. And more fear accumulating. Less grap on our own life. Looser and looser we go. Sadder and sadder we become. Where are we going?

I do not know. Wait for someone to pull the trigger. If they pull the trigger for you, they will shoot you first!