31 Aug 2008


So the first deployment phase for the new plates had started. This phase's plates are starting ص أ X or س أ x, with the variation of the numbers after that. I have seen cars in Cairo, Mohandessen and even Shoubra (2 cars). All new plates have these variation. I once found 3 cars next to one another with same alpha combination with a different numeric. This I find amuzing!

The second thing is I am now tracing how the translation of the letters from Arabic to english will work. A perfectionist, and detail oriented in trivial stuff I am, I am laughing in sarcasm over the faults they did because of the translation. 'Why did they translate?' I tell my brother. 'How will they account for خ for instance.. and becuase of this translation, the probabilites for plates variation will decrease.' As a big picture guy, he responded 'They have zillion of combinations. Does not matter.' But again, I am now keeping an account how will they use all the letters in translation.

SO far for the problematic letters, here is what they found:
W= و
T= ط
E= ع
G= ج
Y= ي
K= ق
T= ط

So, what about ت؟ خ؟ ث؟ ذ ش ض غ ك ظ ة؟
Probably these numbers will never appear. I wish they put it.

And I keep trying to calculate the probability? LOL
So, it is 26^3 + 25^3 + 24^3? This is for the letters only, right?
ANd then we combine with the numbers. So for every 26^3 we have [9^3 +8^3+ 7^3]....

Am I calculating right!

I will recheck the possibilities. But it is huge I know....

27 Aug 2008


And it ends to be from Starbucks. I am not a big fan of it. But it is downtown and close my apartment. 'Horton' is more for blue collars I think, but Starbucks is for the sophisticated.

So A. goes to work and I go walk downtown. Weather nice and refreshing. Very encouraging. I go there and SB is empty. Perfect. After somewhile it starts to be packed. Not with high shots consultants or CEO who come to work here, but with tourists and some time wasters.

A group of 6 chinese come leave everywhere and sit next to me. Screaming and scroutching Ni Na Haa YEeee. I got literally irritated. Well with the new medicine, I am 'accepting' more so I just smile and concentrate on finializing the document.

Then a group of 3 egyptians, 2 girls and a guy come in. Loud and talking about a collegue of them and laughing. I actually wondered where they work. Must be close. But how come not at work now.

A woman, heavy on brand that starts from the annoying LV bag, sunglasses, jeans, ISL belt, shoes...etc come in with a guy I usesd to know from AUC. He sat next to her and she started to complain about her boss. He glimpsed at me and I just gave a poker face. He was not my favourite anyways, and dont even remember his name.

The fun part is that I managed to finish the document while feeling good and smiling. I was annoyed yet I think I didnt take it in. I just enjoyed seeing the other part of me and let her vent assuring her that it is not worth it and turn everything to a joke. It worked. Thanks to my brother and the new medicine. I am starting to have some major paradigm shifts and brain tricking games.

It works.

21 Aug 2008


To be able to rest your head on someone's shoulder and remain silent.

A gift. Trivial as it sounds. Not everyone can feel it.


This is my friend. Driving today back to my apartment I remembered him. Called him on his cell, and heard his voice giggling and calling me by my nick name. The minute I hear his voice I just smile. Amazing ability to simplify issues. He is my copy. Another scorpio. A friend since 92. Only friend I invited to my wedding.

So, why I called him? I realized that with him I had the most of memories. I actually missed him. He would come next week to visit here.

'Downtown NY, Fall 2002. Subway to WTC to rollerblade. Last carriage empty but with both me and him. Looked at one another. Immediately started dancing like circus de soliel.' Snapshot never left. I fall on the floor from laughter.

'By the Hudson river, Summer 2002. We sharing the ipod earphones listening to Tori Amous while walking. An empty plastic bag moved out of the bushes. I screamed.' Snapshot. He still tease me with it till now.

' Pen. station. He coming to pick me up and offered to take my bag and laptop. I did. While taking the escalator, he tripped and fall with all the bags almost falling on his head. I look back and all he cares about what to check that I did not see him. ' We giggled and cracked. I teased him with it.

'Train to Hoboken. He took the picture of NY mayor and transformed it into someone blowing a cake. 'Enfoukh ya bataki.'.... I still see it so vivid.

'Times square. 29-7-2001 a chinese guy drawing me and he standing behind him smiling like a kid. Encouraging me and raising his thumb telling me how great my picture was. And it was good.' Amazingly sweet.

'Left him playing games and went to braid all my hair like africanos. Came to pick him up and go for a walk on charles river while sipping coffee. COol wind in my hair!.' He was accepting.

'95-97. Falaki building. Him sitting under the palm tree hesitant and not at ease. He was afraid the palm tree would fall on him.' Amazingly paranoid.

'Spring 96. Greek campus. After attending a math class, him sipping his nescafe (.75 piaster), while day dreaming. 2 cats screamed out loud. He flipped while screaming and the whole cup fall on his face soaking him. His eyebrows were dripping. All campus laughed and of course I on the floor.' He used to stare at the cup of tea while drinking. Scary a bit.

'AUC cafeteria he would never eat with metal fork. He would go get a plastic fork.' Paranoid.

'Penn station he was caught by the police and put in cuffs for refusing to wrap his bear.' He fought back. I like him when he snapps.

'September 2002. NJ. Pumping hot. No AC. Pointing the fan at me and suddenly switching it to heater. Hot air blew in my face.' I cursed him and cracked.

'Spring 96. He pretended to be an italian model in the falaki corridor.' Happy days

'AUC. fall 93. We get dinner box from KFC and trifle. Go to sit infront of science building eat.' Very dear days.

'Summer 94. We enter 'dun juan de carols' in al Tahrir cinema. A stupid movie by Marlon Brando. A friend of his come and gave him this look. Thought I was his girl-friend.' We still imitate the move and wink.

'Summer 96. Ma3moura. We went to park. A group of troublemakers girls and boys weirdos on the same game with us. The girl said, 'tab azough ana ba'ah'. ' We both heard it. Looked and cracked. We still repeat this sentence.

'Summer 96. Ma3moura. Sip coffee at Wanous coffee shop at dusk.' We love silence.

'Almost every night at 8 pm for 2 years. We would watch Seinfeld together.'

And much much more....

He is indeed a great friend. How similar we are, I can't write about. Very. With a twist. I am indeed more confrontational and he more tactiful.

I learn from him. Like a lot. Cherish. Grateful that we are still friends after all these years. No matter where we are we manage to connect. Really. Light and simple.

What I like best about him?
Distance and privacy. He knew something is saddening me. He glimpses and pretends he does not see. Never asks me. Waits for me to say. And I say. Honestly. And he makes it light and real. Does not preach. Never did. Does not give advice. Never ever did. Just say something that is light and impersonal that gives me and him insight. Because amazingly we pass by the same mood swings at the same time.

Again. One of the rare friends who I do minimum effort with yet showers me with care and help.

I guess I am lucky.


Now he is totally tamed. Or this is a stage? I don't really know.

We met. Yesterday. Almost an annual routine. Last year, we met in May. Went to Laboudaga for drinks. Until past midnight we were there. Talking and talking. I mentioned a little about myself and was a master in tricking him to talk about himself. Was not hard at all. I know what clicks with him. But overall it was sad.

Miserable in what he fought. Turned out that it was a complete failure. Well, I knew it would be 6 years ago. I was silence. I am not sure why I did not advise him. Yes I sure. He would not listen. He would listen to me the most during our long drives and travels. But I guess, I just did not want to force. Stubborn and ego but so damn fragile that I wont want to press hard. So I let him. Point taken aganist me, but now for me: I did not attend. It was my silent refusal. However, I later never opened the topic and treated the whole topic differently. After and before all, he was Abe. Someone with whom endless laughter and giggles flows all over New England.

Now. Yesterday. Met again. A crazy man spit on my window while driving there. I wonder why? We went to La Venue downtown Montreal. Until 2 am. Wondered in the street after that. Listening to Brel. He asked, is this Nana? I said Yes. And it was not Nana for sure. I just thought how nostalgic he is to sometime that probably never existed. Faked. Or maybe just imagined. A dream that he convinced himself of very much that now is part of his reality. I guess I just know do not like to play 'parent'. Sometimes it is just worthless to focus on trying to change someone's mind. Better to enjoy the time with.

I did.

He talked. This time he reached a different resolution. It is good. He was tamed. He is tamed. His Fire is gone. His 'way' is gone. Surrendering. He said, 'I feel I am going to die soon. My heart has grown so old inside.' I look at him and smile. I feel the ache. I can not help see the old Abe. Running here and there. Now he is running away. His only link to this life is through Charolett and the little memories that we had. He still laughs at what we did. Not the same laugh. He still hug me and kiss me with passion. But not the same hug. He still flirts with me. But not the same words. Tease me. But not the same tease.

Everything is done with a 'broken' twist. And it hurts me.

How much I get annoyed from him. Now. This time. I felt that I did not want him to leave. I did not want this shadow to disappear. I know where he would go. ANd I pity him. I wish the future is soft on him. He is Abe after all.

The only person who I never got out of my way to do anything for him, yet, he consistently got out of his way to help and protect me. A great friend out of nowhere.

All the time during our 4 hours talk, I am looking at him and feeling ashamed. I took him for granted. I indeed did. He would leave everyone and drive all the way to Montreal to just see me and I invent any lie to not travel from just Toronto to Montreal. Why? I do not know. Just because I am not in the mood!

I think I used him. Took from him a lot but only gave him the basic. No effort. I just made him laugh. Maybe this is what he needs. Or what I think he needs.

I am sorry if I did not advise you. I could not. But you wont listen back then. All I could do was to laugh with you. But I swear, never on you.

I really cant imagine North America and Shoubra without you. Really!

11 Aug 2008


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