28 Aug 2009

DEUTSCH

There is something about people from this culture or part of the world.

Panic!

They are always scared. Panicing. Worried. They feel strangled in their own thoughts and rules. Maybe because of the too many rules. Could be from the so many expectations. And for sure the very limited space and tolerance for mistakes and errors.

I remember my friend volker, who used to literally panic and get ulcers before exams, told me when I exclaimed about this attitude in a sarcastic way, he said: 'everything you do, all your history stays. It all goes in the C.V. Nothing is passed unpaid for.' And I realized the word 'forgiveness' not tolerance. Forgiveness. And suddenly I realized that this western culture has no forgiveness. It is all governed and managed by a huge interrelated system. Who will forgive you. No one.

On the other hand, in Egypt, we are so forgiving that we end up in a mess.

Balance is always good. But until this happens, i prefer the system. For sure.

P WORD

So everything is about this P. They wakeup in the morning and a bee hive is at it's peak. All revolve around that. They impress me but much nore than that, inspire me. Make me wonder about where we will be in a decade, and how far away we will be from them.

So they wakeup. Brush teeth and wash face. Get dressed simply but in what I call elegantly. And breakfast. And they do that fast too. Healthy and fast. Cereal. Milk. Juice. Toast. Coffee. All that while reading the papers or working on their computer to see what their plans are for the day. Later, they go up take a shower and get ready.

What I like, and have text my partner about but he turned me off as usual, is that they always seem clean. They smell nice. Look clean. Feel clean. And although we claime to be knowing all the etiquette things, they do eat in an elegant way. It is not about knowing the etiquette, but about this balance thing we lack. This 'self-knowing' attitude. Know who I am. What I want to do. Why I am here. I actually chose to be here. I like that I am here. I have options. I am free. And I SEE where am I heading. It is a culture of certainity and hope. Productive. Practical. Pragmatic. Proud.

I like that. And no wonder when egyptian live there, they initially stand out from their uncertain, selfconscious body language but when they are mature enough, they become used to the assurance and the sense of purpose.

27 Aug 2009

AMHREST-ALEXANDRIA

I am home alone. Finally.

Put everything in order. Dimmed the lights. Opened the windows for ventelation. Adjusted my bags and bedroom. Now just sitting on the dining table near the window and browsing. Listening to the washer machine running as it washes my clothes. I like it that way. Quiet. Silent. Alone. Neat. Empty. No excess of anything. Just me and myself. No disturbance.

I have been doing nothing in the past 7 days but walking around. With no plans. I just get the map. Walk. And go from one place to the other. Nothing in particular that I am in a hurry to do or see. It is pretty simple over here. So it is that I walk and have this mini conversations running in my head. That I am not even aware of. In other words, does not even bother me or notice it.

Tomorrow probably will go to the mountains. Will go sit and read. Will see how it is like there up. They say it is beautiful, but they say that about a lot of things that turned out to be nothing in particular. They have a naiive taste to things. Not sure why? Pretty simple culture that almost everything impresses them. Well, we are pretty particular. Yes we lack the nice open spaces they have, but this is not enough to make me go 'amazing'. I will like to have.

Well, wait until I come back to Egypt and I will disown this post. I will be begging for simplicity and any place that I can just sit alone and read. No one disturbing. No intruder curious to annoy me. No noise to blow my eardrums. No pollution to block my lungs.

Oh well. I wish I can stay here forever though.

1760 AMHREST

I lost the key to the apartment. I kept searching a lot. 4 times. I am insisting that it is not lost and I can find it. I can't let go of the idea that I might find it. And I keep searching more and more. Amazing. Can't I let go and accept it is lost. Instead of searching, I can just go down to the guy and give him 5$ and get the spare. Even that, I say I will do but will ask the guy 'what if I found the key?'.

Control Freak!

26 Aug 2009

2541 D

It is whenever I land my foot here, I feel attacked. Not me personally. But my religion. As if there is a nature tendency to attack my religion and make fun of it. Suddenly it became the root of all evil, the source of the violence, the promotor of all the ignorance and backwardness.

I met this suppositely smart guy from the netherland who studied islamic history and studies at his universtiy in holland; went to cairo to take an arabic course; attending lyon for a conference; and will be going to Mcgill to do his masters in islamic studies: Islamic philiosophy. We walk togther along saint cathrience street, and the little kid is typical dutch. He checks every single stop light. Double checked the hostel door was working before we left (what were the chances!), kept asking me if i know where i am going. I said, 'No. I sense. If we get lost we can always ask.' Simple.

Anyways, he started mumbling some stuff about islam and its history. OK kiddo. Keep going. Showed interest in the culture and the people. Bravo. I might not dislike you that much although you are so white. And suddenly, how closed minded and backward we are. Excuse me captain. I certainly wont take that. But I did because my husband always accuse me of being 'picking fights even in a friendly exchange.' So... breather. breathe. Diffuse. Ignore.

Later we sat on a greek restaurant to it. AH, this was not easy. We went up and down the restaurants until he picked one. I suppose because it looked the cheapest... but ha ha ha, it was super expensive.

He ordered his salade. Probably because it was the cheepest dish. And I ordered nothing. Because I did not want to eat. Pretended I was fasting too! So, he said:
'Not eating.'
'No, Not really. I ate a lot.
'Ah... or because the meat is not halal. You muslims do that.'

Wait a second. To the drain my husband's comment.

I smiled. Looked to him closely and asked.
'So why do you always assume that Muslims are extremist? You had couple of comments along those lines that I didnt particularly like. Any reason why?'

He turned a bit red and start giving me some answers and arguments that were basically too general to my taste. Argued him a bit, and then decided its is not worth it. NOdded my head and then remained silent the whole way after.

We came to an intersection and I literally said, 'ok boy. see you later.'
'Oh you are not going to come with me to the hostel.'
'No. You go alone I will walk downtown.'
'So you are not coming with me.'
'No. You should be ok. Ask for direction if you get lost.'

And I took my map and left him.

Since then, I see him. I give him this cold fake smile. That is a smile but just that tells him to stay away from me. I am simply not interested anymore.

I talk to my husband to vent. And he pissed me off! :)

The usual practical argument that is so brain oriented. No emotions involved. Amazing guy. For good or for worse!

But I love him anyways.

24 Aug 2009

Marjuana

I am staying at this universtiy hostel in france. I share a 2 bedroom apartment with couple of people. The normal trend is all the french, american, canadian, south americans...almost everyone drinks!Everyone comes with his huge glass of vodka, wine, beer. For me this is ok. I am not bothered. I am used to that.

But today, while sitting in the living room, there comes an american. And asked me and a nice french couple who were peacefully packing their luggage:
'does anyone of you guys smoke?'
'No.' We all answered.
'Ah ok. I have some cigarettes and I am going back to the US so cant cross the boarders with.'

'Ah really.' I looked naiively. 'Dont they allow u to cross the boarders with cigarettes. This is strange. why do that.?'

'They are marjuana cigarettes.'....turning his palm opened to show me.

Uhm... ok. And my face turned red. I was actually scared!

The french guy looked disturbed and so was I. I looked to the french couple and, after the american left, I said, 'was he really offering us marjuana cigarettes. This is pretty scary. I am glad he is leaving.'

22 Aug 2009

ISRAEL

So I have not thought about this side of me. This side means, this side that is hostile. Not just hostile, because I am actually generally agressive. I mean politically hostile. I discovered that I cant stand Israili. Not sure what happened. I used to see them all the time when I was in NY. See their dress-code. Their synegague. Even at work. My professor. Everyone. But I was cool with that.

Now it is different. I see them now and I just give them this look. Not that I am politically active or even care. Not that I like Palestinians or sympathize with them. On the contrary. And moreso i am even uneducated politically about this part of history. I know they are assholes who occupied land that doesnot belong to them, and some words about caliming history that still doesnot belong to them (this pyramid stuff). But to be honest, I do not know who is right and who is wrong. And if this land is theirs. I am sure not though. Well, as far as I am concerned, they deserve no land. Expelled. And this is their destiny and their future.

So, what brought all that. I am here with inches away from this israili guy. When we first met his first comment when he knew I was from egypt was, 'hey we are neighbours.' I gave him this look and said, 'yea. just around the corner, pal.' And then, 'why dont you come visit', he would say with a stupid smile. I gave him another stupid smile, not knowing should I play nice and open minded, or be one hot anti-semitics, 'Visit what? Israel? Palestine? It never crossed my mind. Plus it is not safe there.' I realize that I am saying nonesense now. But then I actually felt hot and my blood pressure went up.

The guy, his name is Uwan, was now following me around. Now started to speak as 'us' the middle-easterns, and how 'we' were occupied by the british. I said, 'excuse me. Who was occupied. you? You is who?'. And he literally turned red and the group was silent and said, 'Israil!' I have to count on my history and said, 'Oh yea! and when was that?'. He said, '1935'. I think he made that up. And I said, 'but Khabibi, you did not exist by then. You mean Palestine, right?'. And he mumbled 'yes'.

So anyways, this guy is irritating me. He went to the army for 2 years and now touring around. Just came back from Bolivia and Argentina. Visiting his israili fellows...etc.

But here what got me, was when he started talking about 'Hummus' and how here it did not taste like 'home-made'. I gave him this look and said, 'Home made. I think you should makeup your mind. Are you Israili or Arab, dude.'

So en bref, I dont like him. He asks me silly questions; look into my cell phone; and I have to turn it away from him. Pretty annoying.

On the other side, I think he is carving for acceptance. I can sense the vibe when he says that he is from 'Israel.' He for sure is cheap too. He drank their beer, ate their pasta and uses the word 'Fuck it. Shit' a lot. Not sure what is he trying to prove.

Ah I know. He is a fucken shit.

19 Aug 2009

FALLS

You just know it when it starts to fall. Maybe not so steep falling but later it gets steeper and slippery. Towards a sharp fall that can never be stopped. It maybe starts a bit slow. Easy. In the eye look when a conversation starts. This disinterest regarding the subject, later moves to disinterest in the whole topic, many topics, the person herself. It is this look and you can not miss to recognize it. It is the look of boredom. Of 'where is my share'. Of losing interest. Of not having to be 'good boy'. To being taken for granted. And thus you start to be fake. Not fake in the listening part, we have passed this already. Fake in trying to maintain the old things that were used to be part of who you were. But it is not the same.

Not once was the 21stones mentioned. I bet it is just thrown in the drawer or deep down in one of the bags. Not once was a good note that expresses this lousy boring cheesy, used-to comments read or answered. No. Silence. ANd ignoring. ANd what's with the sharing. or I say reporting. It is reporting by all means. Sharing needs effort to share. Reporting is fake sharing just a male thing. or his thing to feel in control. As for sharing, it is different. And it does not need a passive presence. It needs an active one. someone interested in you and what you are doing. In wanting to be with you. In wanting to see you every minute, if not through being physically present, but through visualizing and wishing to be there. But again, all this WAS a stage and it passed.

Passed for you. WIll pass for me. I am sure.

17 Aug 2009

CAVE REVISITED

- It has been what.... 10 months. Oh yea. And a lot happened since then. Nothing is lost I suppose. You get what's destined for you. When the 'Let Go' taken on. It goes.

- Some complications on another front but it is all inside the little E. Reflects badly and balanced on the inside but it is still within the E and this is ok. Another Let Go should be let to go and it will be resolved.

- Maple and Ice-hockey. Now soccer and Bananas. Erine and Square. Dinning and Shipping. INC. Soon it will be unfolded to the best. Another long hidden Let GO to that as well.

- Islam and copts. The old yet so new. A war has been declared and not sure if we are ready for it. I can tell it is nasty. It intimidates me to start and end with. I dont like the feel and certainly dont like the tone and indeed I feel uncomfortable and offended. But, they are becoming so powerful and we are retreating to the back. Lousy! This one I dont see a Let Go.

- Staying here in egypt put me back to the mindset of the limited resources that affects me when the resources are expanded! WEird.

- He. Not the same I feel. his cold ness and boredom is creeping in slowly and fastly. but it cant be ignored. Not sure if it is just a phase or a fact now!