Caught up in moments

Lately it’s been easy getting caught up in the excitement of now and not take the time to jot moments down.

Work is busy–it’s a small office and the biggest limit to the work I do is my own time and commitment.

Outside of work, often with co-workers, has been busy too.

It is only about to get busier in the next couple days. Today I visited an Arabic language school and tomorrow morning, before work, I’ll try out a class.

There are times when I feel like a hopeless foreigner here. Earlier today a man told me I could follow him across the street today because he thought I was scared to cross. A man in the market tried to charge me double for a watermelon–a boy–presumably his son, laughed when he father named the price. And, I could live here my whole life and passerbys would still smile and say “Welcome to Egypt.”

Despite-maybe partly because of the accustomed normalcy of it, I feel comfortable and really happy here. The constant reminders I am a foreigner seem superficial–part of the same touristy view of Egypt I rejected long ago. Once the guy realized I didn’t need help crossing the street, he talked on and on to me in Arabic, his English was good but he could tell I wanted to practice.

My apartment is quirky and perfect. We have a picture of a dancer which lights up on the wall and a secret stuffed animal in a drawer under the TV (which currently doesn’t work). I’ve already blown out the fuse in the kitchen by plugging in my computer and learned the anatomy of toilet plumbing, thanks to ghetto strings which hold the contraption together and easily fall out of place. Our washing machine has a pipe not attached to anything. The dirty water cascades onto the floor, inevitably flooding AJ’s bathroom each time we want clean clothes.

Sayida Zenab mosque, lit up each night stands out like a carnival among the endless tan buildings. We have air-conditioners in our bedrooms but half the time I don’t t flick the switch.

Breeze blows through our vast windows keeping the apartment relatively comfortable, plus, I love the sound of the traffic, life on the street and call to prayer drifting up 12 stories.

I was going to fill in some of my adventures–a visit to Iraqi friends houses, a very international 4th of July, what it’s like being a woman in the streets–a take on the recent New York Times article.

That, however, will have to wait until another day. As usual, the moment has taken precendee over writing and it is far too late.

carpets below my window

carpets below my window


2 thoughts on “Caught up in moments

  1. Oh my goodness……….between the plumbing, flooding, and now you’re going to top off work with a language class. WOW!!! I’m impressed. When all is said and done, this will be one of those life experiences that you’ll look back on in your old age (about where I’m at…ha) and smile. Honestly some of it sounds pretty trying to me, but then it equally sounds as though you’re living your dream and most people talk about it, but never do it. Actually very amazing when you think about it. Good to catch up.


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