I apologise for not updating. I’ve been away for a while and only just arrived back. I’m still adjusting to life in Cairo. I was welcomed back to this city by witnessing a minor car crash. The micro buses front bumper fell off. Speaking of things falling off, I was riding in a micro bus today to my Arabic class. Halfway there the door of the bus started to come loose and I had to firmly hold onto it to stop it falling off. It must be a frequent occurrence here, as all the driver did was stop the bus, get out and proceed to put it back together again. None of the passengers even flinched.
My Arabic’s going well but yesterday I had a language melt down. I just felt exhausted and couldn’t get my head around some of the grammar. Learning Arabic can be a frustrating struggle, but after yesterday I came home and thought about why I’m studying Arabic. I needed to renew my intention. Having that time to think was good and today I felt much better. Refreshed and ready for another days studying.
The weathers changed dramatically here in the past month and although it isn’t as bitter as the UK, it still feels cold. The summer here was luscious with the bright hot sun shining down EVERY single day. I didn’t have to worry about my wet hair drying before I left the house. Or my newly washed clothes drying in time.
Now the sky is dark and thick with sand. The sand constantly hovers in the air, and with each blow of the wind brings with it a fresh batch of dust. It accesses the house sneaking through the tiny cracks of the windows. The atmosphere is muggy and reminds me of being on the set of a scary movie filmed beside a swamp. I don’t have enough warm clothes with me, never imagining through the summer that winter would be like this!
Living in Egypt makes you appreciate not just your life but also all the things you have. In my Arabic lesson the other day, my teacher told me that there hasn’t been any water in her house for a few days. When she does have running water in the taps, she saves it in big buckets ready for when it next runs out. She didn’t tell me for sympathy, but more as a matter of fact. Even though the biggest river-Nile- is here water, is still scarce.
Walking home I pass by families so poor that the children play on the streets without any shoes. Their ragged clothes are constantly covered in dirt. I feel guilty carrying bags from the major supermarket, knowing that they could never afford anything from there.
Today I woke up feeling a little better but still had a runny nose that required me to wipe it every 5 minutes. Last night the neighbours above were drilling away at 1:30am in the morning attending to last minute repairs that I guess couldn’t wait till a reasonable hour! Not that it made much of a difference to us as we are late sleepers, but it’s so funny. It reminded me of the time when I first arrived in Cairo and for the first two weeks the neighbours above were banging away non stop. One day I snapped and started banging the handle of a wooden brush on the ceiling to get them to shut up. It worked for 2 mins (I asumme he had a toilet brake) and then they resumed again.
I’m starting my Arabic classes again on monday and I cant wait. I want my Arabic to improve so that I can converse better with people.
Here’s my first post and I’m too tired to blog any more. Oh can I say blog considering this isn’t blogger but wordpress? Should it be ‘pressing’ instead of ‘blogging’?
I love the brown dusty background colour of the blog..sums up cairo to a T. Picture the scene- 3am and the streets are quiet except for roaming dogs that hunt for food in packs (through the bin bags). I’m lazily typing away as Bob Dylan plays in the background. Ever since I heard ‘Not dark yet’ I fell in love with the somber and melachony words and tune. Perfect for a night of chilling and blogging away.
Before I blog off I want to thank my neighbours above for keeping us stocked up on badinjaan (aubergine) stuffed with rice and a dish of fish. The daughter is this cute 14 year old who tries to improve her english, using it when coversing with me. And I try to improve my Arabic by talking to her at any chance I get. She’s my guinea pig when it comes to Arabic..