Monday, May 21, 2007

Amina and Alex

Amina had been here since last Saturday, a total of 10 days and its been greeting having her, she is one of those amazing house guest that you hope could just stay on. We didn't know each other all the well so it a lovely experience spending some quality time together. The following are the highlights of trip.

On the night she arrived we went out to dinner at Balba this amazing Syrian restaurant which in the middle of a very ordinary looking area but my is it amazing, you are served at least 10 starts before you even order, definitely a must experience in alex. We had a beautiful meal and the waiter could tell from Amina’s Arabic that she wasn’t Egyptian and asked the usual question “where are you from” which then lead to the debate of whether Somali is an arab country and the linguist classification of Somali.

Then we left and walked around to explore a hijab shop when a man stumbled out of an alleyway next to the shop amina and i were in, clutching his stomach because he was dripping blood, it looked like he had been stabbed! The Egyptian ladies looked horrified as we did but I have to admit there reactions were a little more animated then ours, it was all over in a split second and a taxi took him to the hospital but what an experience on your night of arrival especially as I had been telling her how ridiculously save alex is and how nothing happens and people are out with their families in the wee hours of the morning, but there is nothing like an incident like that to make you doubt.

Then the day after we went to discover the zoological gardens at somuha, I have never been a fan of zoo’s I think its unnatural to cage wild animals for our pleasure but I have never had a crazy urge to either cry or run around the zoo unlocking doors whilst shouting, be free be free.But that’s just what I felt there so Never again I say

Then because I had breakfast at 7am by out 4pm I was really low on sugar and needed food. I got my food first took my tray and found a place for us to sit, when I amina approached I tried to stand up so I could move my bag and I have no idea what happened but my tray tipped and one minute my food was on the plate and then next I was wearing it. I stood there with rice and chicken covering half of my upper body and lap thinking “oh joy” then I grabbed my napkin and started to wipe it of when amina realised what had happened, the miskeena walahi she looked sooo embarrassed and quickly ushered us away from the scene of the crime then I had to walk all the way back to the Chinese food outlet and re-order the exact same meal whilst covered in it and left amina to wait for it while I walked into the bathroom to sort myself out.

I walked into the bathroom and the first girl to see me looked horrified and then she looked at me with concern and pity, which made me wonder if I should be embarrassed but the strange thing was I wasn’t fussed at all. When my skirt was semi dried (all the layers I wear certainly came in handy) from the hand drier I went out, ate my meal and then we moved across to Cilantro and carried on as normal. Maybe I should have felt a twinge of something but nope. Hmm is that healthy to be so unconcerned especially when amina and random strangers were embarrassed on my behalf.

We managed to do Islamic and pharaohnic cairo in one day, needless to say when we made it back to alex just before midnight we both collapsed and woke up at 12pm the next day. Definitely an experience and now we know it doable if somewhat unhinged.

I have been revising for the end of my level 2 exam but amina being so resourceful got in touch with her emiratie school mates and managed to see the whole of alex. It turns out that in my time here I have broken sooo many Egyptian etiquettes and have frequented the dodgiest of place. Etiquettes such as girls do not go to the beach by themselves…opps am planning on still doing that. And apparently montazah gardens after sunset are a place were ladies of the night frequent toting for business…Astagfirallah but I have to say the sunset is incredible there. And Ibrahimya where I shop for tops and shoes and things is apparently not the safest of area. I am I planning on changing my ways..hmmmm


Ever The Idealist said...

dont change love. i love you as you are. glad you enjoyed the visit from akela. always keep safe as we want you back safe and sound.

white african said...

loool you guys sound like you had a blast (all over yourself that is nm hee hee hee)

wher ethere is amina and nm there is fun and weirdos, enjoy it whilst you can luv.

weary tribal nomad said...

nooomaa i know i cant wait inshaAllah...been feeling a pile of manure lately so am in desperate need of some cheer

NM said...

ETI: Aww thanks chuck am really looking forward to the new kitchen and bathroom, and our chat last night still making me smile;)

Whitey, you still owe me a call :( but still love you and yeah alhamdulilah we had a great time and amina was excellent for my arabic, although she did quickly turn into an egyptian and in came the amiya.

Weary: marahaba habibity it will be my pleasure putting a smile on your face inshallah

Aya said...

Oh my! Sounds like you're having a fantastic time with Amina sans stabbed strangers and spilled food. I heard Ibrahimiya was pretty scary too, would have given you my pepper spray if I could.

NM said...

Lol Aya the strange thing was i felt very comfortable there :)

MD said...

i'm glad you dont care naima, there are way to many rules in egypt especially for the womenfolk!you keep doing what you're doing!
about calling you, i'm a bit busy at the mo, i only have 2 weeks left (as of 5th june i''' be free) and i'll call you then!
love ya

NM said...

You were planning on calling me in two weeks?! am glad you managed to call love, freedom is just within grasps :)