Seriously?

I just had a German man come into the office and speak to me in Arabic.

Really?

Sure it was basic Arabic but talk about random. I think he is from our partner software company in Germany.

I’m not used to foreigners speaking to me in Arabic, most foreigners here have an automatic foreigner radar (foreig-dar?) that goes off whenever you see another of your ilk. For me I always punctuate this with a slap to Mr. MM’s arm while squealing, “look honey! foreigners!”

Ok, sure they’re usually pasty-white, wearing sundresses in December, and carrying around umbrellas for the sun, and I’m a lot less… uhm… noticeable in my “native dress.”

But really, I’ve picked out foreigners wearing niqaab so, foreig-dar is real.

Also he shook my hand and went around shaking the hands of my three other female co-workers. Normal for Westerners, not normal for Egypt.

Totally random.

And I still hate this country.

I am in real danger of becoming a hermit and recluse until I board the plane to go home.

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9 responses to “Seriously?

  1. assalamu alaykm dear, I am very worried about you! If you dont have a date for moving back yet, and no hope for any change in the near future, you really have to try to change your feelings about this place. I so hate it too at times, but I have to compromise or else I will simply make it more of a living hell by focusing on all the negative. And that IS what happens! Whenever I am having an “I hate Egypt” day, it really spirals out of control because it is too easy to find things I hate. Try to focus or find ANYTHING even remotely good. Something that helped me was travelling to nice places with my camera, or when there is no one else around (Fri and Sat mornings) or getting fresh juice from the juice stand and finding good sisters to do fun things with too. You have to make the most of it, or it really will just get worse and worse.

  2. its not just Egypt. Its this job. They have set me into a long-term project where I am doing telesales. Me! Telesales! In a foreign country. And to Egyptian companies where most people don’t speak English. Its frazzled my nerves and I can’t take it anymore.

    If I were a stay at home person I’d be depressed but I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Especially now that I’ve accustomed myself to alot of things here. I’d hate it, but I wouldn’t be so desparate.

  3. just saw your 2 new updated status’ you ok hunny??

  4. just hit the wall. know what I mean?

  5. Hugs, I knwo the hating where you are feeling. Don’t wallow in it like me!!!LOL I think having a plan would help. And can you get out of that job? I hope you feel better soon.

  6. Hi there,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and enjoy it. I would just like to say, however, that I’m white, have lived in Cairo for a number of years and not only have I never, ever used an umbrella in Cairo, even in the occasional rain showers, but I’ve also never seen these “usually pasty-white, wearing sundresses in December, and carrying around umbrellas for the sun” foreigners you talk about.

    It seems you fight rather hard against stereotypes of Muslim women (rightly, in my opinion) but are happy to apply them to people like me.

  7. Hi Anna,

    I think you missed the sarcasm in my comment and I apologize if I offended you. I thought the irony would be obvious: me a foreigner pointing out other foreigners as if I weren’t one myself….

    I’m not sure where in Cairo you live, but I must admit that the pasty, sundress wearing, umbrella carrying foreigners that I have seen were almost strictly limited to the road nine area in Maadi, near which I live.

    Also to say that all foreigners were white would be a horridly inaccurate assumption considering the large number of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Sudanese, Eritrean, the list could go on of other foreigners not only in Maadi but in the rest of the Cairo.

    Please forgive any offense, but I did truly mean in the most ironic way.

  8. I hope you’ll join us and write about the efforts we are making to help support those sisters who do decide to wear it:

    http://loga-abdullah.blogspot.com/2009/10/ban-niqaab.html

    BarakAllah fiikum

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