Tag Archives: GOING HOME!!!!

Counting down

Because I am so completely disorganized I’m going to be really random.

Last night Mr. MM and I went to Khan el Khalili to pick up a few items to bring to the states. Ok, I’ll admit it- it was actually clothes for me. I’m supposed to be getting rid of stuff, not buying more, I know. But these are things we cannot find in the states so I think its ok.

I was sitting out front of a store right next to Al-Hussein mosque, right near the area that was bombed earlier this year, not thinking about anything and waiting for Mr. MM to come back from running to an ATM when someone lit off a REALLY SUPER LOUD firework. I almost had a heart attack.

Who lights off fireworks near a bomb site? Who?

The weird thing is that before I heard the firework I hadn’t given a single thought to the bombing. I didn’t remember it.

It took me minutes to remember how to breathe.

Not cool, yo.

Not enough days left before we leave. I’m focusing on trying to clean out the fridge and cupboards so our dinner tonight is a soup made of frozen veggies that may have been here almost as long as we have, some cracked wheat, the last half of a jar of pasta sauce, and the last potatoes and one carrot I had.

Thing is, I don’t know what I have left to make tomorrow!

There is also camel meat, but I’m not enthusiastic about cooking it. It’s not my fave.

Oh, that reminds me, I never got a chance to drink camel’s milk. Must remind Mr. MM to bring it home.

Hm….

Sweating It

In spite of the fact that I did not sleep much last night I am still up and sleepless tonight. Why? I don’t know, but I’m uneasy.

I’m nervous about moving home, nervous about how we’ll do there, nervous about how I’ll feel there, nervous about how much I’ve changed.

I’m worried about culture shock for Mr. MM and re-entry shock for me.

I’m so excited to go home, believe me. I’m so excited to see my family and friends.

I think a part of it is that so much of my life before this was “just for now” and going back to the US is going to be “reality” or “forever.” We were so unsettled before this and now we have to figure out this whole settling thing- jobs, life, responsibility, real repercussions.

We have so much to do yet here, and so little time- while in the same instant if we needed we could have everything done in two days. Its the good-byes; I want more time for good-byes.

My nieces and nephews will not be this age forever and having only married Mr. MM two years ago I already missed so much of their lives. Will the twins remember us the next time we see them? Will they remember rolling around on the bed with Mr. MM and I tag-team tickling them? Will Ganna remember that she’s mine and Nour remember that she’s Mr. MM’s?

Yaso won’t remember us at all, he’s much too young.

How long will it be before we see them again? Its just so hard.

I don’t want to live here but I don’t want to say good-bye.

I’m sad, and I’m worried. I’m sweating- physically and mentally.

Its hot here, like crazy hot. A huge part of me is glad we won’t be here for Ramadan cuz I can barely stand cooking in this heat while not fasting- I can’t imagine doing it while thirsty. No. Thanks.

I never imagined that I could sweat from that many parts of my body. Seriously. I now sweat in places I’ve never sweated before and I’ve actually gotten used to being so sweaty that my clothes are drenched.

Sexy sexy, right?

But for real, I never liked to sweat before- not that I like it now believe me- and I would always cease and desist whatever action made me sweat in the first place. Unfortunately I cannot cease and desist being in Cairo (at least not until August 5th) so I have to just sweat. And sweat.

Alternately I wonder how Mr. MM will enjoy being in a place where sweating profusely is by choice and mostly done in a gym.

Zuzu is doing good. There’s so much random stuff about her I want to blog on like how she’s gotten so big and that she’s become really vocal with me again. We ‘talk’ back and forth again and most of her interaction with me is punctuated by trills, chortles, and copious meowing. Except her WTF face when she watches me shower or take baths. She is fascinated with the concept and yet hates water. Also she likes to rub up against me when I’ve just gotten out and my legs are still wet. Then she runs away complaining about the water. Every shower. As soon as I step out I hear her in the doorway chortling and chirping and if I -how dare I?- shut the door she yowls outside until I open it.

We were able to exchange the carrier, thank God. This one now is the right size but SO SMALL. I just feel horrible putting Zuzu in it for 12 freaking hours. We also bought a craptastic kitty leash for way too much money. I think I’ll be returning it if I can find another one. Putting it on her was HILARIOUS. At one point she was literally turning sommersaults in the air trying to get it off. I have to get her a better one though, for real. It is just not going to work for us.

Right now she is playing with her beloved bottle caps, I think her life will be so empty in the states without tile flooring and cheap bits of plastic. I hope that jingle balls on carpet will help to fill the void but I’ll be bringing a stash of hayah bottle tops back with me because those are her favorites, no lie.

Also the Barefoot Empress witnessed her playing fetch with me this evening. I have witnesses that Zuzu plays with me like a puppy.

Zuzu also tries to climb into our luggage; she particularly likes it when the top is down and there are clothes piled on top so she has to dig her way in. Is this normal cat behaviour? All we will see is the mound of clothes on top quivering, the luggage shaking, and Zuzu’s hind end sticking out.

Yes we have attempted to zip her up inside, and no we have not succeeded. She’s too quick. Right now she is trying to work the zipper so she can get into one of the bags; if she had opposable thumbs we would be in trouble.

Hahaha, I just remembered one time that we had an empty suitcase standing up and she climbed on and somehow managed to tip it over on top of her so she was trapped inside. I had no idea what had made the suitcase fall until I heard her pitiful cries coming from inside.

Ah, I may have bored some of you to tears by talking way too much about my cat but it was theraputic enough for me to now think about going to sleep.

First of course I will be tossing B’rincess Zuzu out of the room with her clackity clacking bottle caps.

Masr’s Parting Blow

So I’m sitting here in my room, which is chaos amid packing, with no a/c and some food poisoning that just won’t go away. Not only am I dealing with painful stomach cramps but now, with the cool air kaput, sweating. I would like to continue packing however I just can’t do it.

I was sifting through my books today and I just have too many that I want to bring with me and thats not even looking at what Mr. MM wants to bring with him. I just don’t know if we’re going to be able to work under airline weight restrictions but I can’t imagine how much shipping is going to cost. I’ll obviously need to make a few painful decisions regarding the reading material but whats holding me back is the hassle and improbability of finding English-translated Arabic novels. *sigh*

There’s so much stuff to figure out and I just don’t have time to be sick. Gah.

I’ve got to take brincess Zuzu to get her rabies shots and a certificate from ye olde local vet. I’ll be taking her back to the vet who couldn’t cure her stomach problems –I’m sure you all remember this fiasco– only because he’s mad experienced with taking animals overseas. If only homeboy would answer my text message dammit.

Zuzu is, and this isn’t just a proud cat-mommy talking, like super insanely intelligent. I just adore her. She plays fetch! All. The. Time. She brings her bottle cap into the bathroom for me to throw from the toilet for her; talk about inopportune moments.

She’s totally awesome though, alhumdulillah, she is my cat-shaped shadow and is almost always in whatever room I am in.

I’m worried about the flight with her. She’s not a vocal cat so I’m not too worried about her crying a lot in the flight but I’m sad that I’ll have to keep her in her carrier for so freaking long.

She and Mr. MM, poor kittens, are going to both be flying for the first time and their very first flight will be 12.5 hours long. Thats a really, really long flight. And then we’ll have a 7 hour layover (!!!) to contend with before the very short 4 hour flight to MSP.

Since we’re laying over in NYC, Mr. MM wants to take advantage of our super long stay to leave the airport and see a bit of the big apple. I’m all over the idea except that I’m nervous that something would go wrong and we’d miss our flight/not be able to get back through security/something else totally horrific.

Hopefully at some point, somewhere, we’d be able to find poor Zuzu a nice big pile of sand to do her business in. She’s a very fastidious cat and I just don’t know that she would be ok with letting loose on the shredded newspaper in her pet carrier. I can imagine that she would keep her legs crossed, figuratively, until she found a proper place to pee no matter how painful/detrimental it might be. I do intend to cut back on her food intake 24 hours before the flight and hopefully that will help.

Can anyone who has travelled long distances with pets help me out with some friendly advice? I plan on paying the fee and bringing her into the cabin with me.

I’m just thinking how deja vu’ey this last month of being here is. Around this time in ’07 I got food poisoning and now I have it again- except like way, way worse. Top it all off with a regurgitation of some drama that happened at the same time in ’07 and its almost like emotional food poisoning. No hard feelings, but it just makes me remember how disgusting some people are, really. But it’s just so coincidental that all this is coming back around. I guess you could consider it full circle.

I was really hoping I’d be over this stupid food poisoning and the way its lingering makes me wonder if it was food poisoning or if it’s something more sinister. Anyone know how long FP is supposed to last? Have I finally contracted some horrible Egyptian disease that causes me perpetual emergency bathroom runs and nausea?

To everyone who is feverishly typing ‘are you sure you’re not pregnant?’ into my comment box right now: yes, yes I’m sure I’m not pregnant.

I really want to be over this now kthanxbai.

And eff the a/c! Dear God why? Three more weeks! Three more weeks please!!

Man… I have so much to think about, and plan, and do.

Home is where the heart is.

It is really suprising me how sad am I am to be leaving Egypt. Can you believe it? I can’t.

I know that I have blogged before on how living in Egypt is like a drug addiction for me: its bad for my health and I don’t want it but I can’t imagine being without it. I’m going to miss so many things here, so many.And that’s not even stopping to consider the people I’m going to miss. That will be the hardest.

Riding my last commute home from 6th of October I took in as much as I could of the views: the pyramids, the desert, the Nile, and how from one point on the ring road you can see from the river all the way to the Mohamed Ali mosque in the distance. It really hurts to realize that I won’t be here.

I do so really want to go home though, and I know that if I considered staying I would lose all of these nostalgic thoughts.

Let’s list things I’m looking forward to going home to (not including family which is so obvious I don’t need to list it):

– Food food food food food food food food.Uh, food.

Prime rib steak with horseradish sauce! Ah! Pizza, chicken strips with honey mustard sauce, cheesecake, mac and cheese, mozzerella/monterrey jack/cheddar cheese, campbell’s soup, gas station cappuccinos (yep you read that right,) those little packages of powdered doughnuts you can buy for 50 cents, sour cream, reese’s pieces, cereal, and gatorade.

Ya’ll that’s like a drop in the bucket of all the food I am looking forward to eating again. Also now that I’ve written it down I realize that I’ll have to pace myself or I’ll turn into the goodyear blimp.

But there’s so much food I’ll miss from here too. Ma7shi, all kinds of ma7shi. Thankfully my grandma makes some awesome cabbage rolls. I’ll miss the fruits and vegetables. I’m so waiting to be able to stuff myself silly with figs before I leave. Mmmm figs. I’ll miss my mil’s food because she is positively gourmet mashAllah. Her food is so good. I’ll miss how good the produce tastes here.

– Driving with traffic laws.

You know it. I’m also hard core looking forward to having a car again, I really missed that freedom.

– Libraries.

Oh, free books! I’m so excited. And B&N bookstores where I can buy myself a latte and  go sit in a corner of the store with a book off the bookshelf.

– Clean parks.

I miss clean parks. I miss green. I miss being able to walk down a sidewalk without having to hold my breath because countless disgusting pigs have peed in corners and on the walls. And driving down roads without having to avert my eyes because of the people urinating in public. On one morning commute I basically had to stop looking out the window because I’d seen so many of them. It’s disgusting. Shame on all of them.

Why am I going to miss Egypt? It’s things like that which really make me want to go home.

– Movie theaters.

Clean ones.

– Walmart! God, I miss Walmart.

For obvious reasons.

– Cub Foods.

Same.

– Friday prayer khutbas in English.

Word. I want to go to jummah again.

– Movie rental stores!

Man I can’t wait to have movie nights!

– Food/People/Restaurant diversity.

I want to be able to go eat Mexican one night, Vietnamese the next night, and felafel if I want to. I hate the lack of diversity here.

– Alright, I have to say it. I straight up miss my family.

I miss my mom and my grandparents, my dad, my cousins. I miss Oogie and the Pampered Chef. Aunt Bonita and Uncle M and playing hand and foot. I miss family barebques and reunions, I miss summer picnics and bonfires. I miss the lakes and the rivers and the U of M campus.

I miss my friends at the mosque and I’m still devastated that the Divine Miss M moved to Florida but she comes home a lot. I miss Dinkytown and Downtown Mlps and StP. I miss Central Ave and Holy Land. I miss my walee and his family.

But oh, I’m going to miss my in-laws. I’ll miss the twins and my sils and my mil (and her food!.) I’ll miss my neices and nephews so much, so so much. God, I want to cry. I’ll miss them teasing me in Arabic and only understanding half of it. I’ll miss going to their houses and being fed. I’ll miss the adhan and seeing mosques everywhere.

I’ll miss the dirt and garbage. The street cats and dogs. I’ll miss how alive this place makes me feel. Alive because everything is reduced to necessities and life just wouldn’t be this hard if you weren’t alive. It’s a euphoria, it’s heady this mix of passionate love and hate. It’s raw and unapologetic. It’s the sheer history of ages and history being made. It’s rich and poor scrambling for the same prize. It’s brutal and magnificent.

It’s the worst and the best of everything this world has to offer and as much as I loathe it I know that I will never be the same.

And I know that every day I’m home, and as happy as I will be there, at least half of my heart will be broken and left here. And I hate it, but it is what it is.

I belong here as much as I belong there.

Best.News.Ever.

So I’ve been itching to blog about everything thats been going on but I didn’t want to jinx it. Evil eye it. Fudge it up. Etc.

But now- alhumdulillah!- everything has fallen into place so I can scream it from the rooftops:

Mr. MM and I are moving to the US inshAllah the beginning of August!

I’m so friggin’ excited. For real.

Its bittersweet as Mr. MM must needs leave his family behind as I left mine- the bane of all international marriages- and I will miss them a lot as well.

Its true that I hate living here and have had a difficult time with many things about Egypt. But like so many foreigners, and even Egyptians, before me I have mixed feelings for this terrible and wonderful land. I love Egypt very much but I can’t stand it at the same time. Living here has been the most wonderful and awful experience combined.

And the thought of going home- dear God! It makes me ’bout levitate every time I think about it.

There’s so much to do, so much to think about, so much to worry about, and so much to plan.

I’ll miss you Um ad-Dunya*, I’ll miss you as much as I’ll be happy to be away from you.

le sigh

* The Arab world calls Egypt ‘Um ad-Dunya’ which means ‘Mother of the World’ as Egypt has been the cradle of civilization since, oh, FOREVER.