Tag Archives: missing my family


Last night I dreamt about two of my grandfathers; it was a sweet dream. It was sunny out, the golden kind of sunny where everything glows. They were both hale, healthy and strong and they were carrying heavy things for me. They were joking and laughing and when I ran over to them they both smiled at me. I kissed them each on their cheeks and told them that I loved them and then I ran on.


I don’t remember where I was running to or what else was in the dream, but I have the feeling that I will carry this memory forever, cherishing the moment, real though it may not be, because of the perfection of it and the realness of the love, given and taken, between them and myself.


They are both still alive, thank God, although not quite as robust as they were in my dream, and I look forward to the next time I get to kiss them and tell them how very much I love them. I may even remember the dream when I do so.

A Little Blue

I do not want to go to work today.

I’m a little blue. Yesterday my mom graduated with her Masters of Nurse Practitioner so now she’s 3/4 of a Doctor. I’m so happy for her, its been two years of hard schooling, a lot of which she struggled through, but she’s so smart and capable and just plain wonderful that I never doubted that she would be standing there for graduation.

I never stopped to think that maybe I wouldn’t be.

I never imagined that I would be stuck here while something so phenomenal was happening in my mom’s life. It hurts that I’ve missed it and yes they taped it and I’m sure I will watch it, but the truth is that watching it will only remind me that I wasn’t there.

Its so big, such a huge accomplishment, and its not something that I’ll have an opportunity to go to the “next” one.


I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself I guess. Anyways, it sucks.

I love you mom and congratulations again!

Hello Sweat Glands, It’s Been Awhile

1.) The day after I blog about how fabutastic spring in Egypt was it turns hot. Like hot, hot. Hot enough for me to walk around going ‘holy crap! its hot!’ However in reality it is only 1/10 of how hot it gets here in the summer. The weird thing about Egypt weather, that I’ve noticed at least, is that the weather changes in the middle of the night. Over the past month or so everytime the weather warmed up I noticed it at about midnight to 2 am. Its so odd to walk outside and think to yourself ‘is it really hotter now than it was at 4 pm?’

the cat just farted and it was horrible. i need to stop letting her lick my roz-bi-laban bowl.

Last night after I finished blogging and got ready for bed I passed by the window and felt the warmer than it was during the day air blow past me. I woke up this morning afternoon covered in sweat. Yummy. It just reminds me that I seriously need to be out of here before summer really kicks in because otherwise I might lose whatever weak hold I still have on my sanity. Let me repeat that: weak hold.

Unfortunately Mr. MM is really not fully on board the USA-train; yesterday he brought up the idea, once again, of staying here. He likes to switch up the reasons but this last one was the pig flu and the craptacular economy. He reasoned that neither of us are going to find jobs and we might die. (BTW I believe he was maybe probably kidding.) Just a few days ago he told me that one of his aunts was so desperate to keep him in Egypt that she offered to fund an English Education business for me. All mine; I’d manage and teach if I wanted to. The only thing is that I am not a business person and I am not interested in building a business (unless its selling FABULOUS clothes for Muslimahs in the States) and I am even less interested in staying here.

Things I would need to stay here:

  • A nice flat thats fully air-conditioned and that I don’t have to worry I’m going to be kicked out of.
  • A car.
  • A maid. (We usually have that now but the last one up and disappeared.)
  • I don’t have to work if I don’t want to. (I technically have that as well but any money I bring in gives us a good cushion.)

Life is Egypt is possible to get used to. If you so choose of course. Its like deciding that living with a schizophrenic roommate is do-able when in reality getting a new roommate would be so much better.

Two hours ago we had a goat going bat-sh*t outside our window.

Read that again, please.

A goat.

My first thought was: ‘is one of our neighbors having a sacrifice or did a goat just wander into our garden?’


Sure I can get used to tantrum-throwing farm animals, but do I want to?

To be honest I have softened my viewpoint of Egypt. I think by now that I have been so thoroughly bitten (quite literally over a million times by mosquitoes but thats not what I mean) by the Egypt-bug that I can never ever leave Egypt completely. The thought makes me homesick. Also I must admit that Egypt, Cairo especially, is such a fount of insanity-derived creative juice that I can’t not write. It drives me to writing; its my muse, so to speak.

But do I want to stay here now? No. Do I like the idea of coming back when Mr. MM has an American law degree and the ability to bring down big bucks? Definitely.

I like the idea of being a pampered housewife, ok whats another word I can use? Housewife implies things like cleaning, which are quite prominantly not in my fantasies. Ok, being a pampered writer who may or may not teach a class or two at the AUC but has all the time in the world to haunt coffee shops and write. I could do that. I’m not even high-maintenance so pampered doesn’t mean spiffy clothes and italian leather purses. But I would need a nanny. Hm… Mr. MM may not like that.

Anyways, I can iron those details out later.

I lost my train of thought, where was I?

Oh yes, Egypt. I could live here again, but in much different circumstances. Egypt is a place where it is hard to be anything less than rich. In most places money makes things easier but lets be honest: middle-class in the west is a-ok. Most people in Egypt scrape by at the level of poverty or below. Mr. MM and I are middle-class here, but for me middle-class Masri-style is a big step down from middle-class ala americani. Its hard.

So to come back here it would have to be with money and a good amount of it. Thankfully the exchange rate is pretty good so we wouldn’t have to have that much.

And what about life here? Yea, its tough. In fact things are snow-balling here (ok not literally, did I mention that its really hot?) in terms of living condition and social harmony. Everyone is feeling the pinch of poverty, unemployment, corruption, the disintigration of respect and social morality, and loss of love for your fellow man. A month or so ago I finally realized what it was exactly: they have nothing left to lose.

Mr. MM and I were driving to Alex and a young man literally stepped off of the curb and into oncoming traffic as if he didn’t care if he got hit. Not exactly suicidal but without a thought of the consequences. To everyone in Egypt who reads my blog: watch the people on the roads. They have nothing left to lose.

Young men heckle and harrass because once they finish their almost meaningless education in schools that don’t care about them and with teachers who take bribes or have a personal vendetta against them they only face a future of probable unemployment and no hope for marriage for at least another ten years. They have nothing left to lose.

Women walking down the streets in the hot sun with small children while carrying the weight-equivalent of another two small children on their heads decide to cross a free-way, dragging said small children behind them, dodging cars and making people slam on their breaks, when in reality there is a pedestrian bridge a matter of 1/5 mile up the road all because they have nothing to lose. Ok, maybe a couple of children. But they’re almost starving, unable to imagine how they’re going to feed themselves and their children for the next three days. They have nothing left to lose and so extending the effort it would take to carry their things and children that far just to cross safely doesn’t add up for them.

If things continue this way here I imagine that Egypt will crumble in ten years. Maybe less.

Egypt was a beatiful, safe, peaceful country 35 years ago. Fifty years ago Cairo is said to have rivaled Paris for beauty. I have hope that Egypt will be that way again someday. But not now.

Thanks Mubarak. Just putting that out there.

Did I mention its getting hot? I sure hope Mr. MM doesn’t decide that he can’t leave Egypt. I’d really be lonely without him. On the upside I have told him that if we are here in the summer I’m moving to Alex.

He thinks I’m kidding.

I’m not.

Truth In Art

My very awesome friend Manders made a picture for me that I saw this morning on facebook.


Its hard to tell but the figure in the US (Manders) is saying, “Come home NOW!!! USA misses you!”
And the figure in Egypt (Me) is saying, “Rescue me!”

It totally made my day.


Its been over two weeks since I last blogged. Wowza.

I’m sure you all understand why I was away.

It was probably the best vacation I’ve ever had and watching my mom disappear into security was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I got a free bag of tortilla chips from On the Border because I think the waitress saw me crying on and off through dinner.

Our flat is so quiet and empty I almost hate to be there.

I can’t wait to go back to the states.

I’ve got a million stories as always. Someday I’ll get them all typed, but right now I’m still in the funk of the vacation being over.

I made it through 7 months of living in Cairo being able to look forward to my mom coming to visit me and now I’m not sure what I can look forward to in order to make it through each day.

I just keep thinking of home.

I can, also, honestly say that living here is so much harder because I live in Cairo. One doesn’t realize the true cost of constant chaos until you leave and then have to return to it. I was  so much more content in the places outside of Cairo that I could, for a moment, enjoy this country and the good things in it. But that all leaves when you come back here to the noise, pollution, and rabid masses of discontented people.

Anyways, I’ll be throwing myself a pity-party for the next couple of weeks I’m sure.

To mom and Maria, I miss you guys oodles and oodles. My teapot is despondent without you Maria.

I miss you guys so much.

Merry Christmas

To all of my family, I miss you all so very, very much.

I have made it through these two days with only being extremely moody and only having had one uncontrollable crying fit brought on by nothing more than Zuzu trying to jump up to sit on my shoulder as I lay on the couch being moody and accidentally scratching my chin when she missed. Its funny the little things that break the camel’s back.

Work has been a little crazy, trying to finish things up before my mom comes so I haven’t had much time to do anything luxurious like write blogs.

Coming back from a meeting I found that my oldest neice (who speaks little English) left a message on my msn:

h says:
Good afternoon ❤
h says:
ilove you very much

Its nice to remember that there are (hold on let me count) 15 good reasons to enjoy living in Egypt close enough that I can go visit all of them.

Sixteen if you count Mr MM but he’s part and parcel anyways. Where he goes I go and vise versa.

Happy Holidays.


It’s getting to me…

Being in the holiday season and not being with my family is hitting me hard. Actually a lot harder than I thought it would. Letting the other holidays slip by wasn’t nearly as hard, but there is something about Christmas and New Years without the usual familial conjoining that feels so empty and depressing.

Not saying that I’m in danger of it, but I can understand a little more now why suicide for people without close family ties is more prevalent during the holidays.

That plus a stressful week at work and I’m just about done up. Poor Mr. MM doesn’t know whats wrong with me, but he’ll understand- unfortunately- when we’re in the states during Eid and he’s not with his family.

Its not something I would even wish upon my enemy.

*PS- For those of you warming up your fingers in preparation for sending me a nasty comment about being Muslim and enjoying Christmas with my family: don’t waste your time. My intentions are between me and my God only. Thanx.