Posts Tagged ‘re-entry’

You know what’s crazy?

Free, in-flight wireless. Civilization at its finest.

I’m sorry, gentle readers, for putting you on hiatus for so long. I’ve been stateside, speaking English, and drinking in the Americana and the presence of a certain freckled girl from Delaware all week.

In short, I’ve been on vacation.

I confess, I feel a little odd writing this in American environs. A blog about an amateur orientalist’s adventures in Egypt – and misadventures teaching – should best be written by the one in the field. Otherwise, it ends up becoming a mirror for memory, and though I’m all about that, I’m not sure this blog should be about that.

Things I’ve Discovered Are Amazing about Everyday America (and had forgotten about in Egypt)

1. Wall-to-wall carpeting. Honestly: I pretty much died when I realized I could walk around barefoot and not have dirt underfoot from the nasty tile.

2. A distinct and utter lack of dust. If you live in Masr you deal with it. You dust, you sweep, you beat your rugs, but it never is enough. Here, nothing. It’s glorious.

3. Free refills on fountain drinks in restaurants.

4. Root beer floats. For my Egyptian readers, you must try one of these if you ever get stateside (no alcohol involved!)

5. People that leave you alone! No hassle! No harassment!

6. Easy availability of the following products: salad dressings, steak sauce, prosciutto, cheddar, horseradish, ziplock storage bags, and hand-crafted microbrews.


8. Paper towels, NOT tissue paper for drying your hands.

9. No mud.

10. The smell of the clean Vermont air.

11. Hugging in public. Hugging friends of the opposite gender.

12. Being insanely affectionate in public and not being stared at.

13. Reuben sandwiches and amber ale.

14. How awesomely fast and free the internet is everywhere.

15. Rain and mugginess. The weather’s been pleasantly gray for the past week.

16. Stoves that are electric. Ice machines. Garbage disposals. Recycling bins.

17. Putting up your feet in public.

18. Good pipe tobacco (I ran out about two months ago).

19. Standing in lines, NOT gaggles.

And to balance it all out:

Things I Already Miss about Egypt

1. Being able to buy one egg, not twelve. Buying groceries on credit because I forgot my wallet upstairs.

2. Stopping to talk to nearly everyone on my street.

3. Dalia, Vildan, Ingy, Yosra, and Shehenda — Clay Cafe classes and conversations.

4. Ahmed and the walk home down Port Said.

5. Dahab pizzas.

6. The sound the tram makes as it rolls by on a quiet morning. Sometimes, I would mistake it for rain.

7. The giant, fading advertisement for the “al-Ahram” frying pan visible from my window and the porch.

8. Mahmoud.

9. Ali and the Spitfire.

10. The long trek up the big marble staircase.

More to follow. I intend to chronicle my re-entry, so keep your eyes peeled for one last Egypt post (the Zabaliyya!) and future plans for the blog!


Read Full Post »