Thursday, March 3, 2011


Things are starting to go into a cycle. I am normalizing, which I do not like. I was on edge all the time in Egypt, which meant I was hyper-sensitive and thus took in more. Here, that is not the case. I don't have the need to always feel my wallet and passport right at my side. Maybe it is because I am in a family setting, but other people have noticed it too. Don't get me wrong it is great to have that sort of complacency, but I am not entirely sure that is what I wanted.
Things aren't American or Western here, but the individualism (families included) hits close to home. Everything looks the same, the people dress the same, even the roads are really efficient. I don't know the neighbors and only yesterday found the back alleys near my house to the main street. These were gorgeous and this is what I really longed for. This little area next to my house was my underbelly of Cairo, or market in Alexandria. This was what I imagined.
Yesterday was pretty odd and a decent way to break up the cycle. I got a fair amount of work done in the morning, and then as the sun started to dip, went to the walmart-esque shop to get some things. I spent a great deal of time just looking at stuff and people. Earlier in the day I found cement in paint cans with a bar (bench-press) on the roof from what I think was another student as there was a whiteboard with a bunch of different sets, in English, up there. I was looking for protein shakes, when the hallelujah chorus came on, and angels themselves shone florescent refrigerated light on the Arc of the Covenant itself: Rootbeer! I bought all eight of the entire supply. I also bought a thin blanket, as I have a very thick one and it is getting warm, as well as beach/sitting blanket for school. (When we get back from Nizwa this week, I am going swimming. Everyday.)
I went home and made some tea and kept reading/talking with the host mom/making noises at the little one. The kids wanted popcorn chicken for dinner, so we made that. We also made regular popcorn, so I melted some butter for that and they loved it. I could tell this could become a very American night. Then one of my buddies called who had a rough skype conversation with what could very well be his ex-grilfriend. In keeping with my American night, we went bowling. As I got in the car of a friend of my buddie's host brother, a song was playing that had special meaning as an inside joke to our group in Egypt and it immediately put smile on my face.
I bowled really well, and then we went to play billiards. When we were coming out of the mall that housed all this stuff we saw a woman who had blatantly broken her leg. They were trying to lift her, which was only causing her even more excruciating pain. There was a food stand right in the entrance of the mall, so I ran up there, past the group, and "borrowed" his stool, much to his surprise. We then put her on it, and she immediately stopped screaming. The group then lifted the stool down the steps and put her in the car for what I hope was a ride to the hospital. America!

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