Tuesday, December 22, 2009

End of the Semester Evaluation

A three week break from work means I'm back in America for three weeks starting 8 hours ago! It feels very nice to be back and now I can begin to reflect more on my first four months in Egypt.

On the About Me part of this blog, I've listed my three goals in Egypt: to work, play, and become an American Egyptian. I think I've succeeded entirely regarding the first two, but have I become more Egyptian? Below are signs that I am accomplishing my third goal:
  • I'm so confident crossing the hectic streets of Cairo that I no longer do it for fun.
  • I can only drink tea from glass cups--mugs are simply inferior.
  • I think it's weird and eerie if I don't hear cars constantly honking, dogs barking, calls to prayer blasting, and general chaos going on around me.
  • I get shocked whenever I see even the ankle of a woman. Shorts are simply offensive--that goes for men and women.
  • When I'm getting off the Metro, I elbow most of the people getting on because they are too impatient to wait for people to get off and rush the door.
  • I bring tissues with me wherever I go because toilet paper is not available in any public restrooms.
  • I argue over the price of almost everything I buy.
Here are things that still make me stand out as a non-Egyptian. I'll work on some of them.
  • My Arabic is still broken so people continue to ask me where I'm from when I speak.
  • I don't stare down, whistle, cat-call, and harass every woman I see walking down the street.
  • I'm not comfortable holding hands or linking arms with my male friends or sitting on their laps.
  • I don't smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day.
  • I can't ride a bike and balance a large rack of bread on my head.
  • I have seen the Pyramids of Giza.
  • I can have platonic relationships with women.
  • I don't hate Algerians.
  • I do things like camping in the desert and taking pictures of juice stands.
Luckily, I still have many months to become more Egyptian. I had a great few months and I can't wait to go back. I'll update sporadically between now and then so be on the look out. Til then: Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year's! Happy Holidays!

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