Monday, February 27, 2006

Carcinogens, Cappucino, Cat Calls, and Kid Parties

I suddenly have tons of blog material so I hope it's not too long or boring.

The air in Cairo has been deeeeeeeesguuuuuuuusting the past few days. You walk out of your apartment and you can see the air. Clouds of dust and pollution just hang there. You feel the slight strain when you breath it in. Good Lord, I cannot wait to get out of the city and breath properly again for a few days.

I almost never find Egyptian men attractive. It's like they wear the big, Sesame Street style letter X over their clothes. There are many factors the go into this lack of interest on my part, which I won't even start on. But why is it that I only seem to run into one I find attractive when I am more than slightly looking like a bum and have just taken a sloppy sip from my take-away cappucino, leaving milk froth on the side of my mouth and cheek which I desparately try to wipe off while juggling the drink and my discman. Why, why, why?

This next bit relates more than a little to why I have some prejudice against Egyptian men. Last night I was walking home from a friends house and, regretably, I did not have my discman to block out the harrassment I would inevitably face. So a random guy calls me a slut repeatedly and then calls out "please, please" when I keep walking, as if him calling me a slut would make me want to stop and chat with him. I came home and vented to Sara about the incident, who immediately made me feel better by sharing this story with me. A friend of ours was out walking somewhere (I don't know where and it doesn't really matter). This guy walked up along side her and started quietly saying "sex, sex, sex" to her. She turned to the guy and boldly demanded, "In the name of Jesus I bind up the spirit of lust in you and I command it to leave." The guy turned and ran away. I howled with laughter for ten minutes. One of these days I will do that.

The last two weekends I have been invited to birthday parties. But not just any birthday parties. . . my students' birthday parties. It did occur to me that it may be slightly odd for a kid to invite their teacher to a party. I certainly never invited any of mine when I was a kid. But there are only 5 kids in my class. We seem to have a bit of the feeling of family sometimes more than of a teacher/student relationship. So I was honored that I was invited to these parties and had a wonderful time just relaxing with the kids instead of constantly have to get them to work and learn. After the second of the two parties I walked home with two of the girls and their dad so that I wouldn't have to cross the scary bridge by myself after dark. So we are walking and the dad turns and asks me why I keep getting invited to all these kid parties. "Well," I respond," I guess because I am their teacher."
"And it doesn't feel like work to you."
"It's like hanging out with your friends." (As if to ask don't you have friends your own age?)
"Yeah, and it's a good excuse to eat cake and watch Disney movies."

I do actually have friends my own age. . . but do I seem really weird going to a seven-year-old's birthday party? Do parent's think I am just a sad individual who can't form friendships with adults? Oh, well. What do ya do?

Friday, February 24, 2006

An Update

Well, I'm on vacation. . . sort of. The kids aren't at school this week and I don't have teach. But there is still work to be done. Planning, preparing reports, working on my stuff for the teacher's certification, etc. But luckily all of that is work that is portable. So I can take this work to the Red Sea with me and do it while I sun bathe in Dahab! I also plan on having a "Friends" marathon with one of my co-workers this week.
I love my job, but I am glad for the reprieve.
Outside of work I don't seem to have much of a life, but I do get to interact with my roommates/partners in crime from time to time. Those girls are incredible. Fellas (by fellas I mean single fellas), you are all idiots for not snatching up these girls. They will probably kill me for writing this, but who cares.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Love Notes from ESL Kids

The school I work at has an international student body. For many of the kids I teach, English is their second language. As you can imagine, there are miscommunications and strange translations from time to time. Last week one occurance struck me as really funny. One student wrote a little love not to another student. It went like this. . .

Dear Student X,
I love you Student X. Your body is too warm.
Love, Student Y

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Stolen from Pat's Blog

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic
Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.
Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski
If Your Life Was a Movie, What Genre Would It Be?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Rain in Cairo

Rain in Cairo is like snow in Georgia. Yesterday it rained, no it poured here. Drivers don't know what to do with themselves. Half of them don't even seem to have functioning windshield wipers. At first, I was completely miffed by the rain. Rain here is soooooo dirty. It brings down with it all the pollution from the air as well as all the dust and dirt that has accumulated on the trees since the last time it rained 9 months ago. You walk in from the rain to find your face streaked with dirt and the bottom of your pants caked in mud and God knows what else. So I was not excited about walking to and from work in the rain. But by the end of the work day I changed my tune. Watching the kids play in the rain with such delight made me feel like I felt when I was I kid (or a teen or an adult) when we got our sprinkling of snow every two or three years. It was like magic for me. The kids were so beautiful splashing in the puddles with their pant legs rolled up. The novelty of rain was in some ways such a wonerful thing. I quickly decided that I had no interest in being one of those boring old adults who always talked about how they hated the snow (unsafe roads blah, blah, blah). So dirty and nasty though it may be, I thank God for the rain that came yesterday. I hope that I can see it come again before I leave, so I can watch peoples faces (especially kids) as they splash in the rain not quite knowing what to make of it.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Valentine's Bug

Almost every year, for the last at least 12 years, it's the same Valentine's Day tradition for me. . . physical illness. Maybe it's all the mushiness and my system can't handle it. Maybe it's fate's way of letting me know that just because I don't have a special someone does not mean I have been forgotten. Oh no, not forgotten at all. Whether it's bronchitis, strep throat, the common cold, killer allergies, or, as it is this year, the flu I always know that somewhere, somehow fate has not forgotten me.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Yay Egypt!

Yesterday Egypt won the African Cup!!!! The streets of Cairo were full of celebration. Girls with their faces painted like an Egyptian flag. Boys hanging out of car windows and trunks yelling, waving flags, and cheering for their country. Cars zooming down the road, or crawling in traffic, with a constant beeeep-beeeep-beep-beep-beep (which is car speak for "Egypt won!"). Traffic police responding to the cars with tweeeet-tweeeet-tweet-tweet-tweet on their whistles. Men standing on the side of the road banging metal barrels and calling out cheers. Everyone smiling. No one with a thing on their mind except for their victory. What a great night to be here. Congratulations Egypt!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

About Me

So here it is. Sorry it takes so long in between posts, but I don't have internet access at home and I stay so freakin' busy all day at work that it may literally take a week for me to have play time on the internet. Anyways, here are ten little known/odd facts about me (in no particular order).

1. Honey mustard is my favorite condiment, particularly the old Chick-fil-a dijon honey mustard (I was so pissed when they stopped carrying it). I can enjoy HM on any sandwich, french fries, potato chips, toast, veggies, and I have been known to eat it all by itself.

2. I fall asleep most nights by doing crossword puzzles.

3. When I was about three, I hallucinated there were spiders all over the floor for three days. I made my mom carry me everywhere and screamed bloody murder anytime she tried to put me down. This was the beginning of my arachniphobia (is that how you spell it?).

4. Most of the time, I feel like a big fraud and one day somebody will expose me.

5. One of my relaxation techniques is peeling potatoes or apples. I don't know why, but I find it to be really soothing.

6. I talk to myself . . . alot.

7. I am paranoid about being a wife and a mother. I have nightmares of marrying an abusive man or even just someone who makes me stay home, always thinks that his life is more important than mine, or expects me to have his hot dinner on the table at 6:30 every evening. I am afraid of pregnancy and that my husband won't want to touch me after having a baby. I am afraid of what pregnancy will to my body and my hormonal balance. I have visions of PMS moodiness for 9 months straight, followed by post-pardum depression. I am afraid that I will have a child and end up like that mom on Desperate Housewives who gets addicted to her kids ADD medicine. I think that I am mostly afraid of losing myself in the manic scramble to try and meet everyone's expectations 24/7.

8. I am not a vegetarian because I feel sorry for animals. If I could afford to eat organically fed cows and chickens, I would eat meat everyday of my life. But the idea of the awful stuff they feed animals makes me not want to eat them.

9. I am pretty much incapable of hiding how I feel. It may take awhile to learn how to read me, but once you know me well enough it is quite obvious whenever I am sad or upset about anything. I am a terrible at pretending I'm ok when I'm not.

10. If I could be any animal in the world, I believe I would like to be a chamelion. I could blend into my environment. No one would notice me. I could just observe everyone just being themselves, without trying to impress anyone.

11. I have to add an 11, forgive me. I think my mom has no clue who I am. She says things from time to time (somewhat frequently actually) and I just think "Do you have any idea who you are talking to? Why would you even suggest that?"

Ok, so that's my list. It was fun. Sara, Esther, and I did practice lists throughout the week. I came to find out, that maybe I am not so weird. Some of the things were very similar to things on my roommates lists. I'm ok with being strange, but it is nice to be surrounded by other strange people, who understand where you are coming from.

Next I tag Will.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Robin tagged me for listing the 10 weirdest or most interesting things about me. This may take a little bit of thought (I'm not an entirely intersting person). I will write something soon and contemplate on who I will tag.

Esther is Trouble

Everytime I am on the worship team at church, Esther always gets me in trouble. She used to always wink at me or make goofy faces at me while I'm up on stage. Now it's to the point that she doesn't even have to make a face, all I have to do is look at her and I start giggling. This week was particularly bad. The pastor is up on stage, I'm standing right behind him. He is about to serve communion. It is a very serious moment. He talks about the brutality of Jesus' death and how he laid his life down for us, etc. I catch a glimpse of Esther and I am up on stage in front of around about 600 people trying to not giggle. I bite my cheeks, clench my lips, and end up putting my hand over my mouth to hide the smirk spreading across my face. I am convinced Esther's super power is making people laugh for no reason at all.