Posted on July 1, 2006


I’m growing increasingly apprehensive about this move to Egypt, although at this point I have no other alternative (it is too late for me to go back to Canada, as the annual bar exam is already over, so I might as well stay around the M.E. until next summer). And I’d really hate to have to stay here (Kuwait)…I’ve been here for over two weeks, and have yet to lay eyes on anyone I have ever called a friend. They’re all too busy working, travelling, having babies, and in one case, watching the World Cup. And most of them really hate living here as it is. I’m not a big drinker, nor clubber, but I want the option to be there. And I certainly don’t want to live with my parents, who will ask me where I am going, with whom, where did I meet them….a lot. On the other hand, the money would be superb. But I don’t really care much about that at this point. I also really miss M, who, among his many perfections, expressed an interest in every part of my existence and listened to me blather about things that caused my own brain to go into a coma. Who will do that for me there? My sister tells me to shut up all the time, and friends aren’t boyfriends.
As for Egypt, it is just chaos (this is for the benefit of my three non-Egyptian readers). I feel tired already thinking about the insane difficulty accompanying the exercise of the smallest desire (such as, say, the issuance of an ID card). I’ll have to learn to drive, which in Egypt requires significant stuntsmanship and a certain disregard for the sanctity of your, or anyone’s, life. And then potentially bribe someone to get a driver’s license, or at least flirt with him. And how will I buy a car? I wouldn’t want a new one, and how will I know if a used one is any good?
I think I have grown too soft living in Kuwait and in Canada for so long, as a friend of mine recently pointed out (I’d forgotten how Arab friends haven’t heard about this Oprah notion of “support” – you propose something, they give it to you straight). I won’t be able to deal with making a piddling amount and having to take responsibility for things like locating plumbers, who don’t particularly respect young girls as employers. I shudder at the mere thought of entering the lawyers’ syndicate, where I hope to somehow inveigle my way into a membership in the Bar. For one thing, I am told it is controlled by Islamists now, and I hate the dirty looks they routinely give me (and it’s not like I dress extra revealing or anything). And no one will tell me who to talk to, for sure, and it’s not like I am anywhere near as confident in Arabic as I am in English. I won’t be taken seriously. In Egypt, I often find myself wishing I was a 45-year-old matron, something that surely no other girl of my age has ever wanted. Or a man, of course. Girls wish that all the time, though.
Basically, Egypt requires the presence of an older, male sort of figure to ease things along for you. My dad’s friends are there, and of course they can and would do anything for me, but still. I hate that about it. I was always able to do anything myself, in Canada.
On the other hand, you can anything you want delivered any hour of the day or night. I will have to comfort myself with that, and with sketchy Egyptian wine swilled on sailboats along the Nile.