Feeble excuse for a post

Posted on August 17, 2006


I haven’t blogged for a while because nothing has been happening of a bloggable nature, except taxi driver conversations, and I can hardly have a whole blog just about those. This dearth of bloggable events was caused by:

  1. E being sick for a week, which has been socially debilitating in various ways. No one else prowls around downtown with me in places of noteworthy character. I now go to her place and alarm her parents with my lack of demureness and inspect her already diminutive behind for shrinkage brought on by illness.
  2. A series of romantic kafuffles, which can regrettably not be shared here, although numerous Real Friendโ„ข conferences have been convened.
  3. The fact that I can’t blog about my rampantly blogworthy job and coworkers, both for reasons of legal confidentiality and in case any of them read this.

Actually, about the job: there is a farash in my office who is starting to annoy me. A farash is, I suppose, an office boy. He cleans the office and brings us drinks and food. Except, he’s hardly a boy โ€“ he must be well over 65. Anyway, seeing as I am one of the few females here that speaks Arabic, I am frequently the subject of his misguided attempts at gallantry/sexual harassment. I was warned in advance by K, who used to work here, that if he found out I was Christian he would be parading a series of stout Coptic boys from country churches in front of me with a view to marriage, so I’ve kept that very low-key (I have an ambiguous name and according to my friends, give out “Muslim vibes”). Anyway, so I think his behaviour is just basic lewdness, albeit halfhearted, not some sort of comradeship. Yesterday I asked the farash what happened to my mango yoghurt and he whipped it out of the fridge and said, “Mango for mango.” This is slightly more offensive in Arabic than it sounds in English, as fruit is frequently used here as some sort of sexual euphemism, especially for boobs. But I hate to kick up any kind of fuss as the dude is really one foot in the grave and does keep my three cups of tea coming without me even having to ask, even though I don’t arrive at any regular time.
Actually, one way I know how late I am to work is by the length of the line in front of the American Embassy, which I pass on my way to work. In the morning the people (none of whom ever look like they could possibly afford a trip to America) are sitting down on the shady sidewalk on the other side of the street. Sidewalks in Cairo are sick high so they provide comfortable seating (although uncomfortable descending). As time goes on, they move to line up in front of the actual embassy. One time I saw a man sitting on the sidewalk in a galabeya (Egyptian peasant robe) with a toddler on one knee. On the other side of him was a pale prosthetic leg leaning against the sidewalk, neatly clad in a shoe and sock. I was puzzled over why anyone would detach a limb, the very function of which is to give the appearance of reality, when I realized it was probably hard to sit on a sidewalk with it. Still, it’s not something you want aganeb to see!

Posted in: Egypt, friends, humour