Days 4-6: A bunch of crap

Posted on January 16, 2009


Went right off daily blogging suddenly, and now I’ve forgotten a lot of notes I made in my head. My short term memory is generally shot. I should start carrying a notebook around like a journalist or something. Let’s see: shopping copiously accompanied by two friendly African American ladies who giggled and said “Hah” and “bah” to me at every store, and “Ah caint believe I have to buy bluejeans in Kuwait!” Before that I forced my dad to try Indian food, perhaps for the first time. His general policy regarding food is: if a dish is not to be found in his mother’s largely se3eedi kitchen, he will not even try it. We had a very serious conversation about how disappointed he is that I like sushi. He liked some of the Indian food though.
Yesterday morning my dad spent at least an hour trying to wake me up in the morning in a manner grossly reminiscent of my days at school. This involves him standing patiently at the foot of the bed and talking endlessly about things he knows I will feel compelled to respond to. When I do he says, “OK, you’re awake now, yalla,” and then usually I am, dammit. He has also been known to tickle my feet despite frequent warnings that one day I will just involuntarily kick him in the face despite his revered parental status.
But not this time. Ten years later, I have cottoned on to the converse-her-awake method and remained resolutely silent. The only thing that finally got me up was the thought that since my dad had taken the day off work to take me to the doctor it would be selfish of me to not go. So off we went to the ophthalmologist’s.
The eye hospital is in Ahmadi. It was stuffed with Bedouins and police officers, who my dad explained had to be treated at this hospital because the police hospital doesn’t have ophthalmology. Can’t explain the Bedouins though. It says everything about how supportive my parents usually are when my dad praised me for being smart enough to go to the lobby and get myself a cup of coffee…all by myself. I apparently have perfect corneas, so I’m going to get laser eye surgery when I get back to Cairo, which terrifies the shit out of me. The idea of having my cornea peeled back and burned off while I’m awake! Anticipating my pussying out of this for a few months, my dad and I went afterwards to buy me some contact lenses (as you can see I am profiting massively from this vacation). After we bought them, the guy at the store told us that we could come by every week and he’d give us a free sample pair if we liked. We smiled and thanked him and my dad asked his name. “Remone,” he said with a sly smile. “Ah!” my dad said. “Kol sana wenta tayeb.” I can’t be quite sure, but I think the dude said something like, “Ah, 3ashan keda.” He definitely said something that established a direct line of Coptic causation for this courteous treatment. My dad wears gold jewellery, you see. I wore glasses and no makeup and have a carefully ambiguous name. It’s obvious I guess.
As we walked out I made a little speech to my dad about how I wouldn’t accept freebies offered under such pretexts as a matter of principle. My dad replied that being that way was what caused some people not to like me.