There are gnats everywhere. The “g” is silent, one of the girls so kindly informs me. Yes, I know the “g” is silent. What you don’t know is that I love to mispronounce words, it gives me a strange kind of joy. That was a tangent. I was telling you about gnats. There are clouds of them everywhere I was walking around at dusk today and I just kept my hand at the level of my eyes to shoo them away. They are seeping into every proverbial nook and cranny of our flat; their dead bodies lay scattered in our kitchen, bathrooms, and bedroom. Emily thinks they’re a remnant of the plague. At least they’re not cockroaches; we found a couple of those last week and I screamed. Not sure why. Just did.
I hung out with my Aunt Amani the other day. We visited the “Middle East Map Makers” located on the second floor of an unmarked building. Up winding stairs a little man sits at his desk surrounded by maps measuring and sketching with tremendous care. He asks visitors to sit down in his tiny office and exchange pleasantries. A good time was had by all.
Sick a gnat just fell off the ceiling and down my shirt.
Next we visited a bookstore that was eerily similar to Barnes and Noble except with an Egyptian twist. Then we were headed to a hafla (party) in Zamalek at my Uncle Fouad’s place. That’s when we were distracted by the flat that my dad lived in as a kid and my parents lived in right after they were married. It was in shambles, because they are redoing it, but I stood there imagining the young couple making the small space a home and my heart was glad. There was a Harley-Davidson chilling in the lobby of the building and I smiled. Next we headed down an alley near the flat where we happened to run into the man who used to dress up as Santa Clause at Christmas time for the benefit of my dad and his sister (Amani). The weird thing is he doesn’t look like he could be more than fifty, but he has to be because he was an adult when my dad was a kid. Unsolved mysteries of Cairo.
There was a man selling chicks on the street the other day. Yep, little bouncy balls of yellow feathers for sale. Later that day I found out that one of the boys had bought two of the small chickens and took them home as pets (Are pets allowed? Not sure). The chicks were named Peeps and Momken they were fast friends, that is until one night when the boys brought the chicks to a MESP gathering. They were the life of the party until Peeps, at least we think it was Peeps, met his untimely demise under the crushing weight of an unsuspecting foot. Good thing I wasn’t in the room when his guts splattered everywhere, there may have been more screaming.
Here’s something I hate: Empty dorm rooms. This will all be over soon. Flashbacks to a cold December night standing in the English parking lot. I hate the concept of moving out–maybe that explains my aversion to packing. At least we’ll live together again soon.
Welcome home Costa Rica. You and your family are on my heart and it cries for you.
Goodbye and Goodnight. As Margaret would say P in the ME.