The "g" is Silent

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.



Filed under the middle east

5 responses to “The "g" is Silent

  1. Nawal Ghali

    It made my heart glad too that you went to what used to be our home. There will always be a fondness in my heart for this place where we started our life together as a married couple.
    I am so glad that you are getting to spent time with the fam on your own turf without mom and dad around. The roots grow deeper when you take ownership of a relationship.
    I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.

  2. Bonnie

    Don’t let anyone sway you from your addiction to mispronouncing words. Drawer. Dumb. Castle. It’s so fun.
    I know how you get around “movin’ out” (Cadillac ac ac ac ac ac) time, my friend. No worries- there is much to look forward to.

  3. Lisa!!

    um…remember me? i think i almost cried when i read your post from tuesday. megan sent us a group e-mail out of the blue, and i realized what a terrible person i have become. we have all lost touch and in the most important time, when you’re frickin overseas. but anyway, i decided to leave my internet-less house and checkout your blogpage deal and send you a message of love. it was so wonderful to read your ingnorant pronounciation story…especially the word gnat…i remember at camp we loathed them and misprounounced their names. ignorance truly is bliss…ahh…good times. it is disheartening that they are in such massive quantities. did you love the map store? i feel like we could spend hours in there. i am going to paint a couple of maps on my walls in the new room up here at school…it will be sweet. hopefully now that i was slapped back to reality i will be a better friend and keep in better (much better) contact with my beautiful egyptian princess…that is if she decided to be less graphic about the chick murder…that was very distressing.

  4. andrew j. ulasich

    Peeps was so dear to my heart. Let it be known that Momkin met his end as well. I think he died from a depressed heart when he saw his good friend crushed by a giant foot. May they rest in peace.

  5. J. DeGeyter

    Awe the poor chickey.
    I remember that cold December day when I drove to the airport with sore eyes from saying goodbye to you. Now my eyes will rejoice when I see your dark skin and gorgeous curls. Enjoy the last few moments of Egyptian bliss…You’ll miss it when its gone.

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