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I’ve been there for a couple of days actually. Last Sunday night I started to work third shift for various reasons. It’s quiet and peaceful, the day shift and things that go on were really stressing me out. So, I’ve been a nighttime psycho for a week now. Friday and Saturday are my nights off. I have been purchasing fabric all week long. I found a great place where I can use a coupon once a day for 60% of one fabric item. I spent less than 35 dollars this week and have the fabric to make 3 abayas, 2 long shirts, and 4 hijab. I already had fabric to make 2 more long shirts and 2 more hijab.
I have spent the last two nights cutting out the fabric for my 3 abayas, 4 shirts and 6 hijab. I was finally ready to start sewing. So I started on one of the abayas. Let me just say that I am a freak when I start my sewing projects. It only happens every now and again, and I will lose sleep to finish them. I am losing sleep freaking out because my sewing machine broke when I started sewing the first abaya. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I WANT TO SCREAM!
I just cut all that fabric and now I can’t sew it? I was in bed for a 1/2 hour freaking out about it before I decided to get up and blog to take some of the frustration out. Now that my internal spaz attack escaped maybe I can sleep.
Crazy traffic, too many beeping horns, dry, dusty, beautiful. Every day the guy would go through the streets with his donkey pulled cart and yell out what produce he was selling. Every day I would ask my husband, “What’s he selling today?”.
First day was the pyramids and sphinx. What can I say except, amazing. The second day was the Egyptian museum. Third day was the castle where the Mohammed Ali mosque is. Fourth day shopping at Khan al Khalilli. During those nights there were visits to friends and family. Two days at the beach house on the Mediterranean Sea. After this it was to Alexandria, and a stay with auntie. Then it was off to Baila, the farming city where his father’s family lives. Back to Cairo and more family and friends.
That’s a synapsis of my trip. I really don’t know how to write all the experiences I had there. It would take hours. Maybe at some point I will get there. The one thing I can say is that I love my family. They are the warmest, friendliest people. I can’t wait to go back, not only to see my husband, but to be with my family as well.
There are many reasons to hate flying, I can’t stand not knowing who will be sitting next to me. For my flights I went online beforehand and picked my seats. I picked an aisle seat. So when the guy who was to sit next to me got on the plane he came up and argued that I was in his seat. No, I’m in MY seat. Then he acted like it was okay, he’d let me sit there (yeah you will, because it’s MY seat).
I was exhausted and I fell asleep before the plane ever took off. I slept most of the way. They handed out those cards to get into Egypt for declaring stuff and whatnot. I brought a pen with me because I also brought crossword puzzles. I took out my pen and filled it out. That’s when my super friend next to me asked to borrow my pen. I didn’t want to, but what was I going to say, “No, I don’t have a pen.”? If you know me at all, (my sister and mom are the same way) I love my pens. I have many different kinds of pens and they are nice. So it wasn’t a cheap ‘ol bic. He used it and set it down on his tray. About 10 minutes went by, it looked like he might pick it up and hand it to me then he hesitated, he did that a couple of times. I was thinking, great, he’s not going to give that back. Well, eventually he did. He picked it up stuck it in his mouth and started slobbering on it. All of a sudden he realized it wasn’t his, took it out of his mouth, wiped it on his shirt, and handed it to me! Enough said.
Landing in Cairo was beautiful, it was dusk. The airport was a little confusing, I didn’t really know where to go, but I got there. I got lucky because I was in a very long line and they told me to go to one that had just opened. I found my luggage, found a cart and was on my way. I went to the line that said, “Nothing to Declare”. The guy looked at my huge suitcases and then gave me a funny look. He asked if it was all clothes, I said “mostly”. He felt around in one of the suitcases, and then I was free to go. I started looking through the huge crowd waiting for people, then I looked way over to the side where hubby was standing alone, watching me look for him, and smiling. I started walking fast, and finally…. I was there.
Check-in went fine; I got my ticket, went through the security checkpoint, and went to wait at my gate. While sitting there I glanced over at the woman talking on the phone, she had about a 9-month old baby boy. I glanced again, and then I stared. Yeah, that’s right I stared. I was speechless. She caught me looking (okay, staring) at her when she got off the phone. I finally got my brain to work and said her name. Then she looked at me again and said she would never have recognized me in a million years. I suppose, when you don’t expect to see someone in a scarf, it takes you by surprise. She was my JC my first year at college. I hadn’t seen her in 10 years. Isn’t life crazy? We chatted until she boarded her plane.
It was soon time to board my own plane. For the most part my plane ride was uneventful. I couldn’t sleep. I listened to Quran on my mp3 player, I watched movies, and I played solitaire games. At one point during the plane ride there was an announcement, well more of a question, on the overhead speaker. They asked if anyone could translate between English and Arabic. I wondered what was going on, and wished that I could speak Arabic right about then. On the other side of the plane was an elderly muslim woman she was traveling alone and apparently they were having some issues with her, but I didn’t know that at the time. When it was near the time to land I saw her wandering down the aisle appealing to all the passengers in Arabic. She looked quite upset and sad. They got the guy who could translate again, but even he couldn’t get her to go back to her seat for landing. I asked one of the stewardesses if I could try. I said I don’t speak Arabic, but because I am muslim and a woman, she might go sit with me.
The translator told her I didn’t speak Arabic, but once I held her hand and walked down the aisle to her seat she seemed to be okay. I held her hand as we started our descent, and she told me all of her troubles (in Arabic of course). I hoped she would be on my plane to Cairo as well, but she was going to another destination.
Who would send that poor, dear, old woman alone on a plane? It was obvious that she had some sort of dementia. Who could be so horrible? I was saddened by this and hoped she was going to meet someone good at her destination.
The week before I left for Egypt a coworker of mine was telling me how she once drove through a rainbow. Drive through a rainbow you say? In my head I thought, “Impossible. A rainbow is a prism, a refraction of light. By the time she got to it there wouldn’t be a prism anymore because of the angle.” All the scientific thoughts of impossibility went through my head.
Yesterday I went to pick up something to bring to my dad. It rained, and a huge rainbow arched through the sky. I drove home on the highway and kept looking at this amazing rainbow. The closer I got to home, the closer I got to the one end of the rainbow. My skepticism faded as I started to wonder if I could drive through it. Was today a day I would witness a miracle? All the scientific thoughts that made it impossible just weeks earlier left my head. I started to get that childish excitement. I kept looking at it.
As I turned onto the street I live on, I was underneath it, and lost sight of it. Sometimes being right really sucks. I pulled into the parking, feeling defeated.
I’m brushing the Egyptian dust off the sleeves of my abaya. I got home Sunday evening and worked yesterday. I crashed after work. InshaAllah I will write more soon. I just have to get back to normal first. It was a great trip in so many ways. Thanks for the well wishes. I hope to tell some stories soon.