Saturday, November 20, 2010

A punk rock Islam walk in Egypt

The usual Saturday morning walk has been done on more than one occasion hung over. I am pleased to report that it hasn’t been the case in quite awhile. We arrived back from Beirut yesterday afternoon and the trip up from Cairo was done in record time thanks to our frenetic driver.

Every Friday and/or Saturday morning I have a ritual that if I’m up by 8ish I hike down to the Corniche and walk along it for 30-45 minutes then find my way back home through the winding streets of Miami, Sidi Bishr, and Loran. In all, I walk for a good two hours reflecting on just about everything.

The trick is crossing the Corniche; sometimes this process can take up to a couple of minutes. Today I made it to the median without a sweat; from there I counted to one hundred and ten Mississippi before making it to the other side thanks to morning rush hour traffic.

Here are some thoughts I had:

Thought A:
While crossing the definite 4 and sometimes up to 6 or 7 makeshift lanes I remembered calling Mr. Kofta to get his insight on how Egyptians can turn a couple of lanes into many. This conversation originally stated when Sonny’s mom inquired as to how was it possible to make a two-lane road into a three and a half on our way down to Cairo last week. She was surprised that the chaos worked so well by the lack of accidents. We threw around some theories as to why this was and why drivers drive in the middle of the road never committing to a single lane. Were they being courteous to help accommodate other drivers? Thoughtfulness doesn’t quite fit the profile of the typical Egyptian driver. We were stumped. I got Mr. Kofta on the horn and asked about the driving, he simply stated, “Egyptian drivers simply don’t give a fuck.” Glad that’s settled.

Thought B:
On the path back home a covered girl (hijab wearing) maybe 4 or 5 years old stared me down and I thought about the time I went with Ana to National City back in San Diego to get her eyebrows done. There was a little African-American girl (3-5 years old) getting her nails done and her teenage mother kept telling her how sexy she looked. I’m guessing that the mother of the Muslim girl I saw this morning doesn’t call her daughter sexy very often and most likely not at all nor never will. One similarity I foresee is that the covered girl might also become a teenage mom but in her case she’ll be a married fulfilling her obligation to her man and Allah.  

example of hijab girl-not the one I saw today.
Thought C:
Some of the songs that came up on shuffle:
Husker Du-If I told you 
Sham 69-Angels with dirty faces
Skrewdriver-Anti social
Sin 34-Who needs them
PIL-Religion 1
Descendents- Hey hey
DRI-God is broke
Cock Sparrer-Teenage heart
100 Flowers-Dyslexia
Mission of Burma-When I reach for my revolver
Mega City Four-Scared of cats
Randy Newman-I love L.A.

Thought D:
Must go to supermarket!

Thought E:
Lebanon postings, send pix on camera to computer.  

Thought F:
Ana's uncle just passed away. I feel like we are missing a lot back home. We can renew or go back or go somewhere else. No job for Ana back home, will have to buy furniture, cell phones, gas, food, car, and the USA seems violent to me, lots of ignorance and hate towards Mexicans and Muslims. We have friends here, easy lifestyle, students like us and we like them, big raise for 3rd year, travel without hurting bank account. On the downside: no night life we really like, no live music, no punk shows, no taco stands, and no family. Looking at schools in Asia...they pay more, maybe not as friendly, starting over, students who want to learn, more international setting, larger schools, new chapter in life...leaping into the void. We often think about the people we miss and it is hard not being able to spend time with them, but life goes on as no one cannot predict how long we'll be on this earth.

Thought G:
Must stop thinking. Turn volume up!  

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