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A Universal Language

October 13, 2006

Today was supposed to be do-nothing day. Today I woke up at 2:30 and spent the afternoon surfing the internet. I was working on not having any guilt. I was going to order in and sleep early. Today would be a day without incident.

Except everyone knows if you attempt to plan to have that sort of day, it simply won’t happen. This is what happened after 5.

I ate dinner with three of the Cairo Khan girls at an Italian restaurant, in the Italian cultural center, which we had to pay 10 pounds just to get in, but the food was good and relatively cheap.

I took a taxi to Gouza (a Cairene neighborhood) to the British Council, to see a band called Nagham Masry play. I rarely understood anything they were singing, but the music was in a style that I really enjoy (they were sort of an Arabic Guster) and it didn’t matter. This summer when I was in DC and searching for blog subjects, I had completely forgotten about a parallel experience: listening to the Carmina Burna (which is sung in German, Latin, and possibly French). I had certainly no idea the meaning of the songs then, but they moved me still. Nagham Masry put on a good show, and we talked to some Egyptians in very stilted Arabic.

Then another taxi ride – in which we stopped for gas and the taxi driver said things like “Korea wa Iran: Quyas, America: Mish Quyas” and we all laughed nervously and pretended to be from Ireland. To his credit, he followed our very vague directions very well and we got lost once we left the taxi only because of our own fault. We also had a conversation with another taxi driver stopped at an intersection with us while he loaned our taxi driver a lighter. 2nd taxi drive spoke excellent English, and from out of nowhere, Korean.

And then I got my third marriage proposal, which was unique enough for me to remember: “where are you from? From the moon? From the sky? From Paradise? Marriage me?”

To which I replied, with laughter : La’ (No – if that wasn’t clear).

We finally walked back along the busy street, I got assaulted by balloons, and now am waiting for room service to bring me a milkshake so I can go and watch Sex and the City with the roommates.

So much for not doing anything.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Faith J permalink
    October 14, 2006 12:45 am

    what does “quyas: mish quyas” mean? i hope im not missing something glaringly obvious. oh well i probably am. on a funny side note, i saw teal notebook today! he looked like he wanted to melt into the pavement but i instead issued a cheerful hello. haha you would have appreciated it i think. miss you!!!

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