Wednesday, March 16, 2005


My dad called this evening and informed us that my stepmom's surgery was a success. I was very relieved. I have been thinking about her so much before the surgery and then didn't realize that the surgery had already taken place. She will be in the hospital until Thursday when she will be released and then she will recuperate at home. Time is escaping me to the point where I imagine specific dates to be almost a week away and then they are upon me.

In our phone conversation this evening, my dad offered to take us to the airport. After we spoke, a tremendous amount of peace and acceptance came over me. We will all go to the airport together, which will be very special and sentimental for all of us. I am already on an emotional rollercoaster and Hassan knows I'm just warming up.

Thanks Dad for your support.

Ma3salaama (go in peace),



Africanuck said...

It sounds like you are about to experience moving away from all that is familiar for the first time. Having done this myself, I would like to offer a few bits of advice, what to watch for, know that it is coming AND that it is normal AND especially that it will pass.

You will probably go through a period of euphoria, that can last from a week to a few months, depending on some yet-to-be-figured-out-by-me mechanism.

One day, for no apparent reason, that euphoria will come crashing down. It happens to just about everyone and has nothing to do with the country. I'm on country number 6, and it still happens every time I move. You'll probably go through a period of "what have I done, I am so depressed" at this stage. This will pass, please keep that in mind.

After this, you will settle into a "middle ground" that only gets better as time goes by as you make new friends, start to know your way around, start to become relatively independant in your daily life.

A couple of pieces of advice from an old hand at moving concerning the above.

When and if you hit the "what have I done, I am so depressed" stage, get out, meet people, don't isolate yourself tempting as it usually is at this stage. I also found that blogging really helped this last time.

You will probably attend the American or Expat wives functions as a way to meet people. Many of these ladies will be going through the same thing as you, and while misery loves company, you would probably be better off seeking foreign wives who are married to Egyptians (there are a lot of them here). Nothing against the expats, of who I am one, but we usually only stay for a couple or three years, and having to start all over again because your friends keep moving away is very hard.

The first time you ask someone who speaks English with NO accent and who doesn't look anything at all like what you "expect" an Egyptian to look like "Where are you from?", think of me...I've done this on several occasions only to be told "I'm Egyptian". I've now changed it to "Are you Egytian?" after having someone who had obviously gone through the same thing asked blond, blue-eyed me, "Are you Egyptian?" LOL

I hope that I'm not being presumptuous in writing all of this unasked for advice. My husband's position tends to make me the "mother hen" for all of the other company wives, and this is the advice that most of the first-time expatting ones usually get so that they know that it's perfectly normal and that everyone goes through it to some extent. It can be pretty unsettling when all of a sudden you start going through mood swings and you don't know why, and have no idea if it will end. When I left Canada to move to Paris, it took me about a year to really get back to my old self.

I wrote an entry on my blog a while back that you might want to read, some of it applies only to those who expat, but some of it you might find interesting.

Life as an Expat

Marian said...

Dear africanuck,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I am most grateful for your opinion and input. I hope to take from your advice and learn how to cope with the new surroundings.

Everytime I feel low I will read your comments.

I read an interesting article on Culture Shock and its effects on people, but I think you have a better grasp of what will happen due to your own personal experiences.

Your comments are always welcome.

Thanks again for sharing.



Layla said...

Marian :)

I am so glad that your father is going to take u to the airport. I think its such a special thing. I was so scared that my mom wouldn't see me off, but she did :) Made me feel like she was ok with everything.

Salaams and lots of hugs

Marian said...


It seems as though just yesterday you were sharing about your Mom and if she was going to take you to the airport.

Now it's my turn, isn't time passing quickly? I am very pleased that my Dad is coming along. It is something that I will treasure always.

Ma3salaama and love,


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