Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What do I do with all this time on my hands?

The Eid Holiday is over, and believe me I don't want to eat lamb, beef, or even chicken for at least a month. I've been filling up on fuul (beans) and lots of tamaya (falafel). There is plenty of good food in Egypt that is healthy, just be sure there isn't any fat added, such as butter or ghee (clarified butter). Oh, and stay away from the pastries -- Egyptians are high carb people by nature. I have been feeling quite satisifed throwing out cookies and bread that have gone stale.

I went into work yesterday to prepare the payroll deduction summary for staff, and I in turn got paid as well. In Egypt I get paid in cash and have to count the money and sign for the pay before I take it home. I joke that I'm a good wife of an Egyptian and give my husband all my money (it's only a joke). Historically, Egyptian women do not turn over their paychecks to their husbands, whatever they earn is theirs to keep. The husband is required to provide the home and spending money for the family.

I'm not working for the money, but rather to meet people and interact with others. I can't figure out yet if working is easing the culture shock or throwing it into overdrive; perhaps it's a lot of both.

I am off of work and Mira is off of school until we return on February 5th, which gives me plenty of time on my hands. Hassan watched Mira yesterday and when I got home from work he said "I'm going out with my 'boys' -- Mira is just too much to take care of." Really? I hadn't known that, but I agree.

What do I do with all the free time? Well, for starters there's always laundry - I enjoy doing laundry and now that we have a southern exposure I can do several loads a day. Oh, by the way if you ever want to know if I'm doing laundry, just check the weather report for Cairo, for if there's a cloud on the horizon I must be hanging laundry out to dry - and not just socks and jeans, but sheets and towels. The majority of Egyptians do not have dryers because the sun dries the laundry faster and doesn't heat up the home from April - November. I'm still debating on whether or not to buy a dryer. I have to wait and see what February and March hold in terms of weather. We have yet to enter the sandstorm season. Oh joy.

This brings me back to the time issue. I want to go shopping, but still feel that I am at a disadvantage because of the language barrier. My confidence is a lot better than it was when we moved here, but I am still timid to get out there and shop on my own -- without Hassan.

On or around February 3rd I will probably figure out what to do with all this time on my hands and then scurry to get a month's worth of work completed in two days.




Layla said...

Hey Marian :)

Next week, Mo and I are coming to Cairo to the book fair. Wanna meet up? I know what you mean about the shopping. I could use some more clothes lol. I am going to try to convince Mo that we need to say for 2 days.

I will give you a call tomorrow to talk. I miss talking to you !!!

Lots of hugs!!!

Joe Pilgrim said...

Dear Marian,

You look great in the pic (prior post). I think about calling you but get discouraged because I have so much to say and kind of say dumb stuff. Please keep up the posts. You're doing great. I miss all of you very much. X's & O's to you and Mira. x&o to Hassan. He'll understand.


Anonymous said...

Great picture. I hope everything is going well. Did you get the email I sent to your yahoo account? Margaret Goss found me and asked for your email. Her email address is ckdex@austin.rr.com. Andrew got a haircut and went from "Robert Plant w/ Zepplin" style to short Hassan style. He looks great-very tall. Hug Mira for us. Love Tom.

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Val said...

Marian -
Are you okay? I have not heard back from you and have been worried. Hope all is well. Miss your emails and blog entries.


Anonymous said...

26 February 2006

How are you??? Update your blog! This month wasn't the same w/o you being around for your big day. Give Mira a hug for me.


Anonymous said...

I am waiting for an email or another blog... I hope you and the family are well. Please email soon. I miss you, take care... Happy St.Patty's Day!
xoxo Karen

Val said...

Marian -
I have not heard from you in two months; are you okay? Please email me.


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