Monday, May 07, 2007

There are those you just can't do without

To follow up on a previous post, I thought about Hassan's friends who have been so helpful to us, not only by being there when we need them but always willing to help no matter what, no matter when. These past six months have helped me prove to myself that I can make it here on my own, but not really on my own as you all know from previous posts.

I am an independent, stubbourn woman, yes it is the Polish in me, and I just can't help it. But to Egyptians, they get upset if you don't ask for help.

There were a some times during the past months when I wanted to call Shabaan, Gamal, or Ehab for help, but tried to figure things out on my own and see if I could succeed. It's the small milestones in life that mean the greatest.

I really want to thank so much from the bottom of my heart Shabaan, Gamal, and Ehab for their words of support and help no matter how big or how small. Just knowing that they are there ready to help me at anytime has meant so much that I will never forget their generous hearts.

When Hassan used to describe them to me before I met them, I thought that it would be impossible to have friends like that anywhere. But I was wrong. It is possible, and it is a gift from God to have friends you can rely especially living in a country that is my second home, surrounded by people who seem to stare are me as though their eyes are burning through my skin.

Even though I have tried to "blend in" as much as possible, I still walk around as the fair-haired, blue-eyed, woman in hijab that gets the "not-quite-sure-what-country-she's-from" foreigner look. If I speak the very little Arabic I know, sometimes I find that Egyptians try to speak English in return, returning the courtesy, or they spout off into Arabic and I can only "fahma" or understand a few words, guessing what they are asking me about. Experiencing this enough times helps me learn the conversational Arabic to put petrol in the car, or buy something at the souk or even get directions to drive somewhere. But if it's anymore than yemeen, shimell, or lifff (right, left or turn around) I'm lost. I guess that's why Egyptians talk with their hands to describe almost everything.

Alhamdulillah, at last we have something in common.




Hajar said...

Salam Alaikum Sis,
I have been out-of-the-loop wa-a-a-ay to long! I had no idea that your husband was away and you were on your own lately!
May Allah bless you and help you learn Arabic fast. ;>) Ensha Allah.
You sound like me, I like to do things for myself and solve problems on my own. I get my independence from being raised PA-Dutch, it's the German in me. LOL.
I bet Polish and German women are pretty similar.

Marian said...

Walaikum Asalaam, Yes, we are strong women - it's genetic, no doubt. Just found out last night Hassan is not going to be back in Cairo for long because of the workload; Alhamdulillah he will be returning for a few weeks anyway. It's ok Cairo is no place to be in the heat of the summer after returning from a cold Washington, DC winter. I have tried to post comments to your blog but cannot; will keep trying. I read your blog regularly and you give me a great deal of inspiration. Ma'salaam.

karen jenners said...

Hey, I have read your blogs religiously and miss you soooo much... are you gonna be able to come back to the US to visit again? I have the Disney Cricut cartridge.... that is a bribe.... anyway, I am glad that you are doing well and I love hearing about how your life is there... I have texting on my cell now and keep forgetting to text you each day... I added it to be able to do that... up to 300 a month... so, watch out... and tell Hassan to call, I have to go to S.S. this friday for my job... so, he can text me or call and I may be able to say hi... xoxoxoxoxox karen (Luke turned 7 two weeks ago... made me think of you... remember you moved in the day I had him... time flies....K

Marian said...

Karen - Wow, Luke is 7!? Unbelievable. Please email me your cell number. I lost it when I had to re-set my phone trying to fix the camera, which I was able to do somehow. Hassan will be returning to the US after a couple of weeks break in Cairo. Don't know exactly when but will keep you posted. Things keep changing so we need to keep up with the changes as well.
I miss you oh so much. Love.

Cairogal said...

Good friends are hard to find. You and Hassan are blessed! Any more word on when he's coming back?

Marian said...

He's coming on May 28 but for how long remains the question. I just found out my school is giving a 25% discount to all employees who fly EgyptAir, so if he has to return early we will be joining him because apparentlly the discount is significant (according to other teachers).