Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today I booked a one-way ticket to Chicago via Istanbul. While this doesn't mean I'll remain in the States long (I'm tentatively heading to France and Madagascar in January and February), restrictions on frequent flier mile tickets and the costliness of air travel are more than likely keeping me from adding Egypt to the mix. Unless I need to return to Cairo for urgent thesis or other graduation requirement-related matters and can cough up the money for that round trip ticket in addition to the one to Antananarivo, the 16 of December is my definitive date of departure from Egypt.
I guess I knew it was coming, but not having the cushion of a week or two in January to say my goodbyes and tie up loose ends makes the end of my year and a half in Cairo look rather stark. And speaking of stark, with the end of grad school and the depletion of my meager financial reserves imminent, I'm staring down the reality that I'll have to get a real person job for the first time in my life.
Despite the relief I'd felt this summer at the prospect of wrapping things up by December, Egypt feels like a home of sorts again. Though my thesis-filled days are less exciting than those spent exploring Cairo during my first two semesters, their more comfortable and more productive than all the other days where, frustrated with Egypt, I whiled away my time indoors doing nothing in particular. My life in Egypt is no longer an adventure (nor a periodic nightmare), it's life as usual somehow and I'm going to miss it. There, I said it.

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