Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This morning, I rode the bus with a fellow blogger. As we passed the Ministry for Social Solidarity, the Ministry for Tunnels, the Potato Grower's Cooperative, and the sea of McMansions, we chatted about Egypt (what else?). We bonded over our predilection for sarcasm, a feature that permeated our conversation all the way to campus where I saw, behind the monstrous tentlike structure that's blocking out the sun from the main quadrangle, two Egyptians dressed like Fonzie from happy days.
The Writing Center was busy and full of interesting characters and even more interesting papers. One of them extolled the virtues of Michael Jackson, endearingly referring to him as "Mike" throughout. Another complained that the garbage problem in Cairo was an affront to his "social status". My favorite moment came when a young woman burst in and loudly interrupted two tutoring sessions to announce herself. I motioned her to sit down at which point she told me I looked really young. I suggested it might be because I am, in fact, young. She then added that I "looked too young to be a professor". I informed her that I was not a professor. After being handed an essay dripping with sarcasm, ellipses, and exclamation points that read like an instant message, I explained the need for formality in academic writing. After half-listening to my comments, she asked if she too could "get a job" at the Writing Center. Unfortunately for her and for everyone else, she can't. Ma3lesh, ma3lesh.
The growing urgency to take more notice of my surroundings as I realize how short my time left in Egypt is has pressed me to have my camera on hand more often. When I wasn't sleeping in the bus stuck in traffic, I was doing my best to be surreptitiously snap photos of "the street". Maybe I'll upload some when I get time (next century, after my thesis is finished).

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1 comment:

amanda said...

Hey pal, I enjoyed riding on the bus too! We should get together for some more sarcasm soon. I added your blog to my "blogroll"--you will be famous any minute.