Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Me against the universe

Hubble Views a Cosmic Skyrocket

I apparently scared the living daylights out of a few people that are very dear to me with my last post, for which I am sorry. 

That wasn't my intention. It was meant to vent my frustration and organise my thoughts, not to make anyone think that I was going to drown myself in the Nile. I know that's what my family history dictates I do, but I've never really gotten along with anyone in my family, so I would never yield to such a cop out.

As an expat you live a very disjointed life no matter what country you're in, but here that seems to be magnified by the culture difference and, for women, the often grim treatment of our half of the human species.

Life in Cairo is life in the fast lane. It's a volatile emotional roller coaster with as many highlights as low points and seemingly no in-betweens. It's manic: when you feel good, you feel extremely good, when you feel down, you go straight to the depts of despair.

When you hit a low, finding someone to talk to is difficult, because we are all on the same ride, and the vast majority of us are having a hard enough time trying to hang onto the wagon ourselves, let alone try and keep somebody else onboard.

Most of us don't come from very stable backgrounds to begin with. We're here because we're fleeing a bad family situation, to heal a broken heart, to find solace for some major disappointment in life, or all of the above. 

We choose to escape, instead of to deal. And that comes to bite you in the arse when life serves you a series of punches right in the gut, as it did to me these past few months (and I wasn't having a very good year to begin with).

The outpouring of support I received through all the various means of communication our current digital world is enlightened with does me good, but unfortunately doesn't really help in a practical sense. I'm still not making any substantial money here and don't really have any prospects on that changing any time soon. 

Despite that, I do intend on staying here for at least a little while. My apartment has been paid for until the end of the month and after that I will still have enough money to last me to at least the end of September. 

I've sat through most of the excruciating summer heat here, I somehow feel I've earned it to enjoy some nice moderate weather before I might have to say farewell to this insane place. 

I'm not a very positive person, but who knows, maybe something will finally change these next few months. If not, well, I don't know. I'll cross that bridge when I find it. 


  1. Hey, I'm glad you posted this. I was concerned with the previous post, but mainly because I empathize completely to the crushing feeling of defeat, especially in Cairo. You summarized it very well. In my unimportant opinion, you're an effective writer.

    I was tempted to console you before with the fact that you haven't sold your professionalism to Bikya Masr, but I don't actually know if you ever did. In any case, I always enjoy reading about your challenges to students and the terrible process of getting students to consider life beyond their limited scope. Hope something works out!

    1. Hi Anna - thanks for the kind words :) I was in a deep hole, I guess I have somehow climbed out of it now. I almost ended up writing for Bikya Masr, but fortunately ended up avoiding that resume poison.
      Hope you're well and keep in touch :)