West Side Story


 Five months down the line and it feels like I have been here for an eternity. Three to four months up the line and I’m back in the Big Smoke or Lowlands country or both. I mean, when I leave Alex I will be homeless and I was thinking to go to the country of my birth to reconnect with family and friends. I’ve noticed a few things about myself during my adventure: One: I’ve become a snob. Two: I am really not as open-minded to other cultures as I thought. As I mentioned in a previous post Egyptian society is very classist. Now, I was born and raised in a country where the national motto is ‘just act normal, that’s outrageous enough’. So even if you’ve got heaps of money there is really no need to flaunt it and you just take public transport just like anyone else. Anna being from Scandi land is very familiar with this mentality so in the beginning we took the tram to uni, which is known to be very slow but dead cheap and being from Lowlands country and Scandi land we sure can be stingy. After dealing with too many smelly Egyptians – it’s the polyester clothing, I’m telling you- the stares of f*ckwits who’ve never seem to have seen a dark and a blond fairy on the tram and other signs of backwardness we’ve been taking taxi’s to uni. Even micro buses, which are not too bad, cheap and quick, are a no no. I haven’t been out for a drink for a while but I’m only going to places where they’re used to foreigners and these tend to be more upmarket places.

This morning on my taxi ride to uni along the Corniche, the eight-lane boulevard that divides the city from the Med, I wondered why they don’t give this ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’ a proper polish. Why does everything look like no one gives a damn about this ancient city with all its legends and myths? Why do Alexandrians behave like peasants with no culture while their city used to be the most cultured of all? Why do people have such incredible conservative ideas about marriage, gender, sex and a whole load of other b*llocks?  Has no one told them we’re entered the 21st century quite some time ago?! I left Lowlands country ’cause I had big dreams to be made come true in London. I loved London but everything was still better where I came from. I kind of got over that, luckily. Enough people in both the East and West dislike or are horrified with western society. I can understand why. I mean, mass obesity, neglecting the elderly and the over-sexualisation of society are not particular funky aspects of our culture. Obviously it’s not perfect like nothing is, but at least there is choice and there is organisation.

But then, this is not my country and I’m just a guest. I am by no means treated badly and while I like to wander around the house and discover all its treasures, I guess it’s just really not my kind of party.


About Lemba

Non-conformist Writing Soul and Language Geek from the Lowlands with a South London accent, currently living a nomadic, location- independent lifestyle. While executing the Big Fat Writing Plan I’m invading cyberspace with my views on 'expat living', travel and other lifestyle choices, current affairs and other randomness. Welcome to the Dark Fairy Zone.

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