Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Destination: Relaxation (And Wife Hunting on the Side)

Babar and I spent most of the day in his office as we were one of the few idiots to go to work today. We are also one of the few idiots to go to work tomorrow. Not because we are dedicated (well, he is, but seeing as I am not, he must conform) but because we have nothing better to do. I forwarded my calls to his phone (preparation for the unlikely event of my boss calling) and exchanged stories from our long weekend.

Babar, who is the loveliest person in existence (which means I am actively channeling Austen's Emma and hunting for a wife for him - eligible ladies apply within) spent the last three days in Marsa Alam (as yet unspoiled Red Sea fishing village) and came back in ecstasy. He also came back redder than a Man United jersey and with most of his head peeling off, but that's another story.

Note that Babar is very difficult to please. So if he fell in love with Marsa Alam and came back completely relaxed, then Marsa Alam should equate that to divine blessings from the Pope and the Dalai Lama combined. The ground visibly shakes when Babar is in the vicinity. The whole floor must be warned when he enters the building to find cover and protect their eyes from his holy glow.

His Grace described crystal turquoise waters, abundant marine life, untouched beaches and all that jazz, as you can see from the photo above. Babar had a very stressful couple of weeks at work, so he needed this. I should know, I had to wiggle, jiggle, contort my face, tell embarrassing stories and make a right fool of myself several times in feeble attempts to cheer him up. So anyone in need of a break, Babar recommends Marsa Alam.

And now, a few words on Babar himself (for all you ladies waiting with bated breath. You know I wasn't going to disappoint):

Babar is a gentle giant. Fantabulously talented, he is very good at what he does (and juggles a million more responsibilities in several positions than the average 25-year-old) meaning he will go very far in life. He has countless interests and will give everything a try. He is intellectual without being pretentious. He is kind, patient and compassionate without being soppy. He is spontaneous, he is hilarious, his joie de vivre is enviable, and he is an amazing friend and gentlemen. He even paid for lunch today. Yes, those kinds of men still exist! In a word, he's perfect.

So ladies, email your resumes. I'd take him myself, but I can't bring myself to put him through all my commitmentphobic baggage and megalomaniac complexes. The boy is much too good to be damaged.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sewage System for Tea

Yesterday, we went to my aunt's house for a Good Friday meal and tea. When tea time came around, I went to the kitchen to make myself a cup. Once the kettle came to a boil, I began to pour the water into the mug.

I noticed something black flow down with the water. Unfortunately, the teabag was already in the mug, so the liquid was too dark to see what was inside. So I hunted around with my teaspoon a little to make sure there was nothing there that wasn't supposed to be there.

Lo and behold, a little cockroach was in my tea.

Yes. A black icky cockroach, the size of my index finger's first section (from the tip to the first joint) had been in the kettle.

Apparently, my aunt had removed the little filter nozzle from the faucet and so as I filled the kettle, the cockroach came down into it from our lovely water system.

This is the cleanliness of the water in fair Egypt. Don't drink the water, folks.

Unless you want to collect cockroaches to fry. In that case, let the faucets flow!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Week of Pain Isn't Just for JC

The last couple of days have been super.

Yesterday, my boss calls me in to FINALLY pay attention to a follow-up project to the chemical poo factory visit. Basically, we're (meaning I'm) supposed to come up with a fancy-schmancy monthly report on the factory's performance. The whole works. Right down to the number of cogs replaced per day. Big Brother on paper - or rather, Excel.

I'd drawn up a skeleton based on the meagre supply of information the chemical poo execs had given us, but we both knew that we'd have to force them to do all the filling-in-the-boxes themselves. So all we needed to do was the mechanics of the structure. Like architects. We do all the thinking and the factory people do all the donkey work.

Or so I thought.

Conversation goes something like this:

Big Boss Man: Eureka, I need you to take the old monthly report's structure and create a new one for the chemical poo factory. I need it by tomorrow morning. Can you do it?
[Rocky theme music playing as he leans in like the editor dude in Superman and awaits my response]

Eureka: ARE YOU ON CHRYSTAL METH? THAT'LL TAKE A WEEK! MINIMUM! You must be on crack or maybe crack's on you but you know that's not possible. Even for a genius like me. ESPECIALLY since I don't know how to use Excel for more than 1+1=(Cell A:CellB)

I wish.


Eureka: Sure. I can't promise that the links will work perfectly though because you've only just taught me how to do it - in theory - ten seconds ago.
Big Boss Man: No problem, we'll fix the links in the morning.

Eureka shuffles off to her desk wracking her brain for any IT geek to do it for her. Lightbulb! The IT geek and Excel Genius who sits behind her! Looks frantically for him. He took the day off. GOD DAMN DAYS OFF! You mean I listen to him whining and sending me depressed emails every day for him to take the day off the ONE time I want to call in those favours? So much for no good deed goes unpunished.

I sit there working from 1pm to 9:30pm. Straight. I KID YOU NOT. I can actually concentrate like that when I need to. By 9:30 though, I am exhausted. I can't see straight. So I send him what I have (most of it was done) and tell him where I need his help (the links were screwy as I said they'd be) and head home.

Next morning:

Wake up, go through the whole bathroom, closet, kitchen routine and get into the car. Oh hello? You're not my car. Turns out my car's in the shop and here's Grandpa's car subbing. Ok, no problem. Grandpa's car is parked 24/7 since he never uses it so nothing could possibly be the matter with it. I won't be late. Good start. Let's go, driver!

And so we go.

We are in the middle of Ramses street, which is one of the most crowded and gross streets in the city. Today is the hottest day of the year so far, ringing in at 45ÂșC in the shade. The SHADE. And it's only April 23rd. I can't imagine what June will be like.

Suddenly huge pillars of white smoke billows out from under the hood.

Yes, ladies and gents. The car decided to do it and overheat on the one day I neeeeeeeded to be at work on time. I guess I'm being punished by the great angry gods for not paying attention to JC being crucified tomorrow and not paying my respects to His honourable deed by going to church and snoring 15 times a day. Yeah, because my snores add that special touch to worship that JC just can't survive without. Told you I'm special.

So after finding a suitable place to park the dinosaur's dinosaur (i.e. not in the middle of the street), my driver stops a cab and takes me to work. Cabs in Cairo are not fun. They are dirty, broken-down and smelly. Not suitable for a girl in a summer dress and red ballerinas.

I get to work hot, sticky, probably smelly and seriously pissed off.

BUT, on the bright side, I fix the links problems when my boss shows me how and do everything he asks for. Correctly! When I'm done (this is around 3:30pm), he decided he wants more stuff. And this stuff is IMPOSSIBLE to fit in the same table. Which is exactly what he wants.

So bang your head on the 6 rocks and 12 hard places you're squished between, Eureka. Because this will be another loooong night.

I soldier on.

And on.

And on and on.

And at 7pm, I whimper uncle. I tell him it cannot be done. What does he say?

"It's ok, we'll talk about it tomorrow."

So I could have given up at 5 and gone home.

And I have to go through all this again tomorrow. Which incidentally is a public holiday but my company decided not to take it off.


Oh, but wait... I love my job.

Don't I?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ad Infinitum

*Warning* This will be an ongoing project where I will list my blessings as I remember them. Forgive me for boring you, but if you read this, then you're bored anyway.

1. I have loving, nurturing parents and the best siblings in the world.
2. I have an aunt who personifies strength and courage in the face of adversity. The world is lucky to have such a role model. They should make a movie about her. And have Angelina Jolie star. Scratch that, she's not as hot as my aunt.
2(b) They should make a movie about my mother, too. Because she's just as awesome.
3. I have strong women to look up. On the flipside, that means I have huge stiletto's to fill.
4. I have the best friends in the world. Whole package: smart, gorgeous, funny, supportive men and women. The Abercrombie & Fitch of the friends world. Except mine are all dressed in Prada and Zegna.
5. I make good money in a cushy job where I can spend all day reading, flirting and gossiping. All I have to do is make sure when I do get an assignment, I do it well.
6. Seeing as I'm a perfectionist, 5 goes without saying anyway.
7. I have AMAZING boobs.
8. Even though my hair is thinning, it's still great quality and I can generally hide the thinning part with a good haircut.
9. I have the luxury of living in a country where hired help is the norm, so I never need to do my own chores. (Score!)
10. No matter how bad things get, I'll never be alone and abandoned because I have a great support system. Thank you everyone.

To be continued.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Remembering to Breathe

Some days life just isn't worth living. I should know, those days seem to chase after me like they're Eureka-seeking missiles.

It is those days where you need to remember to stop, count your blessings and just relax.

Otherwise, you'll miss out on the good as well. Like enjoying the view at St. Andrews (see above). Or having a glass of wine with the people who make you laugh the hardest.

And finally arriving at the end of the tunnel and having a reason to feel accomplished.

I can't wait for that day.

If you're having an off minute, or week, or even lifetime, just think about that sense of accomplishment when you finally pull through.

It'll make it all worth it.

Hey, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

365 People, 365 Days

I just came across an interesting blogging experiment called x365, where you are to write about one person you know a day. You can write whatever you want about them and should ideally say how they affected you.

It's a pretty cool idea and will definitely raise a lot of questions about yourself, about the people you've known and how they helped mold you into the person you've become or are in the process of becoming.

They don't have to be long, they don't have to be particularly positive. They just have to be people who've affected you in some way.

Now ask yourself this question: do you even know 365 people who've truly affected you? Makes you think about the quality of relationships you've had, doesn't it?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Partying on the Wrong Side of Town

You'd think having lived in Cairo for just about my entire life, I'd have a basic understanding - if not actual working knowledge - of its main streets. Cairo is too large and discombobulating for one to be well versed in every nook and cranny, but main streets are pretty easy... You'd think.

Thursday night proved that I am either a complete and total mindless goof, or totally clueless when it comes to Cairo's streets. I am, in fact, both.

A couple of friends and I decided to go to a party at the Four Seasons in Garden City and met up at our usual haunt for pre-party drinks. About an hour later, O called saying he was on his way and would meet us at the Four Seasons. We got into our respective cars. I told my driver to take me to the Four Seasons.

Here I must interrupt our little story for an explanatory note. Cairo has two Four Seasons; one hosts a club/lounge I often frequent, the other one of the two department stores my mother and I shop at. The former is in Giza, the latter in Garden City. Two completely different areas of Cairo.

Now where was I? Leaving La Bodega. This is in Zamalek, which is near the Four Seasons I wanted to go. My driver asks me, "which of the Four Seasons are we going to?"

I confidently reply, "the one in Giza where 35 is."

For reasons only a psychiatrist could come up with, I was absolutely convinced - even when saying the name of the club instead of the store - that I was right.

I remained convinced as I saw the club itself. I was certain as I asked the concierge where the party was, even though I knew it was in the store itself. For some reason, my mind refused to register my error.

The poor concierge looked at me quizzically, and asked which party I meant. As I said, "Why the Beymen one, of course," it began to hit me that I may - just maybe - be at the wrong hotel. The man looked at me pityingly but kindly. "Mademoiselle, you are at the wrong Four Seasons."

"Ah. Yes. My mistake. Thank you very much." With my tail between my legs, I skulked off to a corner and called my driver.

Finally, a little past midnight, I arrive at the party. No problems at the door, my name was on the list. Wouldn't have been too surprised if it hadn't been though, given the way the night was going.

Party was very well put together. Hats off. However, can't say the same for the ambiance. Best description of the night came from a girl I do not know talking to her friend as they waited for their car as we left, "the music was great, the bar was great, the decorations were great. So what was wrong? The people were all constipated."

Welcome to Cairo, the city that never sleeps. Because everyone is up, constipated.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I love My Job

Monday 7th April, 2008 = the day Eureka wanted to die 17 times. Per minute. All day. It is a wonder I did not actually go through with it. Talk about endurance and discipline.

Let's start from the top, shall we?

On Sunday, my boss decided it was high time we visited one of the chemical poo factories the company owns in order to gather their financials and set up our own reporting system. All good, doesn't sound like too taxing a task. It involved an hour drive each way to Ain Sokhna, which wasn't too big a deal either since the route is smooth and involves catching a glimpse of the Red Sea. We decided to meet up in front of the toll booth exiting Cairo at 10:15am. All is well. So far.

On Monday morning, I arrive at the toll booth as planned. I get a message from Mr. Boss Man saying he will be 20 minutes late. Ok, no problem, I think. I have my book and my iPod and my driver will protect me if someone tries to break into the car. I pick my book and begin to read. I look up 20 minutes later. No sign of Mr. Boss. I receive a text. Will arrive at 11:00. Alright, there must be traffic or something. To be expected as this is Cairo. No worries.

What time does he finally meet me? 11:40. Not so amused at that point.

Finally arrive at the chemical poo factory at 12:30-ish. Haven't seen the sea at all. We aren't close enough to the damn coast. Damn factory area. Nothing but sand with mini wind funnels throwing dust into the air. But hey, at least it's a sunny day and we're not going to be here too long. Thinking this is probably going to end by like 3:30, tops, I begin planning my early afternoon with glee. I think of the rest of the boys at the office and quietly giggle at the thought of them having to look out their windows longingly. I think of the Broody Bunch complaining about it being summer and no tanning opportunities in sight. I think of the pool and how I could easily catch an hour's worth of sun before leaving. I punch the air with my fist in my head, celebrating my little victory against the corporate world.

We walk in and are greeted by the CFO and his cronies. We proceed to endure a 3 hour meeting in which nothing at all of relevance or use was attained. A 3 hour niceties fest of ass kissing and circumlocution. Where are the goddamn financials people?

It is 3:30. We are still here and are far from leaving. Suddenly, the CFO announces it is time for a break. A much needed one in my opinion, but I would have preferref to soldier on and leave early. But whatever, bring on the food, I'm starving. The men disappear, leaving us sitting in silence, twiddling our thumbs. We're thinking fish is on the menu. It's Ain Sokhna after all. What arrives is the box of daily rations given to the factory workers. Beans, bread, cheese and a local version of cola. Oh, yum.

Thank God I thought to pack a sandwich.

We're abandoned for an hour. An hour. Where the hell are these people? I can't get Madonna's voice out of my head. "Time goes by - so slowly..."

FINALLY! The so-called execs are back! They take another hour to photocopy and give a brief summary of the information we came for. At this point, I am no longer able to be civil. I am breaking out in alternating cycles cold sweat that sizzles on my overheating body and is released as steam. Clear indication of the raging inferno of anger, disbelief and disgust I am suppressing. My boss doesn't seem to notice. UGH!

Am I to take this as meaning he won't notice when his 15-year-old starts getting into crack and suffers from withdrawal when he can't get in touch with his dealer? I hope his wife is more observant. Poor kid.

We're out of there at 5:35.

And that, ladies and gents, was the longest, most pointless day of my life. I burnt out three screens writing this out for your amusement because my eyes can't stop shooting death rays whenever I think about that godforsaken trip. Bring this up in my presence at your own peril, for you will be zapped. There will be no ashes to return to your family.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rename Alert

Honouring his request, Awatchif has been renamed Baby Kangaroo. He seems to find it more endearing or whatever.

I think you need to take a look in the mirror BK. You are neither a baby - in size or age - nor are you anywhere near as cute as a joey. But, seeing as you have an ardent need to cute-ify yourself, I shall humour you. Here is what you would look like if you did in fact resemble a joey. Thank your lucky stars I didn't put up a picture of a newborn. They're basically a 2.5cm long red jellybean. Not your best look, BK.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Circumventing Her Fist Meeting My Nose

As I mentioned in the FAQ, Roonies' wrath is one to avoid. She is currently fuming because her description in the Cast and Crew post isn't up to snuff. So here is something I'd once written about her. This should quell the raging beast inside her for the moment:

When I first saw Roonies I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She had hair even Jesus Christ would envy. Dark, intense eyes lined with black kohl, making them all the more intriguing. Eyes that twinkled with the intelligence they were unable to withhold. Eyes that have never failed to make my heart melt. Roonies. An indescribable talent with the Midas touch. Everything she attempts turns to gold. If she were stock I’d invest every penny in her because nothing and no one could be surer or more successful. I believe she is destined for greatness the world is not enough to contain, and the world will never again see. Her heart is the only entity in existence that can be considered an equal to her mind. She has the heart of a saint. I believe she is blessed. I believe in her with so much fervour and certainty; more than can possibly be described. She is undeniably a force to be reckoned with, and no human – friend or foe – will ever be able to overpower her or stand in her way. She is strong. She is beautiful. She is genius personified. She is loving. She is more than I deserve, and I am forever grateful for her love and friendship.

Cast and Crew

There is a tendency on this blog to assume that everyone knows what and who I am talking about because I am probably the only person who ever reads it. But I also know that assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups. So, in the event that someone other than my three and a half alter egos ever stumbles across this, here is a brief introduction to the people who frequent the entries. Obviously, these are all nicknames. I very much doubt my parents could have been creative or clairvoyant enough to name my brother Space Cadet, regardless of how hard I lobbied for it.

The Broody Bunch (Although the email group is now defunct, the Broody Bunch continue to be good friends)

Update: Male & Female J have since moved away, never to be heard from again. Fruitcake has been reduced to Rastafaria. They have been removed from Cast & Crew.

These are the people who will probably appear most often because they camp out at my front door. They are my paparazzi because I’m the shit like that. We have a little email group going to keep our work days a little less sane and a little more stupid. If the Broody Bunch is having an especially funny day, I will post some of the exchanges. They are:

Roonies, who is my best friend. We are the female, Egyptian version of the odd couple because we constantly bicker, but will kill you if you look at the other even slightly wrong. Tom and Jerry kind of thing. We get along because we are the only people who get each other. Meaning we’re both equally mental.

Nesticleez is Roonies’ other best friend. Nesticleez is hilarious and very good natured. Just don’t get on her bad side because she can be pretty fierce. I’d put my money on her in a fight with Chuck Norris. She’s roundhouse his ass all the way to Pluto and back. Chuck Norris’ fists are named Nes and ticleez as homage to his idol.

Bubba is my publishing and MSN/Google Talk buddy. I think the last time we saw each other was something like May 2007, but we reduce each other to crumpled blobs of laughing centipedes every day. Because we are both bored, both work losers, and share a sense of humour.

Spaz is what I want to be when I grow up. Spaz is so smart it scares the crap out of me. Seriously. My knees bang together and my pupils dilate every time Spaz sends an email. Because I know my life will change as the contents of that email will cause the heavens to part and God’s booming voice will be heard saying “Once again, I stand corrected. All hail Spaz for educating the Lord."

O the friendliest and funniest person in the world. If you don’t meet O before you die, you’ll have missed out on one of the best things this Earth has to offer. It is so decreed by Eureka.

Awatchif Baby Kangaroo is what we loving refer to as a lesbian sandwich (sandawitch lazbana). He is pro-women to the extreme and has travelled the world. He’s also the most well-read and deepest thinker in the world. Ask him anything and he’s already written six dissertations on it. Including that. And yes, that too. Don’t even bother trying to prove me wrong. Awatchif is my teddy bear, so hands off. You may not borrow him.

The Other Core Friends

Tinkerbell and my friendship is a bit of a strange phenomenon. We've known each other since we were 8. She was a year younger at school. We were friendly but not friends. She moved to Paris at 14/15, soon after which we became very, very close. It's funny how in some instances distance serves to cool relationships, and serves as a catalyst for others. She is my rock, my trend-sniffing icon, my Euro-pal, and more than I deserve.

Cheb Khaled is the Jinx Malloy of my friends (thankfully, I am immune. Like Lucky Penny but without having to date him). His string of perpetual bad luck since graduation has made him grouchy and gloomy but he is otherwise a great friend who consistently manages to drag me away from my laptop. This is because we share a love for boring outings like movies, driving around aimlessly while I yell at him for his stupidity and shisha. This is also because I am the only friend he has left. I don't know who that reflects more poorly on, him or me.

Mrs. Fallon is one of those people you wish could be cloned and distributed all over the world to show the rest of Gaya's pitiful populace how people should ideally act and treat one another. She continues to be my friend regardless of my numerous and lengthy disappearences and never forgets to feed me.

The Place Where We Pretend to be Respectable

The Boys are the five main young men I work with. It is much easier to refer to them as the boys. I won't say much about them as they are each the most unique characters in the world. I have no idea how the company managed to hire such an eclectic and eccentric group. Maybe it's a secret hiring policy. HR even have a nickname for us. Apparently, we're "shabab el pub" (The Pub Kids). They are:

Twin 1 (T1) and Twin 2 (T2) fraternal twins, The Swede, Bashful, and Mile-a-minute. The Swede, T1 and T2 have all moved on to greener pastures and have been replaced by a young woman we shall refer to as Little Ivy.

Legal are the other four that comprise the work group. They are Babar, Duckie, Hot Head, and Minnie. Hot Head has also left and has been replaced by a young woman who we shall refer to as Parallel Universe.

The Home Front

Space Cadet is the 2008-2010 Junior Golf Champ. If Tiger Woods could swing a golf club at 14 the way my brother can, he’d have won a lot more, a lot sooner. Tiger, come learn something here. You could use it. Space Cadet’s only fault is his inhuman ability to completely ignore the matter between his eyes and expect all thinking to be done for him. This is the result of being babied by my mother for much too long. Boy needs to be sent to boot camp for a summer to get some common sense knocked into him. He is the real-life version of Big Moose, as kind and soft as a puppy but as brainless as my left boot. But unlike Big Moose, this is because my brother refuses to use his brain.

Bloft is not a normal human being. Bloft holds the distinct honour – if you can call it that – of having spawned the devil himself. Yes, she is Satan’s mother. Satan could only have learnt his tricks from her. She is the only person who he is afraid of. If there is one thing you should follow Satan on, it is to fear my sister.However, if you are lucky enough to happen across her on a good moment, she is wittier and more entertaining than every show you've ever loved.

Mummy and Daddy are awesome. Everyone who has ever met them have declared them a MILF and FILF, respectively. Too bad neither thought to toss some of those genes my way.

Dixie and Daisy, my beloved breasts.

Empire of Hendika

This is the lone surviving thought from four years of International Law. Kindly refer to the Imperial Dictionary for details.

Guest Appearances

Tooth is one of my first friends and honorary brother. He is the man with the master plan and a womanizer. He’s also brilliant. Expect great things from him in the near future. Like the first beer holding, woman groping, toilet paper dispensing magic stick.

Sunshine is the most beautiful girl in the world. If I ever decide to play for the home team she’d be the only woman I’d want to procreate with.

Doolittle shares my morbid literary leanings. We became friends in Lit class and share a love for hating everyone. We know we are above all humans but half-heartedly consent to lower ourselves to their level. But really, we should be ruling the planet with everyone apart from our friends and family being our slaves.

Miles Davis Undertaker is the intern we had from May to July 2008. We became friends through his cousin the year before and he magically appeared on the desk next to mine one morning. 'Tis a tiny world indeed.

[Updated: 18th March, 2010]

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ice cream Inhalation

How fast do you eat your ice cream? Do you take your time with it or do you wolf it down? If you fall into the latter category, do you experience brain freeze or toothaches or any side effects? If you do, you are normal. If you do not, then you must be my long lost twin. The one my parents had to sell to put my dad through his MBA while we lived in the overheated abyss that is Arizona.

I was sitting with Roonies and a friend of hers today and the friend, let's call her Vinnie, stared at me in awe (I hope it was that and not disgust) as I inhaled my ice cream. Roonies bemusedly proceeded to explain that I am inhuman in my ability to shovel down a quarter-kilo of ice cream in about the same time as she enjoys half of her first scoop. Meaning I can quite easily eat a kilo of ice cream faster than an apparently normal person can finish a normal serving of two scoops.

Roonies likes to make me out to be a freak. Sadly, she is always right.

Roonies and Vinnie are not the only people to notice my ice cream speed-eating. Countless other men and women have witnessed and wondered.

Vinnie asked if I actually could taste it as it flew into my stomach. She asked if I enjoyed it. Hmmm, I wonder...

Would I really be ordering a quarter of a kilo if I didn't?

What can I say? I'm really just Pinkie pretending to be a garbage disposal disguised as a twenty-something pretending to love ice cream. Really, it's all part of an ingenious plan by Brain to once again try to take over the world.

And this time, it'll work.

Friday, April 4, 2008

That 10 Random Facts Tag Thingie

Fesh has officially been blacklisted for the day because he decided to tag me with that 10 random or unknown facts thing. AND he had the audacity to challenge me to beat his number 8. Poor Fesh.

Let's get this over with then.

1. I have a deep and justified fear of strange Egyptian men in any public space. This is why I am extremely uncomfortable in a mall, or walking in the street, or being in an elevator if there are men anywhere in the vicinity. Random Egyptian men like to leer, grope and be generally unpleasant. This is why I am always frowning, grumpy and high-strung in public places. This is why I will not accept your invitation to go to the movies on a Thursday. Or any time where there is a spike in human traffic at the mall. I'm certain we can run a blog forever that posts grope/leer/icky men stories exclusively. Hey, that isn't a bad idea...

2. I am the lightest sleeper on the face of the planet. I think God forgot to give me the deeper realms of unconsciousness or whatever deep sleep is called. Not only do I always wake up from the 4:50am call to prayer from the 4 (or 50) mosques surrounding my building, but every Ramadan, I have nightly flipflop tossing matches with the mosaharati (traditionally, a man with a drum walks around the city reminding people to wake up to eat before fasting begins at dawn). I imagine him to be those ducks you try to shoot down at carnivals. This is made easier by my groggy, annoyed state. I have lost many a pair of flipflops this way. But it is worth it because once I hit him square on the forehead. He fell down. That is a night I will always be proud of.

3. On the subject of sleep, I used to sleepwalk as a child. Every night, I'd place my pillow in the bathroom sink, stumble to my mother's room and inform her in a snooty tone that "je veux du mickeymackamon" (i.e.: medicament: medicine). Because I couldn't quite pronounce medicament as a child. Then I would march back to my room without waiting for a response from my bemused mother, and only awaken when my head lands on the bed where my pillow should be. I'd launch a search hunt for my pillow and find it in the sink and ask my mother why she put it there. Always blame the mother.

4. I find it difficult to admit I am wrong if there is a way I can remain right. Capricorn trait. We try to twist and meander until we find a way in which we are right. Which is why I am always right. Hence, Eureka.

5. I hate coffee but drink it anyway. I need and crave routine to keep me going in the mornings. Because I am NOT a morning person. I begin each day as the evil dragon from The Sleeping Beauty and I will bite your head off if you aren't respectful of my space and completely ignore me unless spoken to. Rather, grunted in the direction of. Around the time I arrive at the office the dragon is smote by the dashing prince and crawls to her lair until the new day arrives.

6. I have more music on my iPod than I will ever get around to listening to. But I like it because I love being pleasantly surprised when my iPod introduces me to something fun while on shuffle. My iPod is really clever that way. Kudos to Apple.

7. I love tomatoes. I could live on just tomatoes.

8. In honour of Fesh's 8: In the 4th grade I got into a fight with a boy in the 6th grade because he was bullying another boy in my class. The bully was twice my size. I pinned him down and shoved his face in poop. Real poop, not chemical poop. We had a school pet called Tom the Cat who liked to leave his poop in the playground. The boy cried so hard he ended up eating some of the poop. Good times.

9. I love everyone but secretly hate everyone. But I think everyone is like that. No one is man enough to admit it, though.

10. When I eat I make this funny little movement with my lips that makes my nose move.

Now, because I will not suffer alone, I tag Bubba. And Spaz but only if she wants to. Because I am afraid of Spaz's mighty tongue of steel and Websterian mind. All hail Spaz.


Q: Eurekaisms? Huh?

Eureka is a nickname Roonies – or Nesticleez, depending on whose version you wish to believe – bestowed upon me during an all-nighter pulled leading up to 25th September, 2005. Nesticleez may or may not have nicknamed me Eureka 2 weeks prior to Roonies’ all-nighter. Roonies was writing a paper and demanded I stay up to keep her alert(ish) as she wrote. I did because I am a good friend. Also a pussy. Because Roonies throws a mighty left uppercut when you least expect it. And she holds a grudge. Not a good combination.

Eureka was deemed appropriate because a) it is a play on my prenom; b) it describes my encyclopaedic powers of recalling the most useless random bits of general knowledge in the world. Like that fact that if you have the entire population of China march past you, the line would never end because of the nation’s rate of reproduction. Yup. I’m full of this stuff. Hooray, everybody.

-isms was tagged on because it denotes the fact that these are thoughts spewed by me and are unique (yeah, right) to me. MINE MINE MINE MINE. And because that way people will sense the borderline crazupidity they are about to read. Take it as a built-in disclaimer and leave it alone.

Q: What’s with the orange in every theme you’ve picked?

Orange is my favourite colour. My room is orange. I painted it myself (meaning my mother did the work and I sat on the floor and doodled on the walls when she wasn’t looking). My duvet cover is orange. Different shades. So is my pillowcase. They’re a set. From Ikea. We don’t have Ikea in Egypt. That makes my bed special.

Q: You’re from Egypt? You have internet in Egypt? I thought you lived in pyramids. Do you ride a camel to work?

Yes we have internet in Egypt. We can access TV too using the antenna attached to the middle pyramid’s top where the golden cap used to be. After the ancient thieves stole all the gold they left a little access hole on top so we can all access stolen cable. Sadly no, I don’t take a camel to work. Daddy traded them in for Jaguars. X-types. They’re more economical than camels. And safer. Camels spit.

Q: But you’re from Egypt

Sorry to bust your bubble love.

Q: Are you an honest-to-goodness pure-blood Egyptian? Like Cleopatra? With a barge and big burly man slaves carrying you around everywhere?

No, I’m a walking U.N. Really long story, but to cut it short: on my mother’s side there is Egyptian, Turkish, Italian and Greek blood. On my father’s side there is Romanian, Yugoslav, Lebanese, Syrian, Russian and British blood. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona on January 8th, 1987. My siblings were born in Montreal, Quebec. We moved from Arizona to Long Island, NY when I was 2, and soon after the crash of 1989 happened so Daddy packed up and moved us back to Cairo. We have resided here since.

I do not have big burly men carrying me around but I do have not-so-burly men as slaves. They are my network of men who drive me wherever I want to go when my driver is busy with my mother's endless errands. Or my sister's social life. Or my brother's golf. See why I need slaves on the side?

Q: I don't believe you. You're a liar.

Why? What's so hard to believe?

Q: I thought I was asking the questions here.

Ask away then.

Q: If you’re Egyptian how do you speak English?

I was educated by the British. Which is why I spell the way I do. The correct way. We have private schools in Egypt from all over the world, stocked with foreigners. I then went to the American University in Cairo where I majored in Political Science because I excel at bullshit. And minored in English Literature because I like to make my bullshit sound pretty.

Q: Do you really have all those illnesses you keep complaining about?

No I’m a hypochondriac. I make it up because I seek attention and require the assistance of a mental healthcare professional. I spend hours and hours researching all the possible symptoms I can pretend to have in order to sound convincing when I blog about them. And I bribed a bunch of the world's leading experts in FMF to fake my blood work to convince my parents that I wasn't crazy. Which is why I am not blogging from some remote cabin in an asylum in Wichita.

Q: Are you stalkable elsewhere?

I am spineless and am back on Facebook. Do a little dabbling and you’re bound to find me. I'm also on Twitter as you can plainly see in the Grunts sidebar. Please feel free to email me at eurekaisms@gmail.com; I’d love to hear from you! Please don’t hate me if I take forever to reply – I am not ignoring you. I just am not used to getting any mail on that address because no one reads this blog. So I don’t check on a daily basis because I just depress myself when there is no new mail. If you do email I will make you my new best friend!

Q: Why did you start a blog?

Because I was bored at work. But I plan to rarely – if ever – write about work because I do not want to get dooced for the life of me. I like my job. That is a lie. I like the pay check I receive at the end of each month from this job. The job itself could use some tweaking. Don’t get me started.

Q: OK, won’t. So what do you do?

I’m a … HEY! You almost got me there. Asswipe.

Q: Bitch.

I love you, too :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fallen By the Wayside

Indifference, apathy, pococurantism, dispassion, complacency. Such words, rather the state of mind they describe, sadden me. It is the state of mind wherein a certain funk has enveloped your life, steering you into a concrete routine from which you cannot break free. And from which you do not desire to break free.

It is an excuse not to enjoy the gifts life offers; an escape from the inevitable moments when one is forced to acknowledge, to accept, and to deal with the face that yes, you alive, you will be faced with circumstances beyond your immediate control. Such a state of mind does not allow for change, doesn't welcome challenge. It shuns life and its malcontents. It delivers the perfect method to circumvent any and all possible affronts, difficulties, or mere moments of living that life may present.

It saddens me further that I have fallen into this mindset. I have fallen into an apathetic routine in which I no longer allow for diversion from a strict, and admittedly boring, lifestyle.

I can no longer differentiate days. The passage of time no longer registers. I get up in the morning, go to work, barely realize that the requisite 8 or so hours have fluttered by, wasted on living vicariously through stories, adventures, news clips and generally anything I read when not researching chemical poo or the companies that make it. I then go home, reading a novel and listening to music all the way, say hello to my family, switch on my laptop, and continue to live vicariously through the fictional lives of my shows. I then crawl into bed, imagining a life within any of the worlds I'd encompassed myself with throughout the day.

Why? Why am I happier in my head than in my actual life? Why do I rarely resist the temptation to fall by the wayside? My days are all the same. My days no longer matter. Even as I type this, I am merely waiting until it is time to get into the car and head to Zamalek, where yet another night will be wasted at the same nightspot, followed by a short(ish) drive to the only club in Cairo still sort of worth going to, followed by another episode of whatever show I haven't caught up on and another Friday morning with breakfast and my laptop in bed.

When does this change? How does it change? Where do I go from here?

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