People mean well. They really do.
That’s something I have to keep reminding myself over and over again when planning for Egypt.
I’ve already went over the number one question of “Why” when I talk to people about going to Egypt but there are a lot of things that are mentioned to me repeatedly that are so obvious it makes me want to scream some days.
I’ve compiled the top 5 things that I hear consistently, and often from the same people:
Number 5: It’s so noisy there! The prayer thingy yelled out loud five times a day?! That would drive me nuts!
First off, it’s OK to drop the “thingy” part of this. It’s simply prayer. Or rather the call to prayer. Let’s get technical though for a minute. The call to prayer in Islam is also known as azan. The definition of azan is: The Muslim call to ritual prayer, typically made by a muezzin from the minaret of a mosque.
Some places the azan is called out only at certain mosques; yet, as in Cairo, it’s called out throughout the city. And yes, it’s done five times a day.
Broken down, those five calls to prayer are:
Since I’ve not studied Islam in depth yet, I’ll stop there on that note regarding any further explanations. You can look up the times on your own if you’re so inclined, because it’s different for different times of the year and different areas.
I’m pretty sure that the first time I am sound asleep though, and the Fajr comes around, I’ll be startled awake. (See #2) That is if I’m able to sleep in the heat. (Sarcasm and refer to #1)
Last night I was speaking with a friend in Egypt and she described the azan as being her clock. She told me that the early morning call to prayer before dawn was “mesmerizing”, especially if you’re outside when hardly anyone is about. You can also hear the call to prayer from every direction in he city.
Even though my experience with the azan has only been through YouTube videos and hearing it through my video calls to Egypt, I am positive that my spiritual self will be jubilant at hearing it for the first time in person. Will I ever get annoyed? Maybe. I have a sneaking suspicion I won’t though. It will become a part of life for me as it has for everyone there.
Number 4: I hear it’s really dirty there. DIRTY…like dirt and sand, ya know?
Ah. Yes. I’ll let the video speak for itself.
If you’ve ever lived in or visited Lubbock in the spring time, then you know a good haboob when you see one. Or taste it. Or smell it. Or dust your house afterwards. Actually does anyone here really dust in the spring? I don’t because it’s a sure fire way of bringing on another sand storm if you do.
I finally figured out after years of living here, that you do NOT turn on the vents in your vehicle full speed with your face to them after a haboob has blown through. You know what it’s like? Sand blasting your face is what it’s like. Literally.
Ever opened your mailbox after a good west Texas sand storm? It’s hard to discern the color of the envelopes with all that dirt. And don’t ever shake the dirt from your mail with your mouth open. Yep. Done that too. One day I’ll learn.
Number 3: They speak a different language there. How are you going to communicate?
Aware of this. I’m learning Arabic as we speak. That’s how I will communicate. Or at least try. Probably not very well at first but then again neither would someone who moved here and had barely learned English. Thankfully if I had to go right now I might be able to read a few signs and find my way around. Also some of the people in Egypt speak a little English.
Did you know that in Egypt, mushroom is pronounced mushroom sometimes? And another way to say goodbye is bye? I’m really not being facetious here. (Although my tutor had me on the edge of my seat when she started to tell me the second way to say goodbye. Yep she thought that was pretty funny! And it was. 🙂 )
Point is, I’m preparing as much as possible and I realize I’m going to have a terrible Texan accent when I get there on top of the American one. I just hope that eventually I assimilate accent wise. Probably not.
Number 2: You have anxiety. How do you expect to get there much less enjoy anything? You can’t even do anything here.
This statement is so obvious that it’s painful. I do have anxiety. You’re right. I probably complain about it just as much as I do the heat in the summertime. I probably should not feel an ache in my chest when someone approaches me with this observation, yet I do. There are so many things I want to do in my own city that I just can’t yet. And it hurts me. Deeply. Having anxiety and panic attacks probably rips at my soul more than you will ever know.
One thing though? I will not let it keep me from my dreams, whether that be grocery shopping alone just down the block or travelling to Egypt. I will get a handle on things. You can trust me on that one.
So please don’t keep reminding me about my panic attacks or my anxiety. It makes me feel like you don’t believe in me and that sucks.
Number 1: It’s hot in Egypt.
Ooooh. This is my FAVORITE one ya’ll.
It’s the desert.
Yessssssssss. I know Egypt is hot. I also know I hate the heat and summer and blah blah blah! My friends in Egypt hate the heat and the summer and blah blah blah!
Pretty much the same. I’m not silly to think that it’s not a different kind of heat in Egypt but the temps are equivalent for the most part. Just like anywhere. However, the average rainfall is totally different. We really shouldn’t complain that it never rains here in Lubbock, because it hardly rains in Egypt at all except in the winter months.
(You can find a temperature converter online here if you’d like to get a more accurate picture.
I’ve tried to be humorous with this post and you should probably take it all with a grain of salt.
Now, I’m off to sit under my fan because even though it’s raining outside right now it’s humid and I’m HOT!
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