Monday, February 11, 2008


Taking a cab in Senegal can be a painful experience. Before you get in, you have to explain where you're going and a whole debate over cost insues. You give your price, he gives his, you tell him to lower, he does, but not enough, you pretend to walk away, he calls you back and tells you to get in.

In Egypt, sometimes the traffic is so crazy, they just say "get in, get in!" and everything is discussed later. Most of the time, you tell them where you're going and when you get there, you hand them what you think is appropriate and get out before they say anything.

Erin Moores (friend from Canada who is in Egypt for a visit), Heba Bahgat (childhood friend who now lives in Egypt) and I went to Alexandria last weekend, and after one cab trip, I gave the cabbie a few rolled up bills and got out. I turned my shoulder and saw him put it in his money stash, without even counting it to see how it was.

Heba called it "Riddah", which means complete acceptance of what God has in store for you. I thought it was sad in one way - his life is probably such that he takes whatever he is given and that's it, even if it is less than he deserves. But mostly I thought it was beautiful - to have that kind of tranquility at the end of the day. ie. This is what God wanted for me, and I cannot ask for more.

I find that kind of attitude is much more present on this side of the world. And in the midst of greediness or ambition, or maybe just lack of faith, we lose track of it in North America.

Anyways, I won't give a detailed posting of Egypt as half of you have already been here, the other half have known me long enough to know what Egyptians are all about!

But I will refer you to a blog post by Erin, who is a wonderfully talented writer that has yet to come out of the literary closet:

Here are some pics with Erin and Mariam (family friend's daughter) along the Nile and with my new favourite cousin Nada (and Yasmine, her aunt!)

I'll be home in less than a month!


Still.Searching said...


Was this Egypt or Siberia? how many layers are you wearing :-) You are embarassing all canadians wearing such heavy clothes in Egypt's winter!

Give Heba a BIG kiss for me.. not you. Heba Bahgat :-)

Still.Searching said...

I know you are busy having fun but i want to hear about your experience at the Africa cup finals that egypt won.. I am too busy to call so write up something you writer :-)