Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sarcasm (orig. published May 2007)

Well, yeah, it's been a while since I've put anything on here. But not from a lack of subject material. I've just been pretty busy helping the kids get ready for their final exams. OMG. It's been unreal. We got back Aiman and Samiya's results-----YAY. Both got perfect scores in Arabic, English, Math and Religious Studies. Ismail finished his exams yesterday, but we won't know his results for another week or so. Mohamed begins his exams tomorrow. I'm beyond worried. He's in 6th grade and how well he does on these exams will determine which middle school he gets into.
Well, Wednesday morning I walked Ismail and his best friend to the school for their exams. I waited for them to go upstairs and then excused myself from the group of worried mothers so that I could beat feet over to the bread ovens and pick up some bread. My mind was still doing the usual balancing act at test time of worrying about whether or not Ismail will remember the ins and outs of long division, could I make it to the ovens before the line was a mile long, and whether or not my nervous energy would turn from the current mild anxiety to a full-blown case of the runs. I guess in all the excitement my brain couldn't handle the usually rote process of putting one foot in front of the other as the next thing I knew, my foot had twisted up underneath me and I was sprawled out face first on the street unable to breathe as I'd managed to knock the wind out of myself when I landed on my big fat honkin' purse. So, I just laid there for about half a minute before deciding to get up. I sat back down on the curb to pick the gravel out of my palms, brush off my dress and catch my breath. A woman across the street saw it happen, and came over to see if I was okay. Also, the waiter at the coffee shop came running over carrying a chair for me to sit on and then ran back inside to get me a glass of water. (This is typical Egyptian courtesy/concern. They are helpful people...almost to a fault.)
I started to laugh when I realized that although a little bit scratched up, I'd really only broken my dignity and that'll mend in no time. The woman looked at me like I was a little crazy. Then she asked me if I fell because I was dizzy or what. So I told her, "Nope. It was my plan. I was a little thirsty so I fell here because I knew the waiter would bring me a glass of water." Then I cracked up laughing at how clever I am. She looked at me then like I was REALLY crazy and walked off in a hurry. What?! No kiss for my skinned knee? Chickenshit.
It's sometimes hard for me living here. The Egyptian people just don't seem to get my sense of humor sometimes. I was once chided by a nurse at the hospital just after Ismail had had his lip and chin stitched up (he'd decided to play Tarzan by swinging on a belt that he'd hooked to the top hinge of his bedroom closet and fell on his face.) I only asked if since this was the 4th time I'd been there for stitches in the last 2 years, would the next round of stitches be "on the house" since we were "frequent flyers," if you will. She turned red in the face and yelled at me about testing fate. My brother-in-law, however, was laughing. He knows my garanimal-kids.
Yesterday I had to take Aiman to the hospital because he couldn't open his left eye for about 14 hours. This is a pretty normal response when one's older sister pokes her finger into one's open eyeball by mistake. It turned out that he had a tiny scratch from her fingernail and the doctor gave him some drops and a really cool white cotton eyepatch. Aiman looked a little worried still and asked me, "So, what's going to happen?" I didn't know the doctor spoke English as well as she does until she laughed out loud when I replied in all seriousness, "Well, we're going to let you keep the eye. It's only a little scratched and not worth trying to find you a new one." He just rolled his good eye and said, "Well, THAT's good news," while Dr. Amina giggled. I guess sarcasm just isn't their thing here.

**This was originally published by me on my old myspace acct last May.**

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