Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh, I have a blog

It seems that somewhere between gazing at the horizon in Cairo and chugging coffee at my job back here in Norway, I forgot that I had a blog. Oops. I'm thinking about picking up blogging again however - I always liked having a place to look back at when I wondered where my days disappeared, a collection of musings, rants and pictures of the time that passes. And man has time passed.

My life has changed a lot since I moved from Norway to Egypt and back. Some good, some challenging, some surprising. I don't mind though. You create your own life, and mine's working out pretty damn well. Now let's just see if I can find that blogging spark again, so that I can let the life be described by letters and pixels.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The language barrier

Over the past years I've read an indecent amount of texts about identity, about communication and about language. Your language is the most important tool you use when you're making sense of the world around you - how would thoughts be without the actual words and names? And yet, I had to move away from my own home country and into a whole new world to realize how much my language means to me.

I do not at all consider myself as incompetent when it comes to the English language - I read and write the language at a university level, and hell, I even have a blog where I try to communicate in English every now and then. And yet, it's like I'm only able to express a selected part of my personality when I'm using English. It's as if I have another 10 % of me that's not getting across. On top of that, I live in a country where Arabic by far is the preferred language. I'm picking up more words and expressions as the days go by, but at this moment I'm quite sure most of my messages in Arabic get across due to my excessive hand-waving, rather than my vocabulary.

The funny thing though, is that when I go back to Norway and my mother tongue, it'll probably only take me hours before I begin grasping for the words I want, and substituting them with English ones. Or Arabic. My languages are a mess. I like it. But it's messy.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Hoping for weather

Morning came with a silent rustle of leaves and little raindrops painting dark dots on the concrete. The clouds were gray and heavy, and for a little while my inner child even hoped for thunder. Or some sort of weather in general. Cairo doesn't really do weather. Temperatures fall and rise, the sun is occasionally paused by the flickering of clouds. But that's it. And today didn't do much to chance that. A few hours after the little drops of water the city was clinging to my skin again. Cairo does that - it covers everything, everywhere. Dust and sweat mix and stick to your skin like a film of dirt. The few raindrops that fall feel soothing for a few seconds, until you start thinking of all the smog that they surely absorbed on their way down. Ah, Cairo weather. It got its own charm.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'll miss this, I will

It's late. It's ridiculously late, if you think about the fact that I have to get up in a few hours. Read, read, write, write. The good girl-syndrome has claimed another victim, and I've got theories, papers and conjugations up to my ears. And yet, it's allright. It's actually better than that. It's great. Because as I'm lying here, cuddled up in the corner of my bed, I cannot stop thinking about how fascinating this city is. The smells, the sounds, the atmosphere.

By night, when I'm just silently observing the streets, Cairo is a wonderful city. Wait a few hours, let the sun rise, and you'll be stared at like you've got two heads, you'll be harassed like you'd be walking around naked with a sign saying "tell me something sexist!". But right now, at moments like these, I love this city. I love listening to the sounds, just being part of it all.

I've realized I'll miss Cairo.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Hello beautiful world!
Sorry for not blogging, I'm sort of busy travelling around in the Middle-East. At the moment I'm in Jordan - things are wonderful, and life's in general an awfully good thing to be living. The tea is sweet, the sun is bright and people are great. See you!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cairo diary 17/17

Today, I brought my friends to see one of my favorite places in Cairo: the part of the city referred to as "Islamic Cairo". And it was just great. Walking in the dusty and narrow streets, between crammed markets and the more relaxed ahwas (like informal cafes) where old men smoke shisha and drink tea, Cairo showed itself from its best side.

There's something timeless about Islamic Cairo; walking between the old stone walls seems to take you out of the year of 2012 and release you into a whole different atmosphere in a vastly different time. 

Students from the nearby Al-Azhar walk past you with the Qu'ran under their arm or some books tossed into a bag, and while you're munching on your falafel, some old women point at you and grin, laughing at the out-of-place girls wandering around the hidden streets of the old Cairo.The call for prayer vibrates in the air and the sun makes the colors vibrant and golden. And it's just so.. great. 

 Hey Cairo, I like you, you know that?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cairo diary: 16/17

I love Fridays in Cairo. There are no alarm clocks yelling at you to get up, and there is no need to rush to the university in the morning. The city's in a mode of its own on Fridays, with people rolling out mats in some of the streets, preparing for the prayer later in the day. As you wake up, you take a shower, make some tea and open the balcony doors to welcome the sun. Then, as you hang up your laundry outside, you catch the eye of the woman on the other side of the street, and for a little while you are the same, just doing your Friday thing. The street is like a little parade of colorful shirts, skirt and linens swaying in the wind, and for that little while before the Cairo dust settles into your things, it all smells so clean, so nice. 

The sun's shining, the people's talking and it's just another wonderful Friday.
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