Saturday, September 6, 2008

Patience...and other good things Part 1

Yes I mentioned that patience--never one of my strong suits, has finally in my apparent old age, taken hold of me. Sometimes I absolutely can not believe I am the same woman who left America (for good) nearly 4 months ago. Whewwww--it's been a trip!

Mom and I landed in Cairo after a very long and trying trip. From Pittsburgh to Detroit, Detroit to Amsterdam (complete with a 12 hour layover with no hotel room available--should have booked in advance) then Amsterdam to We were soooo tired. Things didnt start off very good. We finally got all the luggage/cartons accounted for and handed over to NWA, and then I had to give the animals to the TSA so their cages could be checked for what I can only imagine would have been explosives. I dont know why but the idea of blowing up my pets--along with anything else--was so funny to me. I tried hard to keep a straight face when the officer told me not to put my hand back in the cage once it had been cleared. Hmmmmm...was I going to shoot bombs out of my fingertips? Off they went finally, the cat looking perplexed and the dog howling and yapping--she absolutely did not want to leave me! I love dogs. They are so faithful.

Anyway, speaking of TSA and all that jazz...I, amazingly, with my Islamic name and garb, got through security without a hitch. My dear mother however was a different story. Apparently she had forgotten the KNIFE she had to peel apples was in the little purse attached to her walker!!! I suddenly found my mom and myself surrounded by security and God knows what other officials from however many departments there are that monitor the airports looking for errant terrorists. When they told me they'd found a knife in Mom's satchel, I guess the look on my face convinced them I was too shocked to mean them any harm. Immediately I am nearly yelling at my Mom "What are you doing with a knifffffffe???" In fact one officer started cracking up, shaking his head and saying :Oh my God the look on your face". Yeah! Haha. Glad one of us--NOT the Muslim one of us, thinks this is funny. Mom took her time remembering she had peeled apples with it a few days before and just stuck it in there, thinking she'd remember it once she got to the kitchen. Hmmmmm. Mom admittedly can no longer find her way out of a paper bag. But it was all OK in the end. The officers were very nice and seemed to realize Mom was a bit confused--and forgetful. I asked if there would be any repurcussions. The officer told me at worst I might get a visit from some "agency" at home in a few days. "At home where?" Pittsburgh, I was told. With a cheesy grin I said OK that's cool. Home was no longer Pittsburgh. And we boarded the plane, alternatively laughing and crying. I could only imagine a federal agent knocking on my door. Lights are on, but no one is home. And so we were off.

Our layover in Detroit was pretty quick. We just had time to get from one terminal to the other, grab something quick to drink, and we were on our way to Holland. Next stop Amsterdam. That was a killer. Will continue this part of the story soon.

For now I would just like to say how grateful I am to Allah that we passed through the trials and roadblocks, made it here safely, found our good friends and family to help us, and are finally settled in. It's been a struggle. Life has been reduced to thinking about our basic needs in most cases, not our desires. Slowly now we can begin to think "it would be nice to have this or that" as opposed to "I MUST take care of A, B and C so we dont die." Although Egypt can no longer be considered a third world country--hell--it actually seems more civilized and advanced than the USA, we still do reside on the continent of Africa. Here you witness life in its basic form--need food and shelter to survive. Must keep clean and find safe drinking water, a competent doctor, and a well-stocked pharmacy. Egypt is kind of an oxymoron. Beside people who have more money than they know what to do with--and flaunt it outrageously--are the poorest of the poor. And all that comes with that. But we are happy beyond words here. Content, at peace. I am no longer a nervous wreck. Thankfully, I even find my brain working better. My short term memory is increasing. I no longer have to write every thing down that I want to remember. Dont eat any fast food. No soda, no candy or junk food. Drink buckets of good, clean water. Work hard at home, go for walks, sit in the sun. Life in its basic simplified form. No worries mate. Alhamdulilah.


Anonymous said...

Salaam Alaykum ! Long time no see ! Ahlan Ahlan !

What a great post. The voyage relates to my parents who travel back and forth between Canada and Saudi Arabia every year.
Think the knife was bad enough ? My dad packed a drill in his carry-on several years ago. Imagine what happened to him !

Yes, when living out here in the West, we need to be reminded that our homeland(s) to is progressing, although not at the rate we want to.
My family finds it weird when they find me surprised looking at pictures of new cars, roads and buildings from India.

Queen O'Danile said...

Wa alaikum salammmmmmmmm ya Jaffer! Ahlan beeeek!

I was laughing my head off over the drill. You know...if only Homeland Security would stop to think...only someone so pure of heart and with the best of intentions (or just totally NOT thinking--haha) would pack a drill!!! OMG--that's a good one!

Well for better--and worse--Egypt is home. And I'm loving it all. How have you been? Hope all is well! Ramadan kareem my dear brother!

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Finally posting again!!! Those layovers in Amsterdam are hell. I forked out for a foot massage, back massage, and a chair that vibrated this last time. Well worth the money!

Susie of Arabia said...

That's so funny about your mom trying to sneak a knife onto the plane - well, er, I mean, forgetting about that knife. I wish my mom could make the trip ... sigh. Nice Post, Queen.

Queen O'Danile said...

Hey CG!!! What should we call u now? ADG??? This is getting complicated--lol. You know, I probably would have relaxed to the point of unconsciousness had I gotten a massage. Which would have meant missing my flight and that would have been a bigger disaster. If I EVER have to do that again--and God forbid--I will just have to get a room. Actually though, I think if I ever travel back again, I will go direct on Egypt Air. The hell with the dog--haha!

Queen O'Danile said...

Hi Susie! Welcome to the blog! Yeah it was kinda's funnier if it happens to someone else--lol. Which reminds me of my daughter who can not stop laughing in the face of tragedies. There's a T-shirt we want to buy for says..."It's only funny until someone gets hurt; after that it's hysterical" Anywayyy, now we can laugh abt it, then I was going to blow a gasket! Alhamdulilah, it all worked out in the end! I will visit your blog now Susie!