Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Great Snake Adventure ( and other Tales)

So much has happened to me since I came to Egypt. I am upset that I didn't write down all the crazy things I experienced since I arrived in May. When I was still in USA, I had the intention to do a daily blog post once I got to Egypt, knowing full well the transition from living there to here would make good blog fodder--and it would have. Trouble is I got sick and stayed sick for so long, I forgot a lot of the funny stuff...like for instance my first experience with "halawa" and the "fetlah"--2 torture devices designed to remove hair from places on the body that, in my opinion...if God let it grow there, it's supposed to be there! Just kidding---I know, I know.


Anyway, the following is a true story (haha). I call it the "great snake adventure". And it happened here in my building 2 days ago. Now let me just preface this story with the notation that this is the 3rd in a series of adventures come to be known around the house here as "Abu Nada strikes again". Abu Nada is my neighbor and self-appointed watchdog, guardian and whistle-blower of all things great and small that happen in my building. He has led us into 2 other adventures before this great snake adventure. The first could be called the "Harami--Lock the Gate!!!" adventure and the second could be called "The Possible Prostitution Problem" adventure. Will relate those tales another time.

For now let us concentrate on The Great Snake Adventure.

The adventure started out just like the other two did...with a loud ruckus in the hall. We began to hear shouting--more and more voices joining the fray--then as usual the doorbell rang, inviting my family into the discussion. My husband handled this one. It was my turn to sit back and enjoy from behind the scenes.

As usual Abu Nada was leading the charge. This is the Egyptian equivalent of a tenants meeting. Something--anything--happens in the building and Abu Nada is the first to know about it--and the first to broadcast it. In our own little world here that is "Building #50" AbuNada is basically the Chief of Police. He reports directly to my neighbor across the hall, Hagg Ahmed who is, you could say, our Mayor. Once Hagg Ahmed approves the latest news for distribution, doorbells are rung and tenants--all 10 of us--stream out into the halls for a discussion of the latest problem, which takes place on the first floor in front of my door.

Amazingly this tale begins with a neat and tidy segue incorporating the first two adventures into this third one. The first news is that, briefly, we must continue to be vigilant and lock the iron gate at the entrance to our building, because there still seems to be "someone" lurking about. A young man was recently spotted around dawn, smoking a cigarette (gasp!) and loitering in the back garden. He could be a harami (thief) or somehow related to the (possible prostitution) apartment of ill-repute above me. So therefore continuing to keep the gate locked and informing each other of any suspicious activity is a must.

But the real news--the new news--is that some children have spotted a sna
ke outside our building and everyone is advised to close their windows and keep them closed until...well I'm not sure until when but I'm guessing Abu Nada will let us know when it's safe to open them again! But suffice it to say this new information has the building in a tizzy cuz locking the iron gate will not avail us now. Oh no, it is much worse than that. The iron gate is no longer adequate protection for what can stop a small snake from entering our sanctuary? We must bar the windows and keep them barred!

Now this being Egypt and new territory for me, and given the fact that I live basically in the desert, I am not sure whether
to fear this snake as poisonous and take this latest news seriously, or throw my windows open and embrace what surely must be a common variety of harmless Egyptian snake. I like snakes--as I do all animals--but I seriously do fear the poisonous variety and am a bit on edge.

So I asked my husband if he thinks this is a dangerous snake or just a friendl
y one? I trust my husband implicitly and am sure he is an unimpeachable reference on all things Egyptian. He tells me don't be afraid at all because in any case snakes cant crawl up and down buildings. He does warn me though to keep the balcony door shut at all times--because of the thief he said--not the snake.

Ahhhh, I breathe a sigh of relief and skip off to the kitchen to make us tea. Alhamdulilah I am married to such a wonderful man who can dissolve all my worries so effectively............WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Haven't I seen snakes up in trees? Yes I'm absolutely sure I have. Ergo...

I locked myself in my bedroom. I'm not coming out until the snake is found. And husband has been banished to the balcony.

And that, dear friends, concludes the story of the Great Snake Adventure.

The End.


on the edge said...

EXCEPT ...... once my mother sat down on her toilet in her apartment which was on a ground floor and suddenly jumps up , runs out of the bathroom with panties around her feet ( never did figure out how she did that trick at 70 years old lol ) and screams to ME , of all people .... SNAKE !!!!! IN THE TOILET !!!! There was and it was a cotton mouth mocosin snake at that !

JaLpArI said...

hello Queen,...
i have sent you a request to accept my blogs in the directory.... i have added the button...
you had mentioned to post a comment on your most recent blog entry, so, i have commented here as well...

JaLpArI said...

i read your posts.......:) its a very interesting blog....
you know, i too loved Egypt since I was a little gal...(but, no.. i wud still prefer stayin in India, than livin there:D)
i wish to visit that exotic country someday...

Queen O'Danile said...

OMGGGGGGGG OTE!!! That's enough to make me stop using toilets! Especially here in Egypt--I can only imagine what lives in our glorious sewer systems here...ya lahwayyyyyyyyy!!!

Queen O'Danile said...

Welcome jalpari!