And while I’m still spinning my wheels in some aspects of this move, I’m actually moving forward in others. Like I’ve already got a customer to buy my washing machine and refrigerator, my desk and shoe cabinet, and yes, even THIS very computer I’m using to type up this blog post. Randa’s been running around the house putting “SOLD” stickers (made out of white electrical tape and a ballpoint pen) all over our stuff. She can’t wait to get out of here and see her best friend in the world (her big brother) whom she hasn’t seen in six months.
And I’m super anxious to get started with the next chapter of our lives in Texas; to be near MY parents and siblings for a while. But I can’t help feeling this giant hole ripping in my heart when I look at the waves of the Mediterranean rolling into the fishing boats of Al-Maks while we drive past on the city bus, or when I see the date palm trees blowing in the breeze and hear the fakahany (fruit-man) yelling out, “Oranges, apples, cantaloupe!” as he pushes his heavy wooden cart through the streets.
Egypt has been good to us over the last 12 years. We have enjoyed the safety of our neighborhoods, where our kids could play soccer in the streets and run to the store five or six blocks away to buy a specific type of candy that they wanted or rent bicycles by the hour. We have fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, bread and meats
within a block from our home. We pick which chickens we want for dinner, and they are slaughtered and cleaned for us while we wait. Living on the coast, we pick out our fresh fish while they are still flipping around in the water-filled bins in the market. Our kids wear plastic flip-flops (known as shib-shib) all summer long because it’s too hot to wear sneakers.
Soon we will be buying our foods in supermarkets and wearing shoes and driving everywhere instead of walking or catching the bus. We’ll be living the suburban dream on a much tighter budget. I’ll be able to buy ketchup and mayonnaise instead of having to make it at home because it’s cheaper. I’ll be happy that we are together as a family; that we are near my parents; that if we want to go away for the weekend and have a full tank of gas that we can just jump in the car and go for 2 hours in any direction and stay with any one of my amazing cousins, aunts, or uncles….and without having to watch the news or call around to find out if there are any political demonstrations scheduled first.
I will miss Egypt terribly. I will miss my friends and my family here. I will miss the natural beauty here and the light-hearted and generous people that I now consider to be my own.
But I’m ready for Texas again…Yee-ha, y’all. Here I come.