Monday, December 6, 2010

7-up yours, buddy

So it turns out I have a lot more work to do this week than I thought I did. Oh well. It will get done.
At last count, I have one essay due Sunday, one due Monday, and one due Friday, along with one final on Wednesday, one on Thursday, and a presentation on Thursday. But it will get done.
At this point, I'm mostly concerned with simply maintaining sanity until this semester is finally over and done with and I can escape from AUC and from Egypt for a while, even though my vacation plans are still ridiculously up in the air.
Today in my Anthro class, we actually had a whole discussion about 'if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?' which was completely ridiculous because yes, of course it makes a sound, if you're defining sound like science defines sound, as vibration through air. But the professor felt the need to argue this, saying that sound according to people is something heard, so of course if no one hears the tree fall, there was no sound. Which is all well and good, until you realize that he's just summed up the saying as basically, 'if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, nobody is there to hear it.' The end. What a brilliant conclusion.
Basically, the entire thing reminded me of a story about my uncle when he was little putting the family dog into the refrigerator for a few seconds and then asking it whether or not the light had gone out. Maybe that connection only makes sense to me. Sorry.
When I got home from school, after what seemed like a horribly long bus ride but actually wasn't that bad, I went out to dinner with friends, and we had chinese, which was pretty good. I think I'll go back there, or order in at some point. The fried rice was delicious, probably from all the MSG.
An interesting thing happened on the way back to the dorm. On the way to the restaurant, we got a few mutters and marriage proposals, nothing out of the ordinary, but on the way back, one kid in a group of teenage boys yelled "suck my dick" and we didn't know what to do. What exactly should we have done, do you think? Is there an appropriate response to that, do you think, or is ignoring it the only way to go? I have to say, a few rude replies came to my mind, but I was a bit too shocked to use any of them. I hope that doesn't happen again, though. Not a pleasant experience.
Tomorrow is a day for homework, not relaxing, so I'm planning to get up early and head out of the dorms to keep me away from the internet. Hopefully that will work. And hopefully I can get wherever I'm headed without any commentary from men on the street. Not likely.


  1. I am not sure whether you knew this or not, but Uncle Robert was more like 22 or 23 (home on leave from the navy) when he put Jake in the fridge. I would like a more complete understanding of what you typically have to deal with in terms of comments from men on the street....but it can wait until we have together time....ignoring is probably your best bet, but I feel like I am not qualified to advise given the cultural divide. I don't know how much difference it makes. I imagine your saying the "Shame on you!" comment in Arabic. That sounds good to me. But I would really like it if there were some way you could ask some of the Egyptian girls you have met. I wish there were someone you could share the dilemma with. Love, Mom

  2. People yelling at you are trying to elicit a response, so I think usually it's best to just not react at all so they lose interest in you, even though it's frustrating.

    I was addressed as "putain" a few days ago on my own quiet street, in the middle of the day, by a city employee! (Putain means whore, but it is also a general expletive, often translated as f***) Here, those things usually happen at night and when I'm with a group of girls. I actually get fewer cat calls when I'm alone. I realize that Cairo is much much worse and central Paris is actually pretty safe and comfortable compared to other cities.