Friday, February 4, 2011

Sunday, January 30th

I woke up this morning to a day completely free of anything to do. No school, so no bus ride to make new friends. Curfew, so nowhere to go and nothing to do outside the dorms. That is, if anything were open at all, thanks to everything that’s going on. Viva la revolucion!
Anyway, I called home, using up nobody-knows-how-many minutes, only to talk for less than 15 minutes before my phone cut me off and started talking to me in Arabic. Not the same as last night, though, this was a recording. I don’t know what it said, obviously, but I really don’t want to find out, just in case what it said is something like, “Sorry, you have no more minutes, you can’t call America anymore, you’re completely incommunicado from anyone who loves you.” That would really suck. I would have tried to call back, but if I am out of minutes, I’d rather find out tomorrow when I try to call again rather than today and have no hope at all for tomorrow.
I dragged myself (and a friend) to Alfa this morning to get supplies just in case the zombie apocalypse really is coming. Now I’m provisioned with nutrigrain bars, cereal, apples, and cans of tuna which I cannot open until I retrieve my stored luggage from housekeeping, who have yet to make an appearance.On my way back upstairs, I ran into a group of new girls who asked me what the situation was outside. I couldn’t really tell them anything except for the fact that there wasn’t a huge long line at Alfa like there was yesterday. They asked me whether there was water (which I couldn’t answer, I hadn’t even bothered to look) and whether there were phone cards (ditto). Their questions made me feel unprepared for the zombie apocalypse. What good are apples if I don’t have water? Or phone cards?
So maybe buying a phone card would have been a good idea. Today is not ending as well as it began. The U.S. Embassy is recommending that all Americans leave the country, and there is a sign-up list downstairs to be put on a flight out of Egypt. I don’t really want to go though. I mean, it’s hard to explain. I don’t want to be here either. I just don’t want to run away. It wouldn’t be quitting, I know that, I do. When the U.S. Embassy shuts its doors and tells you to get on a plane, you should do it. But I don’t want to.
There are a lot of reasons for this, the first of which is, sadly, my stuff. The dorms still have all my stuff from last semester and show no signs of wanting to give it up. This is bad. The second reason I don’t want to go is what will I even do with myself when I get home? I could get back to UCSB for spring quarter, I’m sure, but what good would that do? If I leave, I won’t get to work at the Cairo Museum, or the Supreme Council of the Antiquities. I won’t get to take more classes with Professor Ikram.
If I go home, life will become much simpler, almost instantly. I’ll have internet and phone service, I’ll be able to talk to my family and friends again. Being unable to communicate is probably the worst part of being here right now. I told my family not to worry, but there isn’t anybody here to tell me not to worry. And I could really use that right now. And if I can’t have that, I’d like at least someone to commiserate with, a really close friend who I could talk everything over with, who I could decide things with. Things like whether or not to follow the directives of the State Department and get the eff out of Egypt right now. But I don’t have anyone like that now, so I’ll figure out what to do on my own.
I’ll go to sleep now, there isn’t anything more I can do tonight. In the morning, I’ll get up early and hit the streets of Zamalek. If there are phone cards out there to be had, I will find them and buy them and call my family. So I don’t have to face the zombie apocalypse alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment