Life In Cairo

Dependency In Egypt, Goat Killing Neighbours And Some Independence Advice…

Id love one day to write a happy post about everything that is lovely about this country, but unfortunately today is not the day, yet again!

I have come to realise that Egyptians are a very, very, VERY, INCREDIBLY dependent bunch of people! Everyone is in everyone’s business, and they believe its their right to know everything, and be involved. The families need to know everything about their children AT ALL times, even if the son is a 40 years old man with his own child! They interfere with plans, claiming what is best for you and the other person involved and in a very pushy way, make sure their plan happens… They don’t care if you like this plan or not, ITS FOR THE BEST, according to them… Children don’t move out of the house until they get married… When a woman then gets pregnant she moves back home, because she can’t cope… How can a woman take care of a baby if she can’t even take care of herself when she is pregnant? No problem, after you have the baby, we move you in again to the family home and they do everything… WHERE the hell has married life gone? Apparently out the window and landed inside your parents home… So when you have the baby you go live with your family again and they will look after the baby.. WAIT, did you have a baby with your husband or your family? Did you have the baby for yourself or for your family? Then you go back to your marital home, for a while, and have child number two!! Uh oh , im pregnant again, I need help, back to the parents home… Then I have the baby… Lets just move back here to my parents so they can help me again… Get divorced? No problem, move back home… Husband dies? Off to the family home…. Husband away for the week? Have to go back to the family home, its dangerous to stay alone at home… WHATEVER happens you will just keep depending on and living with your family for the rest of your life… As nice as it is to have family close, there is no thing called independence in this case… You need to be able to handle things on your own… Of course family will always be there, but don’t USE them… They are loved people in your life, not tools, to make food for you, clean your clothes, look after your children…

Another thing that is weird is that people ask each other for the most random things… EVERYBODY here always wants something… When you speak to an Egyptian they will tell you ‘ayza haga’, which means ‘do you want something’… For me at first, I thought that was pretty rude, I mean if someone asks you that its kinda like ‘why you calling, do you need something or what?’ But then I was thinking why does everyone always ask me this, does it look like I need something? Do they have some hidden talents that might be useful for me? I’ve grown up to be independent… I make sure I don’t need anything from anyone… I mean why would I not go get it myself if I need something, why do I need to ask someone… But what became clear to me when I got married, is that Egyptians are so freaking dependent on each other that they nearly always ask for things… That’s maybe why it has become a habit of always asking ‘do you want anything?’… My husband flies a lot and when he speaks to his friends, just to be polite he will ask them if they want anything from outside Egypt… AND most of his friends are also pilots… Let me mention some of the things he has been asked to buy:

– Perfume… Yes this does exist in Egypt… And no I don’t know why someone NEEDS perfume from outside Egypt… Chanel smells the same in Egypt as outside Egypt… It’s not like Chanel sends the ‘bad’ bottles to Egypt!?

– A jacket… Yes a winter jacket from Zara, was told the model and size… It was the same price, same colour, same quality as the jacket here in Egypt, in ZARA, in Egypt… Yes Zara exists in Egypt…

– Oxygen tablets… He takes one a day with his meal, and then doesn’t need to breathe the rest of the day!?

– Kit Kat chocolate… Yes this does exist in Egypt, in all supermarkets and kiosks, in several sizes and much, much cheaper than outside Egypt…

– Salmon… Yes you can buy salmon here in Egypt, in Gourmet shops and it is also cheaper than in any Scandinavian country. Imagine flying with a piece of fresh salmon in your bag to Cairo… It most probably rots on the way, but this guy wanted salmon, so he gets rotten salmon…

– Viagra from Kenya… Yepp! Apparently is super cheap and powerful… MOST AWKWARD MOMENT EVER… WHO asks for that???

So there you have a small list of random things that all exist in Egypt at nice prices, but NOPE, they need this stuff from outside Egypt… It’s much better when it doesn’t have Egyptian bacteria on it…

Now let me tell you that this ‘you need anything’ is not just friends and family related… It extends to neighbours too! YEY, that’s great… Always nice to have someone who needs and wants things at all times and is just 2 steps away from your door!

Now we have been pretty lucky with our 4 neighbours… The one next door to us has spent the last year and a half renovating his apartment… Either he is a little bit lazy or he has definitely hired the wrong engineer, because it took me 3 months and that was disastrous long! The lady in front of us is just the worlds most noseyist neighbour… Every time we come up the stairs she comes running to her door, and peeks through to check us out… If we are holding something interesting or we get visitors she will open the door to get a better view… The apartment next to her has been empty the last year but was recently been sold…

I’ll just tell you the last little story to give you an idea of what kinda neighbour we are going to be dealing with… Early one morning I was peacefully sat watching tv when there was a loud screaming noise in the stairway… It got louder and louder… I could not figure out what it was… It sounded like torture, but it was too dark of a voice to be a child… I looked through the peep-hole and saw a heavily bearded man standing in front of my door… Then a loud scream again… I looked down and he was holding a GOAT… NOPE IM NOT KIDDING… He was holding a goat by the horns… The goat was screaming… Let me remind you we live on the 5th floor… The bearded man opens the door to the apartment… He brings the goat a little inside the doorway and lays him on the ground… I left to watch some peaceful TV… Then there was a loud scream.. I ran to the door to check, and there was blood pouring EVERYWHERE and a dead goat lying on the floor… I mean if you want to kill a goat in your apartment close the door for FREAKS sake… I don’t want to see a goat being killed… I’ve lived 27 beautiful years of my life without seeing this… CLOSE THE FREAKING DOOR!!! The goat lay on the floor while the apartment floor filled with dark red blood… Then he proceeded to skin the goat… Lovely! After skinning the goat, loud banging noise started.. I went to check it out, knowing I would regret it… Which I did, as he was chopping the bones of the goat into pieces.. AGAIN WITH THE FREAKING DOOR OPEN!!!

So ive heard about the goat sacrificing thing, but seriously… Some people claim it has nothing to do with religion, and only culture… But when you buy something new you buy a goat, and kill it, and give the meat to the poor.. It’s a lovely gesture, showing that you are grateful for the new things in your life, and at the same time helping the poor… BUT, do you really need to have a goat’s blood squirt all over your new apartment floor? Some people claim that killing it in the apartment is a cleansing process.. It removes all the bad things that have happened in the apartment, and bad spirits… But honestly would you prefer a dead goat haunting your apartment? Not me!

Well this was just the start to my neighbourly love! The woman who has bought the apartment with her husband was there one day when I was leaving my apartment… She came over in attack mode about EVERYTHING that is wrong with this building… NO SHIT women, you think I havent noticed the dirty walls, windows missing, smelly garbage and no elevator problems?! I’ve been here a year, and I walk these stairs everyday! She asked for my number and I was in an awkward situation, how do I say no?! Anyways she has basically been calling me at least two times everyday, to check if things have been fixed… HAHAHA, me and my husband have been complaining for more than a year, and nothing has happened, what does she want, A MIRACLE!??

I don’t need anything from you neighbour and you SHOULDNT need anything from me either…STOP CALLING… I’m independent and can buy my own sugar and tea… If something needs fixing, complain about it yourself, we don’t work for your complaining committee! So just leave us alone, and be an independent woman yourself… Check it out, see how it is and let me know… Actually all Egyptians that are not independent, how about you try to do something yourself, without calling someone you know…

Unfortunately my internet is suffering again, so I wont be able to upload any photos, but I will add some soon!

1 thought on “Dependency In Egypt, Goat Killing Neighbours And Some Independence Advice…”

  1. Your story is as ‘beautiful’ as always…. ha ha 🙂 I enjoy reading things, I must admit, I experience myself with neighbours, friends and my husband’s family (maybe except goat sacrifice)… yes… people here don’t know the meaning of being self-sufficient, being able to do things by themselves, for themselves… it’s a part of their culture I guess… I know few guys who moved out from their parents’ house, but these are considered westernized-minds 😉 I don’t know of any girl though, I guess reason being is that renting a place by Egyptian-single-lady is nearly impossible and haram! Cheers – Agnes

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