Thursday, June 28, 2007

Well, it has been an eventful week - culminating in one last trip out to the airport - went out this afternoon and got my last bag - woo hoo - must admit that going to the airport four times in the last week was about three times too often - but it appears that the broken baggage belt at Heathrow has finally been fixed - when I was out there this afternoon there was a pile of about 50 suitcases waiting to be reunited with their owners. Must admit that I am certainly glad that I did not lose my luggage on the way to Canada - this way was inconvenient enough.

I arrived home last Thursday - around 10:30 or so at night - only 3 hours late - after having the privilege of sitting in the plane on the tarmac for 3 hours - I was sure that my luggage would make it - after all they had over four hours to get it from one plane to the other - but alas and alack it was not to be. Aymn and Sharon were at the airport to meet me - must admit that I was certainly not very good company - managed to catch a cold Tuesday night - so was sicker than a dog - and am still working at getting over it. My worst problem is that due to flying my right ear is really bunged up - I cannot hear much out of it - most annoying. I am still coughing - not nearly as much - and it is certainly a lot looser. I got off the airplane at the airport and felt like I had walked into a steam room - it was hot and tres humide - I had conveniently forgotten about the humidity - felt like a slap in the face - YUCK. Has been hot and humid all week - surprise, surprise - since it is summer. And of course Alex is very crowded - population has just about doubled - the holidayers are here in force - the beaches are very crowded as are the streets - and of course the noise is much worse - but it is only for two months or more - so ....

We have a family of 'rats' or whatever - they have nested underneath one of the gardens - they have chewed up the styrofoam and made a nice pile of it on the deck - and of course they love to come in - so I am forced to keep the windows and doors closed - so it is very hot in the flat. Suzanne had made arrangements for a carpenter to come and measure the doors and windows to put in screens and whatever - so that I can leave the windows open and keep the critters out. Aymn and I went to the workshop Tuesday night - and we both agreed that he appears to do good work - so Aymn gave him 600 LE to start the work - said it would be done in 20 days - and the total for the work is 850 LE - not bad - considering there are 3 patio doors and 5 windows that need to be modified. Aymn left for Libya Tuesday night - only to have to come back before he arrived - he had had a fight with Ahmed on the phone - guess the kids were going out to Suzanne's on Wednesday - as was I - and Aymn insisted that the only way they could go was if they promised to treat me properly - and Amal took exception to this and the fight was on - he phoned me Wednesday morning and told me he needed to see me - and of course my mind starts going a mile a minute - then he phoned and said he was leaving for Libya - he needed to get to Edjabya to file a complaint against a truck driver who owes him over 2,000 LE - the border police were waiting for Aymn to file the complaint before they could do anything - so off he went.

Suzanne and her family have moved to a town 80 km west of Alex - I believe it is called Mahmoudia - don't quote me - but Mr. Sadee works there - and he was spending about 5 hours a day commuting - so since there was a flat available for them - they have moved - I am really going to miss them. Yesterday - Wednesday - we went out and saw where they live - the flat is right on the Nile River - they have access to a yard - and it is really a villa not an apartment building - so I think it will be much better for the kids - especially the youngest one. They have a very large balcony - with a grape arbour on it - complete with grapes - they can fish from the balcony - the apartment is very strangely laid out - by western standards - but quite common for country living - it needs a lot of work - does not look as if anyone has lived in it for quite some time - a lot of the glass in the windows is broken - fine for now - but they will need to be fixed before winter. It is quite an old building - with 10 foot ceilings and equally large windows. The older kids are not happy - but such is life. Aymn was sure they would not move because the Mahmoud did not want to - but common sense prevailed - and it is much better for them to live there where there dad works - rather than have him away so much. I just need to be very careful or I will be the taxi from Alex to Mahmoudia for the family. Last night I insisted on leaving by 7 p.m. - did not want to make the drive in the dark - will be leaving early for quite some time until I am really familiar with the road - driving after dark is very dangerous in this country. Trucks, cars, whatever, just stop on the road - no lights - no warning - so if you are not vigilant you will end up crashing into them. Plus because it is in the country - lots of donkey pulled carts, etc. Mr. Mossad insisted on driving back with us - I had dragged Sharon with me for company - and I just about made him get out and walk - he kept giving me driving advice - telling me to watch out for this or that - of which I am quite aware since I drive on a regular basis in this wonderful country.

Yesterday on our way driving to Suzanne's I got a phone call from Aymn - and after thinking about it he feels that the carpenter is overcharging us - so he talked with Mom and she is supposed to go and tell the fellow not to do any work on it until Aymn talks to him - so much for getting anything done. This drives me crazy - he says yes - and then pulls back. He always feels that someone is taking advantage and then of course nothing gets done.

Today Sharon and I drove out to Carrefour and did some shopping and window shopping as well - it is so hot it is wonderful to drive around in my a/c car and spend time in the a/c malls and shops. Then shortly after we got home I got a call from the airport - my last piece of luggage had arrived - so they sent a limousine to pick me up and take me - and I invited Sharon - it is a long boring drive on your own. Aymn and I had gone out Saturday to get the first piece of luggage, the Sunday night I went out with the limousine on my own - then today my last piece was reunited with me - YEAH.

After promising me at least four days when I got home - and being incensed when I said - yeah sure - will believe it when I see it - Aymn ran back to the family when they arrived back in Alex from Marsa Matrouh on Saturday night - after all he had not seen them for 2 whole days - minor detail that he had not seen me for 5.5 weeks - so nothing has changed - why am I not surprised.

I think the family is expecting me to go to Suzanne's tomorrow - but I am going to stay home and get the unpacking done. Must admit that when I came back in January and arrived back home around 3 a.m. - with no Aymn - I got all my packing undone within 12 hours of arriving - but then we have the fun of no luggage, on top of that Aymn is around - I am coming to the conclusion that it is best if he not be around when I arrive home - I think I need a few days of being on my own and getting my Egyptian feet before I jump into dealing with all of his issues. But I somehow have a feeling that this arrangement would not fly - only reason I got away with it in January was because he was still in Saudi Arabia for hajj.

Will endeavour to upload a few pics of the view from Suzanne's place - likely will get on it tomorrow.

Anyway it is good to be home - I guess - no really for the most part I am really glad to be back - it is always wonderful to go to Canada for a visit and see all my family and friends - but it is nice to get back home and have my own place. Even though I arrived home to no hot water, broken water pump, and a thoroughly disorganized place - it is good to be home. The water pump has been repaired - but I am still without hot water. And the kitchen is now reorganized - next on the list is my bedroom - GULP. Wish me luck.

Oh and Aymn does not like my hair colour - he is not really keen on the short hair either - but yesterday when Mom saw it she said it is beautiful and I look 15 years younger - so I think it is here to stay. Tough noogies on Aymn - I feel as if I have made enough changes in my life - and for some strange reason I have reached my limit - lousy attitude I know. When we were discussing his inability to give me my due time - he asked me for more flexibility - told him I was all flexed out - I think it is time for his family to show some flexibility - not going to hold my breath on that one. Time will tell.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Well I finally 'put my big girl panties' on and packed. OUCH. Sure would be nice if there were a scale in the house - but there isn't - so I still have to sweat until I get to the airport to find out if I packed to well and got to much stuff in my suitcases. I am not sure I am going to be able to get everything in my last bag. I do hate packing things - guess I should quit shopping - but that would not be much fun. I managed to get 95% of my stuff packed so am really hoping I can squeeze the rest of my treasures into the last suitcase.

Of course as the time draws nearer to departure time I get more and more torn. It is so difficult to to head back to Egypt because Miles and I are slowly but surely mending fences so it is tough to leave him and head back. Of course there are others that I miss - but I do miss Miles the most - after all we were a team for a long time. Unless something crops up I am not planning on coming back to Canada until next summer. I have decided that I need to really set down some roots in Egypt. I need to learn some Egyptian - which means I need to take some classes and hang around long enough so I can get some practice before I come back and forget everything I have learned. Mom and Dad will be coming to Egypt in November for 4-5 weeks and then I think Miles and Shani will be coming over for Christmas - asked Miles on Saturday and Shani and I talked about it last night - she is really excited - going to look into tours and things they will want to do when they are over. So that means major baking - although thinking about it it does seem kind of silly to do as Miles is not a big eater of baked goods - he has his favourites and that is it - not really sure about Shani - but hey it is Christmas so will go to town. Should be a real challenge. Will have to make a shopping list and get mom and dad to bring things with them - because I am sure there will be things that are not available in Egypt.

Today is going to be a quiet day - got the packing done - have showered - laundry is on the go - should do some tidying up - make sure I have not overlooked anything.

Tomorrow the plan is to head to Banff for the day with Maurine and then I am not sure what is happening on Wednesday - after all I am now packed - what else is there to do.

In answer to one of the comments on the previous blog - Syd - you are still allowed two suitcases - but of course I have been shopping - I am sure you are much more disciplined than I am and would never buy more than you had space for. I need to make a phone call - I had phoned and talked to a representative who told me the weight limit was 35 kg - but on the website it is 23 kg - so ......

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hard to believe that it is already June 14 and I will be back in Egypt in a week. Now things are getting tough as the pull begins. I am anxious to get home but I am going to miss my family and friends here in Canada. My visit has been wonderful, Miles and I are continuing to close the gap - which was caused by my decision to marry into polygyny and move to Egypt - which of course makes it harder to leave. I do miss my 'baby' very much. This is something Aymn and his family have trouble understanding. A) because they believe that families are not nearly as close in the West as they are in the East and B) because he will never understand the bond that Miles and I had - after all for 21 years it was Miles and I against the world - he never had to share me - I was always there for him. So it is very bittersweet when I have to leave to go back to Egypt. And then of course I miss my Egyptian family while I am here in Canada and when in Egypt I miss my family and friends here in Canada. As I drive around Calgary I know I will miss the greenness of the city. It has been a very damp spring - therefore it is very, very green - so beautiful. I drive around and think to myself how much I am going to miss this when I am back in Egypt, then I console myself with the thought that I can see the sea. Another thing I am going to miss is the gym - even though I drive halfway across the city to go - and grumble about getting up at 5:00 a.m. to go - I do enjoy it - and the reason I drive that far is because my friends are there - there is actually a gym about 2 minutes from my son's place - but I go for the people - it is amazing how much faster the time goes when you are 'visiting' albeit while gasping for breath - but hey - what the heck.

Last night I went out with my gym buddies - going to work really hard at keeping exercising and trying to get my eating under control - will be 'accountable' to them - via email. I know that I need to be accountable to me - but being accountable to someone else will make it 'easier' to keep on track - in shaa allah.

Well I am back from the gym - managed to survive - only one more day and then a two day break. Must admit I do feel much better once it is done and over with. Today I do not have much on my plate - was supposed to be a day for me - but I have an appointment with my financial counsellor and then I will be going to get my hair trimmed - if the hairdresser can squeeze me in. Then I am back home - and will try to pack my stuff - although I must admit that I am really dragging my feet on that one. I do hate having to find room for everything I just had to have - ARGH - wonder if I will ever make a trip 'home' and not have a shopping list that is a mile long. And of course everything I bought is a definite must - lol. The fun begins when I start going through the things and go - now why did I buy this?? I am sure that I am the only person that has this problem when they travel home - lol.

Thought I would try to upload some pictures - but I do not know where the necessary cord is - so will just post it as is and will upload pictures when I can find the cord. Gotta love living out of suitcases.