Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Looks like I may be going to Egypt this summer. My mama called me yesterday (at 9 PM! She's learning!) to see if I wanted to go. Of course I want to go. I'd love to go. I'd be thrilled to go. The question I always ask myself though: Will Egypt be thrilled to have me?

I've gone back since I had Angie. People were surprisingly kind. My grandpa was cool, even after he found out that Angie was conceived a while before I married his father. Maybe this is because he knocked up my grandma when she was 17? I'm not sure he did this before they married, but I do know they had a quick wedding sometime in 1950, at a town hall, far away from her disapproving Greek family. Neither of her parents came. Neither of mine came when I married Angie's dad in '96, either.

So, the only disheartening moments from my last trip to Egypt with Angie was the way strangers looked at us, trying to figure out what we were. I looked less Egyptian than he did, but I was the one who spoke Arabic while he spoke only English. It confused them. No one searched my left hand for a ring, as I thought they would. No one was violent or rude toward us.

I am worried this time for several reasons:

1. I have no real job or career, and no plans to ever remarry. This will probably confuse my family and they'll ask too many questions, questions I have no answer to since, I, too, have no idea what my future holds.

2. Ang is no longer a cute 3 year old; he has a serious attitude and a habit of telling elders to "shut the hell up."

3. Tattoos are unacceptable, and I have two tattoos on my wrists. I'll have to wear something to cover them up. Michalle has kindly offered to knit me wristbands for every day of the week, like underwear. That should be fun. Especially in the 100 degree weather.

4. My closest friend had her heart broken by her stupid ex-fiance, and she's left to Dubai. She's really the only chick I dig hanging out with. And all my guyfriends are gone. Which means my ticket to the seedier parts of town is gone.

5. My mama expects me to spend my entire time in Alexandria with family, all in the same apartment. I just want to get out and explore by myself. It's almost impossible to do anything by myself, and to explain why I want to be alone. I'll have to put my foot down this time.

But I'm looking forward to going. I can't wait to eat a veal scallop pane at San Giovanni, to check out a study room at the new library, to go swimming. I miss it terribly there. I never wanted to leave. I remember how sad I was when we landed at LaGuardia airport, in 1991, how I cried all the way to our new home. Now I dream about the water and the streets. The last dream was that Alexandria was as close as Mexico City. Don't I wish. Because:

6. The 20 hour flight, with 7 year-old in tow and no weed in sight, should prove hellish.


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