Amreekia Min Bab Al Sharayah

That was the name of my old blog. Translated, it means an American woman from the old, poor and rundown district of Bab Al Sharayah in Cairo. I was given this nickname because although I was born in the USA, my mentality is more ghetto Egyptian. I'm a curious mixture of east meets west, and dont care if you call me balady!

I'm going to slowly bring some of the old posts from Amreekia over here (see archives), basically to give new readers some background. I hope you'll enjoy the old and the new and join me on this fascinating expat journey!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

When did I become so Egyptian???

It would probably help if those reading this post were familiar with Egyptian culture, but hopefully you'll get the drift!

So here I was today...baking tons of Eid cookies. Every woman in Egypt was probably doing the exact same thing, except the lazy ones who go out and BUY them...sheesh! And I didnt just bake one batch, I made 3 batches of each kind!!! Women here brag of baking cookies in kilograms (2.25 pounds), as in how many kilos of flour was used in the recipe. I used a respectable 2 kilos of flour today (about 14 cups!!!) and will use 3 more tomorrow. I am a good mother.

So I'm thinking, I need to pack a box and take them to my kids when I go back to the states next month. And then I started laughing at myself.

How many times when I lived in the states did I see the mothers of my Egyptian friends come to USA to visit their kids and do the exact same thing? Bring "care packages" from home. In cheap, fake "Rubbermaid" plastic as my son pointed out.  Everything from holiday cookies to homemade basterma (pastrami) to freshly cooked molokhaya (mallow) to "mish" (stinky aged cheese)??? My God I have become a caricature.

So I called my son tonight to tell him about what's become of his hip, with it, modern American mother. I have become the Egyptian equivalent of a Polish studda baba! I told him I now fully expect to pack stinky cheese sandwiches to eat on the plane, and I'll bring a thermos of strong tea as well. And I wont wear shoes, rather plastic--most likely pink--plastic sandals so my feet are comfy on the plane. I'll clutch my prayer beads and if we hit any turbulence I'll scream "Ya Raab, ya Kareem" (O Generous Lord)!!! I'll waddle down the aisle to take a navy shower in the airplane's bathroom and bother the stewardess to turn off the air conditioning so I dont get a "cold in my back". I will talk to no one in particular incessantly. When I sleep I will snore loudly and my head will probably drop onto the shoulder of my seat mate. I may drool.  When we arrive safely I will again scream my thanks to God, fight to be be the first one to deplane and kiss the ground once I reach the terminal. I will wail and swoon when I see my kids, and lean heavily on my sons' arms because with my swollen ankles it will be hard to walk.

My son said he's not so sure he wants to see me anymore. And...then he called me "Ya Hagga"! That was the icing on the cake! When did I become so Egyptian???


angie nader said...

haha! what a cute post:)
i hope your son will enjoy his goodies..

and thanks for giving me a dinner idea for sunday...i havent made mloukieh for over a month. its my sons favorite!

Layla/Colls said...

LOL that was just so funny! It reminded me of every Egyptian woman there and their ways. LOL my mom still uses the term "studda baba" :)

Miss you always!

Queen O'Danile said...

HAHAHAHA...Thanks girls!! I son also commented on the fake Rubbermaid container I will pack the cookies in--you know that cheap Egyptian plastic??? He's such a smart azz!

on the edge said...

Am LOL and Wetting my pants !!! It has happened to me too , lol ! I've become more Libyan than I could ever believe sometimes !