Saturday, August 27, 2005

Two wrongs don't make a right

What's with beating kids instead of teaching them properly? Today I saw two such incidents, and I shivered everytime I saw those kids getting slapped. The hip lady sitting next to us for some reason shouted at her teenage girl and then slapped her, takh takh. It couldn't have hurt, but the nervousness that the mother hit her daughter with hurt me. And then while I was swimming with that annoying background noises of those diving instructors, one of the instructors pushed two of the little kids against the wall, and then slapped them, takh takh, takh takh. I shivered. Why can't they teach them instead of beat them. If I was the father of those kids, I would've slapped that guy for scaring those kids like that. I wanted to get out of the water and go shout at the guy, but wasn't in the mood for another one of those fights where I lose because "that's how things are done around here."

Reminds me of when I went into that argument with those guys (two guys and two girls in their early 20s or so) who were smoking at the airport. The air conditioner was helpless with the crowd, and this guy was smoking next to me, and the No Smoking sign was right infront of us. So I asked him to stop smoking, he ignored me. I asked again, so he brought his taller friend to talk to me. His friend took the cigarette from him and asked me what I wanted, I told him I wanted him to put off the cigarette or go smoke it outside. He moved back in the crowd. A few minutes later the guy is smoking again next to me, "which part is so hard for you to understand, or are you so disrespectful to the law and all those people?" I said. "Don't involve other people in this, we have utmost respect for them, but yes, we don't respect the law" the tall guy responds. "You respect those people by respecting the law which is in place to protect them" I respond. Then their girl friends start pointing at other people in the hall whom are smoking as well. Well, I'll go talk to them as well, don't worry. So then I think to myself that I should stop arguing with those idiots and complain to the Police officer in the hall. On my way there, I find that the officer himself is smoking a cigarette. Wonderful, I take a turn and walk along the hall, and I notice that every other five people there's someone who's smoking, and every other meter there's a No Smoking sign on the wall. Just great. No I'm not going to file an official complaint to the airport authority. Not today.

Walking in the street with two of my friends and their wives, the horse carriage (7antour) is slowly creeping behind us, so I ask the guy to watch out. I ask him again to watch out while moving away from infront of the carriage to find his wheels hitting my legs. I just couldn't hold myself, shouted at him until my voice was gone, called him names, called him an idiot 3arbagy ibn 3arbagy sa7ee7. Just really wanted him to feel low. The drivers of the other carriages came by, so I shouted some more, cursing him some more. They finally all say they're sorry. While getting into our cars, my friends' wives exclaim at how the expression on my face is a calm cheerful one?! I tell her that I'm not mad, its just routine. While in the car, my big friend whose big body came in handy that night, asked me how I benefited from shouting at the guy and making a scene? I thought atleast they'll stop thinking that they own the street doing as they please, and ignoring other people's rights. Maybe he'll think twice before stepping over someone else. Maybe. Somehow, this is reminding me of the beautiful horse carriage drivers in Victoria. Those were some beauty 3arbageyyas.

Another day at the movie theatre, I'm standing infront of the ticket counter, which looked open with a guy behind it counting some cash. I wait for a few minutes till he finishes counting, then ask him to buy a ticket, and he responds that the counter is closed and I should move to the next one. What?!! Ofcourse I had to raise my voice, wondering how stupid he thinks he is standing there making people wait for him to tell them that the counter is closed. This is one of the famous incidents that a good friend of mine who likes to call me crazy provides as evidence for my craziness! He sure can find better proofs.

I think I'm finally adapting to living in Egypt.

I started this post with the intention of writing about getting personal at job interviews. How did that post turn into that! Oh well.


MoonLightShadow said...

Another evidence of recklessness!

haal said...

I just had a fight at the cinema yesterday. Standing in the line for more than 20 minutes, what line, a snake like one, then all these girls sneaking in the side line. So you have one line for naiive people like myself, and 1 left line for 'nurafekeen', some entertainers to the actual buyers, and the right one for those who are 'fa7laweya.'

I asked the big girl who looked like a ganag master to cut it out and stand in teh line and be civilized. She looked to me and swore she had been standing for long time. I said, 'No u didnt.' and the other guy behind me started screaming at her calling her liar. WE pushed her off. Then here comes my turn, this thin fal7ousa muhajaba wanted came to my right and wanted to do the same, I said, 'There is a line' and I pushed her hand. I was already nervous. She pushed my hands back, so I hold her from her collar and I gave her one dirty french phrase pushed her back. She swallowed her tongue and said, 'fee eih, e7na entering a cinema moush benetkhane'i.' I replied back, 'be civilized.' and I bit my tongue to a hanging curse.

Later, i was driving at Taha HUssien street, it is a one way street. This 'cool spoiled' girl, coming the wrong way. I was just entering the street, got confused for a second, suspected if I was the one going wrong way....until I heard her calling me 'STUPPPID' in english. I was pissed. I wanted to go back follow her and screw her little car.

Ok...this is a venting time for me. Sorry!!!!!!!

haal said...

One last thing, Slapping kids is just horrible thing. I hate it too. Again, I was in alex next to the Moursi abou abbass mosque waiting for the Teram. This guy kept slapping his little girl, 4 years at the most, for I swear more than 5 minutes. Takh tikh on her face, for something I dont know...whatever it was, even if she had slept with someone she doesnt deserve all this. I was with my aunt, who just visiting, and she said to him that she will call the cops. I said to her, 'cops eih ya madame. entee elly will get the cops for u.' I looked to him, smiled and said, 'your girl is so cute. She doesnt deserve all this slapping. Appreciate what you have. I am dying to have a kid as cute as this one.'

He actually stopped, and we gave her a little choclait.

OK..thats it for the day! Sorry again.

haal said...

last comment I swear, in France and I guess any civilized country, if I report to the police that a parent is abusing his/her kid (including hitting hard)they can take the kid away to a foster family where they can appreciate the kid. That is why my aunt was thinking of calling the cops... Different thinking khaless...

Ok... I will sign off... Haal SHut ur mouth. :)

Mohamed said...

On lines and turns. I was once buying a metro ticket, and the lines there are bubble lines around the ticket window. Whoever gets his money in the small window hole first, so I finally made it to find some guy squeezing his money next to mine in the hole. So I take his money and throw it aside. "Can't you see its my turn".

Sitting in the bank waiting for the current customer to finish, Hassan Yousef comes in and sits infront of me, greeted by the whole bank. The current customer finishes and the employee looks at Hassan to serve him. I jump up and tell him its my turn which I was waiting for it. I look at Hassan and ask him, didn't I come first. He says, No! I couldn't believe it! Are you sure? He said, well maybe.

haal said...

And No guys, I was not beaten when a kid, for you who think I was that is why I am reacting. Nope. Never got beaten. Actually once only for lying.


haal said...

Well, I hate them when they do that... He admited on TV that because he is hasan youssef he gets extra attention and faster service--which he actually uses when he wanted to facilitate something. So maybe he meant this incident with u.

MoonLightShadow said...

Me and mum were in a supermarket, and it was very crowded. There was supposed a line. While we were standing, a women came with her children and wanted to stand in front of us. It wasn't in front of me in particular, but in front of someone in front of me.

I hate it when someone stands in front of me in a line (generally someone taking smth which is not his right). So I started by giving her that looks.. they didn't work. Then I thought of not allowing her to pass.. bas za2tny.. That was followed by me shouting at her. Mum told me, I never thought you could shout in that way. But that lady really pissed me off. And I didn't let her stand in front of me.

roora said...

I expereinced that too but the opposite , I was going to the Doctor and he is my Dad's friend, and there was a patient before us waiting , and because I was gonna do something quickly , the Dr wanted me to enetr first , but Dad refused as it must be frustrating for some one who is waiting for more than an hour by now.

Child Abusing , they are concentrating about that issue in Egypt now these days , but what is more abusing not what parents do to their kids by slapping them becasue at the end they have some mercy in their hearts toward their own children.

But what I feel bad about and captures my attension are the kids who work in their childhood tough jobs like in tires shop, I pity them so much , they are not enjoying their innocent childhood because they need to get money that will in turn support their families and sometimes the business owners have no mercy on them and treat them as children.

Then they say we should not allow children to work , tayeb why the children work on the first basis ? the Money .

Regarding the actor , I like the man , maybe he came before you we ent mesh wakhed balak !

Stacey said...

This whole string of comments and the post made me think about the way in which class and ethnicity complicate this. As an American living in Cairo (as I imagine for many "Westernized" and/or upper middle class Egyptians), simply defending your place is line is often viewed by others as a kind of aggression.

Example: I was flying out of Cairo Int'l Aiport to Sana'a, and there were two Egyptian women in line - probably mid-40s, not super well off (they had plastic bags for their carry-on luggage, but were notheless in a position to be taking an international flight, so who knows?). I had been chatting with an Indian couple in line with me, on their way to Dubai, and these women elbowed in front of all three of us. The Indians were prepared to accept this, probably having gotten used to it in the Gulf. I politely reminded the women that line was behind us. They kind of chuckled, and didn't retreat, so I put my hand onto the conveyor for the hand-luggage, and actually forcibly put my bags and the bags of the Indian couple ahead of them. The two women retreated.

Not 20 feet further along, there was a second security check, and the women tried the same thing - so I raised my voice and said "Look, there's a line. I'm in the line ahead of you. This is not confusing, auntie." She turned to the security guards and they all had a great laugh at my expense. "These Americans - they think they can make everything go their way! So arrogant!"

So here's what I want to know - what's arrogant about keeping to the line? Yes, I understand that in Egypt the line system is not, how shall I put it...assiduously observed. I just wish that these women had seen or understood that liking lines is actually the opposite of arrogant - it means that you have a right to your turn, and no basha, or expat or AUC student can cut you just because they've got the cash/class/skin color, etc.

But I guess because I'm American I can't make that point.

Mohamed said...

Roora, I came before the guy. I'll make an assumption here that the reason you like him is not just because of the beard and his fully covered wife, because that's exactly what pissed me off at what he did. He sure is a funny guy though, I'll give him that. This incident was just after that TV series he did about Shaarawy, and all the bank were telling him, Mabrouk Mabrouk. Don't you think I wouldn've noticed him coming in after me! After I talked to him and the bank employee about not willing to give him my turn, Hassan Yousef said that I looked like a decent guy and he'll wait for me to finish. Mashy ya seedee..

Stacey, stories about breaking the civilized behavior law (which really should be enforced by whoever is running the place) are endless, and there's usually a tiny minority who try to protect their right in the line (if there is one). But labeling you (the one who has the right) as an arrogant American, I think arises from wanting to alienate you and label you as different, hence trying to justify that what you're doing is wrong! Its like me calling that horse carriage driver "3arbagy", which was me being a racist really in associating the name with the wrong act which I blamed him for. In your case ofcourse, you were being labeled while you were the one who had the right. Just one of the many things annoying here.

I'm thinking now of having a special permanent thread to capture all the daily annoying wrong things that are becoming the norm here, and share how each one handles that shit, so that we atleast don't feel like we're the crazy rare breed!

haal said...

So only because he is Hassan Youssef, you must re-think, think, think lest you didnt notice him. He cant be wrong, he must have been before you! Da Hassan Yousef ya basha. cant be wrong! Fee eih! Why is this attitude? And now you make it sound like he is being kind and modest as he let you infront of him. Eih el tasamou7 dah.

Mohamed said...

I don't get it. Is this comment addressed to me? Who's rethinking, and who's trying to notice him, and who said he was kind and modest?!!

roora said...

Peace ya Mohamed , I was just kidding .

I know tab3an that you didn't fell asleep while he was there before you in the bank ,
but I meant that he didn't notice you!
I think this is off topic any way

MoonLightShadow said...

"I'm thinking now of having a special permanent thread to capture all the daily annoying wrong things that are becoming the norm here, and share how each one handles that shit, so that we atleast don't feel like we're the crazy rare breed!"

I like that idea.

Alina said...

Well, I did get beaten as a kid a couple of times...It sucked and didn't help much! I cannot stand people hitting their kids and I hope I'll never hit mine...

Jane said...

My parents hit me as a child, as did my older sister. It was most unpleasant and it is still fresh in my memory after all these years. I NEVER hit my two children for any reason.