On moving (back) to Umm el Donya (pt. 1)
4 March 2012 § Leave a comment
When PG and I got married everyone from his father, to my father, to, well, everyone joked that I married him for his passport. The reason we could all make this joke is because I don’t need his stinking passport – I have two perfectly good ones thankyouverymuch, and when it comes to the western one I’m pretty sure King of the World trumps his poodle passport. (This is a probably-too-subtle reference to the former political relationship between George W. and Tony Blair.)
However, that is not to say that I didn’t take into consideration the idea that by marrying a Farangi I was in part ensuring that we wouldn’t always live in Egypt forever and ever amen. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ve always had my sights set on other places – India, for example. The Philippines. I dunno. In the words of Fieval Mousekewitz, “somewhere out there.”
So when PG’s contractual year with the English state school where he was teaching was almost up, I started pushing for him to apply for a job somewhere out there. When we got married we agreed that in the first couple years we’d go where his job took us because in the past we’d gone where my studies took me, and also because I had at least one job (translation) I could take with me anywhere I went. So he applied for jobs in Malaysia, Brunei, Malawi, etc.
He got an interview with the school in Brunei, but when they found out he was married, and to a non-teacher at that, they told him that though they liked what they saw, they preferred to hire single teachers or teaching couples.
And then a job opened up at a good school in Cairo where PG’s Egyptian bff and mancrush also worked, and even though PG asked me if it was okay if he applied for the job here knowing that I hadn’t wanted to move back to Egypt “right away” I knew from that point on that it was a done deal.
Goodbye India. Goodbye Thailand. Hello familiarly busy streets (as opposed to unfamiliar busy streets), smoke and smog, noise and nosiness.
But also, hello to spending time with my family. Hello to a new old Egypt (kind of like the new old airport) and the old new Egypt, and hello to living outside the family home.
And hello to the stress of trying to move your most prized belongings (KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in Boysenberry!) back to Egypt without paying double their value in customs.
Which is really what this post was meant to be about, but which will have to wait for another time when I’m not doped out on pain killers for my cracked rib (I am the essence of grace and athleticism) and about to fall asleep…