My views, observations, questions about everything in this world ....and that country they call Egypt.

29 July 2007

I'm Sending Out This Tune

A lot of my favourite artists are releasing new albums this year which is really exciting. It can be a little scary though. I ask myself what if I don't like their new albums? I've liked most of their stuff in the past but will I like their new stuff?

Bjork released her new album Volta recently. After many listens, which is necessary for an artist like Bjork I thought 4 tracks were brilliant and 4 I really hated. The other 2 I thought were ok. But, as you know with Bjork, tracks that you might hate now might be your favourites later on (Pluto for example).

Keiko Matsui's new album Moyo is excellent. Her music strikes me as a mix between Sade and Omar Khayrat!! Smooth piano jazz, sometimes poppy accessible and sometimes a little sophisticated yet rewarding on the 3nd and 4th listens. I prefer the latter of course. If you're gonna find her album I suggest you go for A Great Romance, Caricias, and Um Novo Dia.

Radiohead is releasing a new album this year, hopefully. Another band that I really like is Oi Va Voi who basically play experimental fusion of Jewish music. You'd really have to listen to know what I'm talking about. Here is a live performance of their self-titled new album. The song is called Black Sheep. Enjoy!!

Oh, btw, if you were expecting a different post, just hang on, it's gonna come eventually!

09 July 2007

Where The Morn Meets The Dew

4:30am is a really weird time to call someone. It is! I mean what is 4:30am?? It is not 'late' and it is not 'early'. It is not the end of the night and it's not the start of the new day. Did you get up early or stay up late to make that call? It is just odd! But that's what happened, my cell phone rang at 4:30am on a weekday. I went to bed at about 3am that night so I wasn't in deep sleep when it rang. I tried to ignore my loud ring tone, but I couldn't. I reached out and answered it. I was sleepy, disoriented, annoyed, and alarmed. It was a female on the other line, and this is how it went:

Me: Hello?
Caller: Hi.
Me: Hi.
Caller: MC?
Me: Yes?
Caller: How are ya? It's me Sally.

She spoke in English. I took a moment to get my English back and gather my thoughts and shake off my dreams.

Me: Sally who? I think you have the wrong number.
Caller: Sally! Sally from New York.

Note: Ya, so places and names are obviously fictional.

Me: Madam, I don't know any Sallys. I'm not sure how you got my number or my name, but it's too late for a prank call right now so I'll have to say goodbye now.
Caller: It's not a prank call. You know that!
Me: Listen, lady I'm not in the mood for this. I have to go back to bed now.
Caller: Why are you pretending?
Me: What???
Caller: Is that you MC?
Me: Are you done with this?
Caller: OK I don't buy it that you don't remember me.
Me: Look, I absolutely have no idea who you are. I only know one Sally and she's my friend's sister and I am quite certain that it's not you.
Caller: What are you doing?
Me: Doing what? Listen, the only reason I haven't hung up right now is because you're a girl and I'm being courteous.
Caller: So what you're just gonna hang up on me now MC?
Me: hmmm... No, but you have to understand how awkward it is for me to get a call from a stranger at 4:30am!!
Caller: I don't know what to say. Can't believe you forgot me.
Me: I'd have to know you first to forget you and I don't!!
Caller: If you are playing with me please stop it now.
Me: Can you please stop this attitude? I'm not doing anything. You're the one who's calling so please get to the point or I'll have to end this.
Caller: ...
Me: Hello?
Caller: Yes.
Me: You have to understand that I am being extremely patient with you. Ok how did you get this number?
Caller: How did I get this number?
Me: Yes, how did you?
Caller: MC, you gave it to me!!
Me: What??
Caller: ...
Me: Ha, I see what this is. Ok, you can stop this prank right now and put whoever it is of my friends that set this up on the line. Is F?? Is it M?? No it must be F... ah or S from overseas... Good one.
Caller: Emm... this is not a prank. No one set this up.
Me: Alright, come on.. it's over, you got me.
Caller: ... (a pause, sobbing)
Me: wow... are you crying?
Caller: No I'm fine.
Me: Ok if this is a game it's a sick one that you're playing on me but I'm gonna take this to the end.
Caller: I just didn't expect this response from you. (still sobbing)
Me: Ok, please no more mysterious statements like that. And please stop acting like you know me. Be honest with me now, who told you to do this?
Caller: No one asked me to do anything. You gave me your number and told me to call if there's a problem.
Me: Wow... ok... this is messed up.
Caller: You really don't remember me?
Me: Are you sure you got the right person?
Caller: I think so.
Me: Ok, now how exactly are we supposed to know each other?
Caller: We met on a train 2 months ago, in New York.
Me: Okay.. hmm.. Are you Egyptian? Sally, that's an Egyptian name... sort of.
Caller: I told you, I'm half Egyptian. That's how we started talking on the train. Remember? you said something about the book that I was reading then you asked me where I'm from.
Me: Lady, what you are talking about has never happened to me in my entire life!!!
Caller: ...
Me: Wait, do you realize you are calling an Egypt number?
Caller: Yes, I know... I had to call you, but I didn't expect this. (emotional).
Me: So why would I give you an Egypt number if we met in New York?
Caller: You were visiting your sister and family here and were heading back to Egypt, so you gave me that number.
Me: That is amazing...
Caller: Please remember MC... you said once that you had bad memory... No that's impossible, people don't just forget things like that, you're just duping me MC.... (crying now)
Me: Ok I'm going to be honest with you. What you said about my sister and family in New York is true. However, I was no where near NY two months ago. I was in Egypt!!
Caller: No that can't be... please don't do this.
Me: Ok Sally, honest to God I don't know what you're talking about. In the last 6 months I've never left Egypt.
Caller: ... (crying)
Me: Ok now I don't see why dialing a wrong number should make you cry now?
Caller: How is this the wrong number? It's you! You're name is MC and you have family in NY.
Me: I think someone has set you up. And set me up as well. Actually I can't believe I actually believed what you've just been telling me here. I mean you're telling me about events that didn't happen to me. How crazy is that?
Caller: Ya.. he he. (a sad laugh escapes through her tears)
Me: Ok Sally. What do I look like?
Caller: What?
Me: What do I look like? If we've really met then you'd know what I look like.
Caller: You're cute!
Me: Ha... ya that's not gonna work with me. Be specific.
Caller: Emm... You have dark wavy black hair. You have kind brown eyes. You have an oval face with full lips. I don't know how to describe you. You're slim with a nice figure.
Me: Hmm... Ok. I guess I can fit into those descriptions. But I think lot's of Egyptian guys fit that same description as well... I mean slim with black hair and brown eyes is very common here.
Caller: Hmm... Ok Let's see. You have pale skin, and not a lot of hair. Almost a boyish look. You have a Fossil watch with a wide black strap. Shall I keep going?
Me: Sally... That's not me!! I have darker skin and facial hair. I do not own a Fossil watch either!
Caller: What are you saying?
Me: You are describing a different person.
Caller: Impossible.
Me: Listen the only thing that I know for certain is that I've never seen you in my life. And I can only think of two explanations for this. 1) This is an elaborate prank call set up by one of my friends. 2) You've met someone that looks like me who happens to know me so he gave you my number as a joke or whatever. And I know quite a few Egyptians in NY, so that it is actually conceivable.
Caller: Are you telling me that two months ago I met someone who later gave me your phone number so he could shake me off?
Me: Either that or you are making all of this up.
Caller: I'm not!! (voice whimpering)
Me: Hey, listen... I'm sorry... I don't know what to do.
Caller: Nothing, it's ok.
Me: Are you sure?
Caller: Ya, I should have seen something like this coming anyways.
Me: Am sorry again.
Caller: It's alright, well I guess this is it then.
Me: Ya... am speechless.
Caller: Ok well, take care then MC or whoever you are.
Me: Hey.. wait.
Caller: Yes?
Me: Emm... sorry to be intrusive, but since we're complete strangers that have been talking for 15mins now, can I ask you why you'd call up this guy that you met at 4:30am?
Caller: Well, it's useless now isn't it? I just wanted to talk.
Me: Now?
Caller: Well, I just couldn't keep it to myself anymore. I had to talk to him and he seemed like a nice guy.
Me: You're being vague again.
Caller: After we met on the train and talked a bit and we went for coffee.
Me: Okay.
Caller: Well, you know. One thing led to another so we ended up in bed. I know it sounds like a one night stand but I think it was a little more than that. There was a... connection. But I couldn't get myself to call earlier.
Me: So you slept with a guy you met on the train? With no protection????
Caller: I know how it sounds but it's really not like that. I don't sleep with random guys at all... And-
Me: (interrupting) No, don't tell me. It's none of my business really... Sorry.
Caller: It's OK.
Me: ...
Caller: Hey how did you know we didn't use protection??
Me: I don't need to be a genius to figure that out. You're calling him at 4:30 in the morning because you obviously found out that you're pregnant recently.
Caller: Right.
Me: Well...
Caller: I guess I'll let you go now.
Me: Sorry I couldn't be of more help but-
Caller: Wait!!
Me: What??
Caller: ...
Me: Hello?
Caller: I have a question now.
Me: What is it?
Caller: If it was someone else that I was with, then why would he use your name? Why would he use the name MC right from the very beginning? Did he know he was gonna sleep with me, and then have to give me your number when he introduced himself? That doesn't make sense does it?

I panicked. There was no way out. I hung up the phone. Oh Crap! It's all down the drain now. My oscar-worthy performance is all down the drain now. What was I supposed to do? It was 4:30am and the only thing I could think of was to act as if it didn't happen. I have to change my number now. I'm too young to be a father or deal with an abortion. I just don't want a mess right now. Quick! Quick! I have to change this number and disappear!

Before, you all start fraking out, this story is not mine. It belongs to an unnamed friend of mine.

04 July 2007

Taha And Za Byramidz

Alright, this will be more understandable and a lot funnier to Egyptians. Very funny indeed!!

A foreign Newspaper wants to publish a report about the life in Egypt, So they send a female reporter to interview the common citizen in Egypt. When she arrives at Cairo, she picks a random guy, and starts her interview:

Egyptian:We 3alkom el salam ya 2otta
Reporter:Do u speak english?
Reporter:Do u mind if i interview u?
Egyptian:No, i dont have a mind
Reporter:What' s your name?
Taha: I love it
Reporter:oh no, i meant male or female?
Taha (yelling): what do u sink?
Reporter:Its just for the sake of the report..never mind...male. ...
Taha:yas male..and i can brove it any time u want
Reporter:No, thanks,I' ll take u for ur do u find life here in egypt?
Taha:Egybt.. very nice cantry..nice wezar..nice food..byramidz
Reporter:oh...well..beside the weather and the pyramids..what else do u like in ur country?
Taha: Byramids,nice wezar,nice food
Reporter:Ok. .lets move on..what do u do?
Taha: I am very well ,sank u
Reporter:No, I mean do u have a job?

Taha(looking around him and whispering): Jobat? i dont have any (jobat)..lessa mastaba7nash. .do u have a (job) with u?..we can esmoke it in my car..dont warry about bolice
Reprter:Oh my god, DO YOU WORK?
Taha:Yas yas..Taxi drivar
Reporter:What do u think about the traffic problem in egypt?
Taha:Very big broblem..very much cars..u see?..but za guvurment is
trying to make it bettar..zey did the circle street and za me7war street..and zey make all streets one way so if u go..u cant comeback..niahahaha3

Reporter:What about the economic problems in Egypt?
Taha:I do not undurstand what u say
Reporter:I do u deal with money problems in egypt?
Taha: No NO NO..egybt very rich cantry...we have alot of cotton..alot of water..and we have byramidz
Reporter: So do u make a lot of money?
Taha:No no.. it is not legal to make frend i know make money at home..and he go to brizon..if u make money at home..u can only give it to za banzeena man..they take any money
Reporter: let me rephrase..since Egypt is a rich country.. do u have a lot of money?
Taha:me?! ..Not alot..but I eat and drink Al7amdulelah?
Reporter:Then where does all the money go?
Taha: Guvurment
Reporter:And what does the government do with the money?

Taha:Zey Build circle street,me7war street and make all streets one way
Reporter:well , Ok...Do u vote?
Taha:What duz zat mean?
Reporter:Do u choose your president
Taha(nervously) : i didnt give my voice..but if i was..i will give him my voice
Reporter:Why him?
Taha:Because he was an airoplane in za war..he waz za leadar airoplane
Reporter:But there r no wars right now
Taha: But if we have war..u see?...we know we will have a very good airoplane in it

Reporter: what about the last 26 years?
Taha:I got marry..and have 3ala2 and Amira..and drive taxi
Reporter:No, i meant what did Mubarak do for Egypt in the last 26 years
Taha: He build circle street,me7war street and make all streets one way
Reporter:Thank you very much for ur time Mr. Taha
Taha:No broblem,only 10 bounds
Reporter:I never said i will pay u for this
Taha: Ok..just give me the (job) then..we smoke ,and make head
Taha:ok ok..need a Taxi?

01 July 2007

I Cheated Myself Like I Knew I Would

Stupid, stupid, stupid MC!! Errrrr! How many times do you have to learn the same lesson? Stupid MC, how many times have you promised yourself not to drink again? Idiot!!

It was Ned's engagement. But let me introduce Ned really quickly to you. He's a close friend that I've known for a long time, since junior high or prep school. He's my gym partner and he's the one I have guitar jamming sessions with usually. He's been dating an American/German living in Cairo for a while now. She seems like a nice girl but I can never seem to get on her' good side for some reason. It might be because I tend to speak to her in English when she speaks Arabic just as well.

The engagement was in Hannah's (the fiance) villa in El Rehab. Everything in the party was very well done I have to say. The set up, the music, the service, everything was perfect. Half the people were Americans or foreigners living in Cairo. It mostly took place in the villa's back yard, though the term 'back yard' does not give the proper picture. It's a garden with high fences covered with plants. An enclosed garden with tables, chairs, couches, and an open bar.

An ex-best friend named Alfy had flown in from Lebanon for this occasion. Alfy was a best friend of mine till more than 6 years ago when we lost touch for some reason. I hate to judge the guy but I have to. Alfy's goal in life is to get laid as much as possible. Girls are a very high priority i his life. It's obvious he went to Lebanon for that reason. Lebanese women are famed for their good looks and western attitudes. I made Alfy finally confess to his true reasons for going yesterday at the party. I hadn't seen him or talked to him for at least 5 years and boy did he change. Did he get a nose job? Maybe, I'm not sure. Anyways, he looked like a player ready to go and start flirting. I am sure he's good at what he does, he looked very confident.

I had already pre-made the decision to get drunk before getting in this party. I'm so stupid. I know what will happen but I do it again. So I socialized for a bit, usually sticking to people that I half-know. I started with cranberry vodka. Wow, even just the name makes me wanna throw up now. I drank, socialized, drank, socialized.

By the time it was time to dance I was already drunk. Now when you get drunk your dancing skills improves 10 folds, or so it will seem to you!. Anyways it's not very clear in my head how, but somehow I ended up dancing with a petite dark-haired Egyptian beauty who turned out to be my recruiter. I've talked many times to her before about jobs and stuff but never met her. That's weird eh? dancing with your recruiter. I feel super bad dancing with her though... I am not exactly a single guy anymore am I??

The next thing I remember after the dancing is me throwing up for ages besides a tree outside the villa. That sucked big time! It's one of the worst feelings ever. You can't concentrate, your body feels like crap, you're constantly throwing up. I embarrassed myself in front of Ned and Alfy, not sure who else saw me I'm sure many more were there to witness. A lot of people were talking to me and comforting me and stuff. It was on par with my Rome incident. What was worse though were the torturous hours after the chauffeur and his helper dropped me off at home. It was awful... endless trips between the bed and bathroom trying to vomit when I got nothing in my stomach. I am pretty sure I messed up my digestive system. I even threw up the water that I drank when I was trying to sober up. And I've been on a food strike for 24 hours afraid that if I eat something I'll throw it up again. I'm telling you, one of the worst feelings ever.

So MC... don't drink again! You know what happens when you drink. Remember your epic hang overs, when you're about to have that drink.