July 21, 2008

Alexandria?! Why Not :)

I can’t count the number of weddings that I have attended in my adult life; I am always having an occasion to attend. The other day Brad teased me that I seem to be a marriage registrar because I attend too many weddings!!
I hate weddings part of my hate of unnecessary socialization (look who is talking!!)And because I hate the fact that weddings are organized occasions so that people can have a legal way to show off.
First the couple, the bride shows off her dress and the man who bought it as the groom shows off the beauty he is going to spend the night with. As for the parents, they show off the wonderful kids they brought up and they show off how much they paid in that party. Then comes the guests turn who will happily show off the dresses, the jewelry, the bodies and last but not least the spouses.
I am arrogant but I am not a show off, so I will always try to keep things simple unless provoked by a competitor. But being simple never meant going underdressed, that’s why with each wedding on my calendar my hunt for a new outfit starts. It is my cousin’s turn to tie the knot; he is the second cousin in less than 3 months and the 4th wedding in the same side of the family in a year. If you are familiar with the Egyptian wedding customs you will know that for a single girl like me, I am expected to show up wearing a new dress. So as soon as I remembered the upcoming occasion I started my new hunt for a new outfit.
My plan for this wedding is shocking simplicity, I hate the bride. I won’t even honor her with a post. They won’t be having a typical Egyptian wedding (sigh!) they will be having a formal dinner instead. I am a person who keeps classifying occasions in mind, and this occasion didn’t fit under my definition of a full evening dress so to impress (as my grandma who also hates the bride asked me to do) I got a pure silk blouse by Zara (I never wear silk, that change is impressive enough, huh?!) thinking that it would do the trick but unfortunately my jeans won’t be appropriate for the occasion, so I asked my cousin to hunt for a pair of pants with me.
These shopping sprees resulted in no pants. She got me my first birthday gift for this year, she bought a new bag and a matching pair of shoes and she got her daughters some toys, shirts and shoes too. And as she shopped she started selling a new idea to the open for ideas me. The idea she was selling was a place, Alexandria. She is supposed to be living in Alexandria but she is one of the unsettled souls who keep moving back and forth from one city to the other (her beloved husband is an officer). And as her days in Cairo will be coming to an end in around a year and seems that she could use some family in Alexandria she started tempting me to relocate.
When I pointed to a pair of shoes saying that they look nice, she happily showed off the pair she was wearing saying that she got them for a bargain price in Alexandria. When I was frustrated because I can’t find the pants in the color I am searching for she said that she has seen the pair I have been looking for in Alexandria. And when I finally decided to dump the whole idea of hunting the simple yet impressive outfit she smiled pointing at the set of table cloth that I thought will go well at home saying that this very set is being sold in Alexandria at half price.
I admit her trick worked and I caved saying that I really wish I could live there. I have always wanted to escape busy Cairo and live in a less crowded city. A place with a view, and what’s a better view than the wonderful coastline of the Mediterranean (I can think of a couple of places but won’t ruin the idea *wicked wink*)
Though it is the main summer escape for the Egyptians I am not that familiar with the city. My parents were never Alexandria fans because it is too crowded in summer. I visited the city for a couple of times I hated it in summer but I adored it in winter. I almost hated the city the last time I visited it a couple of months ago. We have better malls in Cairo and we have the same traffic. I liked the sea but I have the mighty Nile cutting through Cairo and I never bother to go enjoy it, I bet if I ever lived in Alexandria I won’t be seeing much of that sea. If Sameh didn’t eventually save the day I was going to get back home hating Alexandria for good. Actually, when Sameh saved the day I loved Sameh I can’t credit the city for the fun I had!
Anyway still, my cousin had a point to make as she believes that I didn’t know the real Alexandria yet and whenever I do I will never stop falling in love with her over and over.
Between you and me I won’t really mind relocating to Alexandria, Alexandrian women are known to be of the Femme Fatal type. Maybe if I moved I would get some of that quality (I need that even more than the outfit!!)
But if I am to be Alexandrian this will be for one reason that I won’t say and will let it for you to guess. LoOOoL



6 comments:

Arabista said...

Interesting view of weddings...I on the other hand love them! Though probably because I haven't been to so many!
Interesting about Alexandrine women tho...

insomniac said...

hey!! i keep hearing the whole femme fatal thing about alexandrian women!!! as a person of alexandrian heritage who lived in cairo most of my life, i keep hearing the same thing from my alexandrian friends, only about cairene women!!

i think it's el sheikh el be3eed kinda thing!!

Shimaa Gamal said...

Hello Arabista
I can love a wedding if they ended up serving Om Ali ;) This is the only way to bribe me to stay else I will always show up for few pictures to document my attendance then leave in silence :)

As for Alexandrian women ... hmmm believe me they are different. Actually there are cultural differences even within the same country. I admire Alexandrians but I don't really know if I can be one :)

Shimaa Gamal said...

Hello Inso

You know, it is not "el shiekh el be3eed" thing. The Alexandrian's traits are documented in a very famous Egyptian proverb. I will say it in private, Sameh & Brad are Alexandrians ;)

Anonymous said...

Speaking out of long encounters and interactions with Alexandrian women, starting from my mother to my colleagues and friends to my lovers, even my bike that bears the proud name of "Alexandra", I would reckon the Alexandrites (Alex women) have a rare but very attractive blend of cats' personality and the character of the sea. If were to describe them in a nutshell I'd say that no matter how strong and proud they appear, they always have a weak spot towards the tenderness of caring male figuresque. They are bitter defenders and fierce fighters against anything or anyone who threatens their personal lives or loved ones. Just like the roar of the high sea and a growl of felines. Yet at their calmer moments their natural beauty challenges the sun setting over the shiny sea, and the royalty of proud lions. With the sea they also share the some qualities as generosity, unpredictabilty, calmness, and unsermoutable wrath. Not any sailor can sail their tides, yet anyone can playfully tease their waters. Yet again with felines they resemble a bunch of personality characters that many regard as a staple mark; they are most quiet when ready to attack, endlessly patient and know where to strike for a deadly assault. They never deploy raw power as opposed to the uncannigly wits they aquire. A thing that I personally admire to the uttmost extent. I also have to mention the sweet soft purr the express when comforted or engaged in an affectionate touch.

Shimaa Gamal said...

Didn't I tell you girls :) See, here is the poet telling you why each and every woman should watch out whenever the word woman is associated with the place Alexandria.

It is the sea I guess :)