I thought it would be insightful and fun to share what a day in the life of a mother looks like living in Cairo. I always say that I am a foreigner in Egypt who speaks broken Arabic and lives very much Egyptian life. When I say Egyptian life, I mean I have to do everything any ordinary Egyptian woman would do in her daily life. I have to go to the souq(an open market that sells everything that a supermarket would but at a cheaper price) to do by my groceries, I have to take the many types of public transportation (taxi, minibus, tuk-tuk, train, etc), often times you will see me bargaining in my broken Arabic. Oh, and did I mention I am here with two toddlers without my husband! Try to picture all of this without laughing or maybe you think I’m crazy like most of my family does.
So yesterday (or today, depends where you are in the world, it’s only 4:00 AM here), I decided to end my hibernation and do some errands with the kids. I always have to pack a team with me when I leave the house with both my kids. I carry one child in one hand and hold the other child in the other and usually I have one of the nieces come with me to carry the umbrella stroller. So this time we are a team of 4, everything looks great at this point, we hop unto a microbus which is a minibus that has small routes (see picture below) and arrive at our destination without a problem (well minus the crazy driver, who’s screaming at the cars and honking like there’s no tomorrow).
Off course doing errands in Egypt is never an ABC, 123 type of thing, it’s more like a Geometry equation. You gotta go up and down, left and right and in the end, you didn’t achieve anything besides a headache and a deep urge never to leave the house again. Ok, well I am exaggerating a bit here, so I did manage to do my errand but my kids now are impatient and I gotta give them something to eat immediately before one jumps out of their stroller. We go for ice cream and one decides to throw a tantrum so mommy has to hurry up and gulp her ice cream down her throat. At this point being out for half an hour, I am already thinking, “I want to go home”. After half an hour or so we went home and the fun began.
Now I am heading home with a very apprehensive child who needs a nap and is on a sugar high. Because we are a team of four we have to occupy only 2 seats on the minibus and have a juggle a purse, stroller, and the two kids in our laps. My oldest who is only 3 1/2 years old wants a seat to herself, there is no rationalizing with her so I have to let her nag the whole ride back and my youngest is now fidgeting and kicking the lady in the front.
Phew, I finally arrived home. Oh yay, it’s Thursdays which means that my in-laws that live below my apartment made food for the family. I get to my in-laws enjoy a homemade Egyptian deliciousness and all is good! I call this a successful day!
I made this post to take it lightly and have fun with it. You definitely have to have a sense of humor living in Cairo because life is nothing but unpredictable and the people here are very good at coping with unexpected events. I am trying to head in that direction but taking it day by day.
Leave a Reply