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    Яαgιи Яαvєи
    Cairo, Egypt
    Wanting people to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you'll notice you've got their strict attention.
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Tapping at my chamber door

In 2008, I'll Get Me A Shotgun

I will also:
2. Get closer to
Job hunt some more.
4. Get closer to my
5. Learn a new language.
Finish at least one screenplay.
Lose the extra weight.
8. Get a
driver's license. I will not buy a car.
9. I will
rule my world.
10. I will have my

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Life without air conditioning – Day 12

Nauseated. I’ve always had a strong stomach. I could watch a gore film while eating, hear stories about “gross” domestic products and still be able to go on with my daily functions without feeling iffy.

Lately, things have changed.

I guess it’s like the fact that some people start wearing glasses at the age of thirty.

Except that today… they have that laser thing that they do to fix it all up, bring your vision back from that blurry place you’ve dwelled on…

perhaps even gotten used to.

Funny thing… a woman called at work, asked to speak a LASEK doctor. Why do they call it LASEK?

I just looked it up. Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis. What the… Kera what? Why not just call it Bobby? Why the white trash, 4-eyed, book worm vocab? I was never good at white coat lingo.

I wear glasses. I don’t really need them. I think my eye sight revolves around -1 and -0.75 or whatever. Not really sure. I only wear glasses when I’m outside home. I now depend on them while crossing a street and at work. Don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s the fear that I would miss that chasing car, the idea of the businessman look, the handshake and all that banker experience.

Maybe I just have a lot to hide.

I do like pushing it back while listening carefully to my colleagues.

The illusion of being intrigued.

All I know is that the doctor said that I don’t really need glasses… but then again I never needed those ten $15 ties that I bought off the internet, I never needed that new cell phone, I never needed that $10 styling gel bottle that I bought from Spinney’s now that I have a very short crew cut that I plan to hold on to for a while.

I never needed blogspot.

*Pause (Gotta talk to the brother)*


My brother just asked me if I wanted a 512 MB memory card. He already has 1 GB and 32 MB cards. I told him that I didn’t need it since I already have like three.

I also told him to hold on to it… you never know when you might need it.

Huh… yeah well.

I guess I’ll just hold on to the useless things that I have for a while… sometimes they’re just the dearest.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Only in Egypt - Chapter 3

Al Ahram – Friday 27 July 2007 (Front Page)

وضع الدكتور أحمد نظيف رئيس مجلس الوزراء أمس حجر أساس مشروع تطوير طريق مصر ـ إسكندرية ـ مطروح الصحراوي‏,‏ وتحويله إلي طريق حر‏,‏ والذي سيتم تنفيذه خلال‏36‏ شهرا‏,‏ علي‏4‏ مراحل‏,‏ بتكلفة تقديرية‏1.5‏ مليار جنيه‏,‏ ليبدأ العمل بالمرحلة الأولي وطولها‏50‏ كيلومترا وتبلغ تكلفتها‏443‏ مليون جنيه‏.‏ وأعلن رئيس مجلس الوزراء أن المشروع يمثل انطلاقة للنهضة في عصر مبارك‏,‏ مؤكدا أهمية قطاع النقل‏,‏ باعتباره من القطاعات الحيوية التي تمثل قوة دافعة للنمو الاقتصادي الذي يحدث‏.

Grab a calculator.

443 million divided by 50 Kilometers

That’s 8.86 million Egyptian pounds per kilometer. (Almost 1.5 million USD)

Now below is a Quick Cost Estimator table copied from

I chose a COMMUNITY CENTER model.

Note: 1080 Square Foot equals 100.33528 m^2 (Almost 1 Kilometer)

Notice anything?

Here’s another example… Now this time I used a 3-story factory cost estimate.

To actually construct a 1 square km 3-story factory still costs less than reforming a damn road in Egypt.

Correct me if I’m wrong… but… do those people really think we’re that stupid. I mean to have that article posted on the front page of the #1 local newspaper.

Oh well…

Pure mathematics…

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Monday, July 23, 2007

The "Screw" attitude

A girl at work called a robot last week. She says that when I’m busy doing something, a task, anything… I don’t look human.

I admit it. I don’t like being interrupted.

Back at my old office, before I got transferred in May, my work used to set an example to others. My friends, colleagues, and managers all observed, respected, and learned from my work. I usually look for what is needed to do a better job and assign tasks for myself. I don’t think that would make me a geek or a person with no life. It is because I do have a life that I always wanted to enhance myself and become a better person. I don’t bother myself with competition. I just look at what needs to be done and do it. You can’t joke all day and expect to do a better job. You have to justify your bank account to yourself. Give reasons to holding on to a job.

At work, that attitude is what kept me from sinking into the all-Egyptian lack of care and ambition.

I was not called a robot.

Unfortunately, at my new branch, even my manager feels sorry for me. Instead of setting the same example of hard work, I have managed to make them pity me like a rodent running inside its own self-created wheel. My new colleagues and manager try to avoid creating tasks for themselves and ditch all sorts of responsibility. However, they try to offer me their help so we can all go home early.

Home early… what a joke!!

Those women should stay home and cook, diet, or read workflows of fashion magazines. No offence but, don’t you think most women out there spend their time at work discussing fashion, diet, and cooking?

I used to think that I deserve to call the shots… but then again I don’t have the right connections… or attitude apparently.

Last week I tried out their attitude. Felt good, boring, and not very healthy.

At least I’ll get paid the same salary, right?

Robot my ass. That bitch!!

Rumor has it that that girl, who used to be someone in top management’s secretary, is the reason why I got transferred to that new branch. Apparently, she filled the slot of an average employee and since it was just her and a new guy, they had to get someone experienced to sort of run the show.

My inflated ego only lasted for a couple of days… then I realized that I was being used.

My newly adapted attitude should serve me well, I reckon.

Robots do malfunction from time to time.

Apparently, they do it for a reason.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Le Capisce L’Inglese?

A couple of weeks ago, I bought me a box set of CDs on how to learn Italian. I’ve always wanted to learn a language or two, but being the lazy person that I am, I never got to it. I once made it through one French class, but all that I can remember from that class is Je ne parle pas Francais. Parlez vous anglais?

At least it’ll make people understand that I’m just that good.

Today’s Saturday. I hate Saturdays. They mark the end of the weekend and even though I should invest the last day off, I always find myself just sitting there and doing nothing of value, mourning the death of joy and absolute nothingness.

So I got out the first CD only to find out that it’s an audio only set. I hate it when they rip you off like that. I always prefer those interactive ones where they actually check to see if your pronunciation is wrong. What good would it do if you can hear them correctly, but fail to repeat what they are saying?

Oh well, I tried it out anyways.

So lesson #1… I now know how to say that I speak Italian a little, that I don’t speak Italian, and that I’d rather speak English.

Funny… I’m back to square one…

Only this time in Italian.

PS. I just realized that the boxset cover says: Totally Audio.

It also says ‘scientifically proven method’. Scientifically?? OH COME ON!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tips for Egyptian shoppers

Make a once in a life time payment of 35 USD to Aramex – Shop N Ship.

They charge you for any custom duties and for weight. (There’s a weight rate calculator on the website). Unfortunately, the government makes you pay Sales Taxes for anything that you buy off the internet, but then again… if you try and sell the items… at least you won’t be breaking any laws.

The Cannon A640 costs around 3400 LE in Egypt. It cost me 2400 LE to buy the following package off

- The Camera

- Two rechargeable batteries

- Rechargeable batteries charger

- Two disposable cameras

- 1 GB memory card

- Canon Camera Case with Belt Loop - Lens Cleaning Kit - Flexible Mini Tripod

The 2400 LE includes all Aramex charges, Amazon’s shipping fees, and the government sales tax.

Of course you’d be giving up the warranty, but then again… the post sale services suck in Egypt and most items last for exactly one year then break down… I’d pay extra to get rid of Egyptian warranty if you ask me.

The Egyptian greed can be beaten people.

PS. Do not attempt to buy clothes off the internet. I tried it twice... can never get the size right.

On deranged marriages

It was mid April when we initiated the first contact. She works at a pharmacy nearby where my dad gets his daily meds. Of course, my father, like every loving Egyptian parent, asked me to go check her out. I figured sure… what’s the worst that could happen?

So I went. I saw her. I remember that my brother said that I should have introduced myself… but I figured that in the end I’m the guy… Guys usually take the first step and if the girl doesn’t like him they can apologize and that’s it… rejection shouldn’t be surprising for a guy. But I would hate to go propose to someone then not like how they are or how they looked or whatever…

Basically… I figured that if I went and talked to her it wouldn’t seem right. I mean the reason that I chose that “arranged” deal was for me to limit the chances of corruption. Al Shaytan lurks around always, I figured.

Oh well… at least my intentions were good I thought.

I was informed that she just broke off an engagement, but I didn’t mind.

Anyways… Since I hated to be rejected for being a banker or whatever, I naturally asked my father to get the owner of the pharmacy for whom the girl works to ask her how she felt about bankers.

To cut to the chase… all seemed good enough at the frontier.

The girl’s younger sister had her traditional THANAWEYA 3AMMA exams and they said their house was a mess. So we met at a club nearby (No wonder we all have memberships to clubs that we never go to). Bada bing, bada boom…I think the parents actually liked me. They spent the entire night chasing my two year old niece. She was hilarious. A little boy actually dropped by and asked us if we could take her home cos she kept bothering him. Her first crush… who would have thought.

Anyways… back to me now. Apparently, the girl’s older brother whispered something to his sister then to her father… then the father told me that he wouldn’t mind if I took the girl for a walk. How sweet of him, I thought.

We walked… we talked. I usually don’t have problems talking to girls… but this time it felt weird. Like really weird. I mean the girl I’m talking to could actually be my future Mrs. I figured. And… I COULD NOT MAKE UP MY MIND.

The next day, over the phone, we were informed that they would love it if we could get together again to give the two of us another chance to get to know each other a bit further. We met; me, her, my mom and hers. That second time went fine. It somehow felt right.

The night ended and the next day we were informed that since everything seems fine, we should sit for the “financial” part of the deal, but since the father was away, they’ll call again once he gets back from his trip to set a date.

Her mom called the next week and said that the girl changed her mind.

My sister ran into the girl at the pharmacy by accident. The girl said that her parents wanted the whole deal to move fast enough that it scared her away. Naturally, I went to the pharmacy and told the girl that if that is the only reason why she broke it off, then I wouldn’t mind for us to take our time to get to know each other until she’s settled. She liked the idea and thanked me for showing up. I also said that we should put the whole deal on hold until her sister’s exams were over.

Later, when my mother talked to her mom, we decided that we’ll get together in one month, when the thanaweyya 3amma exams were over.

Now here’s the twist… her mother said that they wouldn’t mind if I called the girl up during that month sabbatical.

I never called.

I didn’t want to call. I was escaping the whole phone calls, internet chats, dates, and all that crap and it all chased me back.

Eventually… the month passed. We called. The mother said that she’ll talk to the girl and get back to us. That was June 29.

I never heard from them ever since.

I guess that me not calling her up wasn’t the right move in their eyes, but it sure was the right thing to do in mine.

Am I pushing it, being too strict… or am I just right? I dunno…

I guess that the reason it ended will remain a mystery to me… but then again… nobody said that arranges marriages are easy… it’s just that I never thought I’d… you know. GET REJECTED. Perhaps it’s an inner egoistic monster that eats at me. I know I’ll still stick to the arranged marriages ordeal… maybe not? I dunno…

There’s the family, crapping in your mind with their bullshit theories about why they said what… and the hidden evil meanings surrounding their invitation for a brownie. Surprisingly their opinions about important issues rise long after the proposal has been rejected. If only they’d have told me earlier about what was said while I was away… I know I would have acted differently.

There’s the whole job interview feeling and the need to throw in your negatives in an attempt to be one hundred percent honest.

Now I’ve learned that they may call it arranged because the parents arrange the meeting, but I’d like to think that Allah is the one who arranges it all... who’s arranged it all.

A friend of mine said to me Seebak… ma7addesh beyetgawwez merat 7ad. To which I said: Well, not if they do it illegally.

I guess there’s always a bright side to things…


That was attempt number one.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Only in Egypt - Chapter 2

The following article was stupid enough to catch my attention.

Monday, July 2, 2007
Al Ahram Nespaper

طرح أراضي مطروح الموجود بها ألغام للاستثمار

100 جنيه للفدان بشرط تطهيره و زراعته (و البقاء على قيد الحياة)

قرر مجلس امناء الاستثمار بمطروح طرح الأراضي التي توجد بها ألغام متخلفة عن الحرب العالمية الثانية في المحافظه بسعر مائة جنيه للفدان للمستثمرين بشرط قيام المستثمر بتطهير الأرض من الألغام على نفقته الخاصة و زراعتها لمدة ثلاث سنوات متصلة داخل كردونات المدن و القرى. و قال محمد الشحات محافظ مطروح: أن القرار هدفه التشجيع على ازالة الألغامو زيادة الرقعة الزراعية.(و تخفيض الكثافة السكّانية).

Oh well…

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