Things I Have Learned In the Middle East

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I know, I know.  Calling this post, "Things I Learned in the Middle East" is a bit of an overstatement.  I was only in one middle eastern country -- Egypt -- and I really should call this post, "Things I Learned in Egypt."  I thought this "Middle East" title was a little catchier, though, and it is, technically, true.  I also, technically, could have called this post, "Things I Learned in Africa," but that just didn't feel right.

Now, here is the real problem.  I learned so many things that I really can't justify putting it all into one post.  That would be ... a really long post, and probably torture for some of you.  So, here is the first installment.

1.  One should never "play" with a bidet.

2.  In Egypt, one can hand over relatives for 2,000 chickens or 5,000 camels, if said family members are young and pretty, because in Egypt, men pay the bride's family a "dowry".  (They don't like the term "bride price".)

3.  As the mother of a boy child, I am fortunate to live in the US.  In Egypt, the groom's family is responsible for paying for the wedding, a dowry/bride price, 1/2 the furniture, and a home for the couple to live.  Just as bad, no child leaves home unless they are married, no matter how old they are.  Yikes!

4.  Sometimes, when you pantomime, "cold," wait staff will show you to the toilet.

5.  The biggest adventures threaten to happen during the small window of time that I decide not to wear makeup.  Murphy strikes again.

6.  Just because the right-hand side of the airplane is offered Diet Pepsi doesn't mean you can have one.

7.  Egyptians are in love with air conditioning, and their system has two primary settings:  off, and frostbite.  Sweaters are essential, even in the desert.

8.  Good luck finding a public trash can in Cairo.

9.  Montezuma was a Pharoah.

10.  In Luxor, sidewalks are for large bushes and small trees.  Streets are for cars and people.

Tune in next time for, "More Things I Have Learned in the Middle East."


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