… but the past couple of days have been pretty weird.
For one thing, over this past working week, and on the ride home in a taxi cab everyday, I’ve always come across this old woman, the same old woman, at various points of the route home and she always extends her hand to stop the cab driver and as we drive past I always manage to hear her say: El sayeda!
The taxis never stop.
Thing is, she can barely walk and doesn’t look a day below 70 dressed in her black galabeya and all. She looks exactly like a character from those semi-modern Egyptian Soap Operas that are set in some random village located in an Upper Egyptian Governorate.
The day before yesterday, I got into a cab and experienced one of the weirdest cab-rides I’ve ever had… ever. You see, the cab driver looked extremely melancholy; sighing softly every now and although he seemed to be barely concentrating with traffic, he appeared to be a pretty decent driver. About half-way through the journey (on the Corniche – I work in Manyal and live in Maadi) he turned to me.
Cabbie: Ya bashmohandes, te3raf makan momken abadel fee dam?
Me: *one eyebrow cocked in a classic “Say WHAT?!” look* Mesh fahem asdak, ya3nee makan fee na2l dam? betdawar 3ala bank dam?
Cabbie: La2, makan momken abadel fee dam.
Me: Tebadel ezay ya3nee?
Cabbi: Ya3nee [and I’m not making this up] makan momken adeehom nos letr dam men 3andee we yedoolee homa nos letr.
Me: *Mouth gaping*
Me: *Close mouth* Ma3rafsh law fee 7ad beye3mel keda.
Cabbie: Mana ba2alee balef 7’amas sa3at, we mesh la2ee makan yebadel dam. Kol marou7 7etta bey2oloolee *unintelligible words*
Me: Bey2oolo eh?
Cabbie: *Unintelligible words*
Me: *%(*&$@* Ahaaaaaaa.
Me: Ana… ana asef, mazonesh enee a3raf makan beybadelo fee dam.
Cabbie: *DEEP SIGH and return of extremely melancholy look*
Me: *FUCK! Watch his god-damned hands. 15 minutes till I’m home. FUCK!*
He just kept sighing and looking melancholy for the rest of the ride. I don’t know why, but this experienced scared the living hells out of me.