A classic

Discuss the problems that can occur in relationships with differing cultures and help overcome any barriers that exist.

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BENNU
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A classic

Post by BENNU » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:19 pm

Twenty years ago, I knew a woman who would never turn up at social events, but usually canceled in the last minute. She was always broke and could not afford a drink, a pizza, an entrance ticket or a taxi home. I often saw her husband at nightclubs, concerts or parties, and when I asked about her, she was home with their children.

They were trying to save up for a trip to his African home country, but whenever there was money in the bank, he would have to go there by himself on some emergency. One day she was really worried. He had surprised her by buying a piece of land in his village for their future, well it nearly belonged to him. You see, each month he had sent an amount of money through Western Union to pay for this land. He trusted the owner, and him being illiterate had not signed anything, that was how it worked in his tribe. Now, just as he had almost finished paying, the owner had suddenly died, and knowing that he had a European wife, the relatives had doubled the price. Unless she borrowed the money in the bank, he would have lost his life's savings and their future dream would be broken. Now he had to go to court which meant the expense of another ticket for one to Africa and a lawyer.

Some years later, I ran into him in the street with an African wife and what seemed to be a child for each time that he had buried an uncle back home or visited the death bed of his father who miraculously kept resurrecting.

Fifteen years ago in Africa, I went to visit the families of the members of a band that I knew in Europe who were home for Ramadan. In each village, neighbours or friends they had not seen since their childhood would come running with sob stories that were translated to me from three different languages. One of them was about a piece of land that someone had nearly finished paying, when the owner had suddenly died and now he needed to pay twice the amount agreed or else he would lose everything. There seemed to be an expectation that I could easily solve this problem while breaking the fast.

Ten years ago, an Egyptian wanted to be my boyfriend, but I did not know him well enough. While waiting for my answer, he showed up at my doorstep, not wanting to enter. He knew that I was a city girl who dreamed of living in the country while keeping a base in the city, and he was just the same. As a matter of fact, he was working on this dream. Out of his 200 EGP monthly salary, he had managed to pay an old man 75.000 EGP over the years (he was not that young) for the perfect piece of land outside Luxor, where we could build our little Paradise together. Unfortunately, now that he had finally completed the payment, the old man had suddenly died, and though they knew about the agreement, his relatives refused to let him have the land unless he came up with another 75.000 EGP.

He did not ask me for anything, just gave me a look as if he expected me to pull 75.000 EGP out of the pocket in my apron. When this did not happen, he said that I could forget about him being my boyfriend now that because of me, he had to give up his dream and I had cost him all that he had worked for his entire life.

Five years ago, I was surprised to meet an acquaintance from Luxor here on my side of the river. He apologised for being absent minded, but he was a little nervous. He did not have to explain anything to me, but he was in trouble and had to go to court. He was in the process of buying a piece of land from an old woman - only a small piece, but she had suddenly died and her relatives yadayada... He was not very enthusiastic, it was as if when he saw me, he had picked a random excuse from the archives and come up with this little routine that he did not even want to play until the end.

This week, someone kept me company while I was waiting for a relative of his. He had known me for years, but this was his first (and last) chance to talk to me. He knew how much I loved Egypt, Luxor, West Bank and the landscape where he had often seen me walking. He loved the landscape as well, we were just the same. "You see the land behind those tall mango trees over there? That is where I shall build my little Paradise. That is my land, well it is almost mine, I have been paying..."

I looked at him very calmly. "Oh my God!", he said,"Oh my God! The stories you must have heard, and all the men who must have tried to tell you those stories... Oh my God! I am so sorry, I am so, so sorry."



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Re: A classic

Post by Scottishtourist » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:24 pm

Brilliant Bennu!
Priceless and classic.

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Re: A classic

Post by carrie » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:53 pm

A few years ago a friend told me about his friend who had recently purchased some land for 60,000le, I think. All well and good no mention of my buying land just conversation. A few months later I was told that this land was now for sale for only 45,000le, I jumped on him from a great height, why are you telling me this you know I will never buy land never buy a car/motor bike/house or anything else.
No, no you misunderstand, I was just telling you and wondered why you thought he was selling the land for 45,000 when he bought it for 60,000 just a few months ago. Yeah tell me another. :lol:

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Re: A classic

Post by A-Four » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:14 pm

I must admit Bennu, I have never heard of that one, from what evidence I have seen in the past they seem to go for the whole 'hog' in Luxor. Like a dear lady friend who once lived on the WB, I believe you can give a certain smile, that although difficult to describe, is internationally recognisable as an expression for,......'are you for real'.

It's a pity so many other people from the West did not have this addition, as part of their battle dress, when setting down their first foot on Egyptian soil.

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Re: A classic

Post by Who2 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:08 pm

2 days ago Aida 'her next door came round with a cousin, who works in the flesh-pots of Hurgharda.
He bought the 2.5 karat of land opposite me 2 years ago for 'He said "80k le, liar. So I said "When I came here it was 40k le.
Alas I never bought it then, but now also know it is illegal for us hawadga's to buy arable land here anyhow, anywhere....
'Mo has to have an urgent operation on his arterial valves in Cairo
'loosely understood, I told him I was a Dr and understood all his problems, theoretically it could well be true.
Anyhow, I tapped the table twice and said "em-sickle hasheb" and shook his hand and wished him well.. tata... :cool:
Ps: If he's that sick he'll be back..who know's ? who really cares ? 'Not I said the Eskimo...
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.

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Re: A classic

Post by Scottishtourist » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:24 pm

A couple of years ago I was be-friended by a charming young man in Luxor.
He was aged about 30,very handsome..nice body..he was one of the gym boys.

He introduced me to his family and we shared a meal together.He also took me to a family wedding and a very pleasant time was had by all.
It was his mom who did my threading for me..a lovely intimate experience!

Then..he blew it!
Started rambling on about land.He had a friend who owned land and would keep certain part of it for him..at cost of 60000le!
His (far fetched)intention was that with my assistance,he would acquire this land and build 3 storey dwelling on it.Floor one would be for his sister and mom,floor two would be for me and him..and floor three would be for my sister when she visited.Cos,after all that would work out cheaper than a hotel!!

Needless to say,he went into major "huff"when I told him to stop talking with me about money.
Jeez oh..the petulance!Told me he was going to break his sim card..and I wouldn't be able to call him any more.
My retort..shove the bloody sim card up your arse,for all I'm concerned!

Where on earth do these people get off?Did he really think that a meal of fish and onions entitles him to 60000le?

At point now where I don't feel sorry for any of them..cos they're only out for what they can get!!

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Re: A classic

Post by newcastle » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:52 pm

And what, exactly, did you imagine was the motive behind a 30 year old handsome, gym boy befriending a 50 year old foreign woman?

Did you think he was lonely - seeking intelligent conversation? :lol:

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Re: A classic

Post by Scottishtourist » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:06 pm

newcastle wrote:And what, exactly, did you imagine was the motive behind a 30 year old handsome, gym boy befriending a 50 year old foreign woman?

Did you think he was lonely - seeking intelligent conversation? :lol:
Nah newcastle.
Thought all along that he was just a "chancer!"

But..I was under no false illusions.Thank God for that!
Intelligent conversation?My son is 30 years old,very handsome,works out at gym.If I ever thought he'd bring a 50something year old woman home to meet me...he'd get a short sharp slap!lol.

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Re: A classic

Post by carrie » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:38 pm

As soon as I see or hear Gym boy no more need be said.

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Re: A classic

Post by BENNU » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:01 am

I have known men and women in Luxor and Cairo with personalities that have made it easy for me to imagine where they would be in life, had they grown up under different circumstances. Some sportsmen and dancers work out to be better at what they do, some lift weights as one of few chances to hang out with other men outside coffee shops before going home. Some simply love sports and had they not lived in a small town in Egypt, they might have been professional football players or members of some sportsteam, but the gym is often the easiest way to stay fit.

I have certainly known many men in my hometown who would go to the gym in order to build a body that could attract the opposite or same sex. Of course I see men in Luxor trying to sell what they have worked for at the gym, and I have seen far more than I like to witness, but there are not that many options around here for a sportsman, and some members of the gym are just that.

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