The Alexandria Blues

With the weekly workload, travel planning for Christmas break, coordinating next semester in France (will I have a designated roof over my head when I arrive on campus, for example), job applications for next summer, being in a foreign country away from friends and family, and the other stresses in my life right now, I am overwhelmed.  Whenever this kind of malaise hits I get pangs of homesickness but today has been particularly wearing, for no reason other than that I’ve had time to blubber a little more than I’d like.

Like any other reasonable person, I enjoy a good cry, but I hate that sticky feeling of loosing myself from the rabbit-hole of pathetic wallowing.  So, instead of sampling the salt cakes at a pity party of one, I have decided to channel my frustration and melancholy into a list. I promise it won’t be syrupy and gross—even in this state I’m a classy chick.

Things I miss from home:

  • my fantastic group of friends, especially my Baum Shelter and Psych Ward ladies.
  • my too-cool-for-school sardonic brother
  • college football
  • wearing sleeveless tops and shorts
  • celery
  • my grandma 
  • salad I don’t have to double-check for safety
  • being able to see everyone’s hair
  • my mom and dad
  • working gutters (picture from Lauren’s awesome blog, Snapshots from Um al-Donia)
  • breathing space on public transit, especially during peak hours
  • talking to a guy without the question of whether he might want to use me for a visa ever crossing my mind
  • autonomy: knowing how to get places and being able to do it myself, or being able to just go the hell home if I’d rather loaf
  • not feeling awkward about my religious beliefs i.e. my complete denial of the existence of a god, my Buddhist upbringing, and my distrust for monotheism in general.  I miss it being a non-issue or the kind of things you say at parties to make people think you’re deep and introspective. 
  • tap water I can drink without spending hours on the toilet afterward
  • therapy dogs at Pitt on Tuesdays
  • being able to pet animals in general without concern that they probably have diseases or parasites
  • Holiday decorations in the predictable jack-o-lanterns and ghosts to turkeys and cornucopias to santa and snowflakes sequence.  As much as I complain every year about how Christmas seems to be coming earlier and earlier in retail, I actually really miss it now that there is none of that around.
  • people not yelling things at me on the street in broken English
  • fall foliage
  • College parties
  • late-night campus food 
  • not being stared at for my looks
  • understanding the majority of what is said around me
  • snow
  • my dog 

Ok.  Droop-fest over!  On to new things.


1 Comment

Filed under America, Egypt

One response to “The Alexandria Blues

  1. Andy K.

    I felt the same way when I moved to Philadelphia in the 80s! Well…at least I had a full grasp of the language. But you know, it’ll be all the sweeter when you return. And, certainly a fresh perspective about life in the U.S. Love, AK

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