An Egyptian living in Europe but her heart stayed back home. Having some random thoughts about the before and after pictures. Ghawayesh means bracelets. In my context it symbolizes the cuffs of my culture. I don't know if I like them or hate them. Thanks for passing by.
05 November 2006
I Want to be Famous
If you want to know the plot of this post, you will have to read every word of it.
You know there are sometimes things that you hear or see and you just never forget. Things that immediately make it into your permanent memory and pop out as flying-by thoughts every now and then. They don't have to be major events. Just small clips of events you lived to witness.
Since I was a child, I have noticed there was a major difference between the East and the West in the way women are viewed, and therefore a difference in the way women in the two directions express themselves. The very small details always caught my attention and stayed in my memory. The way they dress, the way they wear make-up, the way the walk, the way they talk (this one needs a separate article), and the way they view the world and themselves.
I have those short memory-clips of some Egyptian women walking like an Egyptian-- If you know what I mean -- and talking like one: as a weasel in a porn, and using those cliche words like: "Ma3sha Alloooooo, you look like a mooooon.. M3erci3 A3wi, R3abben Ykhal333eeeeky, h3e h3e" (with a weasel tone, get the picture?).
On the other hand, needless to say that Western women always seemed more free and self-assured to me. They could do whatever they wanted, in a good or a bad way, since men often saw them as equals.
Sometimes I really wondered how far those Western women would go..
One evening I was among a group of people, I can't recall where or who or how, all I can remember is that a Dutch guy (with a stress on *Dutch*, coming from a place where you can be as rude as you want and get away with it) suddenly said: "I would forgive everything, but if I find out that my girlfriend poops, I will immediately break up with her".
I have absolutely no idea why this sentence is engraved in my memory.
A-HA! So there ARE differences like the ones we have.
But I once had a roommate who insisted on having red wine every evening for dinner.. And to my bad luck we had a morning schedule for using the toilet and the shower, in which I used the toilet after her.
MAN! What can a glass of red wine in the evening do to the odor of your morning-after poop!
I was just sitting there *crying* while turning blue every morning.
A memory clip of me entering the toilet and being overwhelmed with this "HABW" of smell is still saved in my hemispheres.
On the other hand, I have a sister who didn't do a number two for three months after her wedding out of fear of her husband hearing her fart or find any post-Kaka odeur.
I recalled all this this morning.. As I was sitting on my "throne", something occurred to me: How do cultures differ considering women and pooping?
As an Egyptian and as a woman, do I poop like others? I wonder.. Has there ever been any research on trans-cultural pooping styles and smells?
There are many options.. You can sit with your knees close together when you squeeze, or have the legs wide open, sit up straight, lean back, or lean forward. Rest the head on your fists during those long poops, or on the tip of your toes as opposed to having your feet flat on the ground; you can sit long enough to have sleepy legs, or to have toilet seat marks on the back of your thighs and two elbow-imprints just above your knees..
Do you read on the throne?
Do you take your time? Or are you always in a hurry?
Is the mission often impossible?
Do you try to be quiet in public toilets? Do you feel any sense of obligation towards other people's feelings? Do you get the guts to go uninhibited if and only if your neighbor broke the taboo and started an orchestra?
Do you go nuts when a drop of water jumps back to hit you in the butt like a stray bullet?
How would you feel/react if you found out there's no toilet paper left?
And as an Egyptian, when you go abroad, how disgusted do you feel if there's no shattafah in da hood?
Do you ever say goodbye to your poop? Do you ever look back and check on it, taking into consideration that your poop tells books about your health? Dutch toilets have this great feature of a poop scoop, where there's a platform that receives the stools and keeps them on display until you decide to flush farewell.
Do you try to hide the smell like a maniac?
How would you feel if you found out that the toilet won't flush?
I wonder. Do pooping rituals say something about us? Are there cultural styles in the way we poop? Does it have to do with our personality?
And one last thought: Old-fashioned French toilets are the BEST invention for the constipation nation. The lower the toilet, the better. Did you know that? If you are constipated, just 2arfas, or put a box under your feet so they would become as high as possible. Satisfaction is guaranteed.
So what exactly is the plot of this post?
All my life I wanted to be famous. For something.. Anything..
And now that the memory of this post, and hence me, will pop out in front of you every time you use the toilet, then it is making me famous enough.
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