Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good bye 28B Abd Al-Raheem Basha Sabry St., apartment #1!

So six weeks after I moved into this spaaacious apartment next to the Syrian Embassy, I am moving out, along with my two roommates David, the Buddhist and Carlo, the Italian. The main reason, unfortunately, is bed bugs have taken over the entire apartment. My main reason is that I have found a smaller apartment in downtown with cheaper rent.

Madame Nadia, the Kitchen Kleptomaniac
Tonight, David went to the kitchen with Madame Nadia, who scavenged the remains of his food from the fridge, which was a sensible act of diplomacy considering she still has his LE 3,500 deposit. She also took some cutlery and plates, and one of the saucepans.

David told me that she also wanted to go in and take the fan from my room, but he managed to hold her back, and explained that I would want the fan for myself. Clearly a clever lie, but now that he’s explained my false position, I actually want it. Dave wrote, “So you are welcome to it if you like, but be prepared for a fist fight with a small, rather creased old lady with only three remaining teeth. My money is on you.”

I will not miss Madame Nadia’s constant intrusion into our apartment. It has become so incessant that I asked my roommate last night if he knew the story of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, where a young renter murders his landlady. However, as I recall, that killing was for money, not for being a busybody.

I will miss a few things about living here: mainly, my current roommates; the amount of space and the three balconies with a lovely view of the neighboring ficas trees; the proximity to the metro and to my language center. And the daily calls to prayer (all 5) from the “mosque of light” (Masjid Al-Nour) below our apartment. Ironically, while many Westerners would go up the wall with such regular screams of piety, they were reminders to me of the time passing by.

Allahu Akbar!
God is the greatest!

La ilaha ila Allah wa Mohamedu rassolu Allah!
There is no God, but Allah and Mohamed is his messenger!

Hiya Salaah! Hiya Felaah!
Come to Prayer! Come to Success!

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