Upon moving to Egypt a year ago, in the midst of Ramadan, I was constantly told to "wait and see how fun Egypt is after Ramadan, because it sucks right now." I really didn't notice much of a difference when September rolled around, but I figured it was the constant inundation of new stimuli that caused the failure to notice how fantastic everything became after Ramadan. This year, I was wondering if the difference would be noticeable. So far, it is...
There is a holiday atmosphere and at night the streets are flooded with people, businesses are open later, and still, the twinkly lights make me smile. I have totally transitioned to a night owl which is a complete transition from my days as a barista when work began at 5:30am :p Now I go to sleep after 4 and I love it. There's something magical about being out late at night and having so much to do besides go to a bar and stumble to Denny's (don't get me wrong, there were good nights in there, too, but it's fun to have a variety).
Today was a physically trying day. I felt pretty tired and run down, and slightly faint when sitting up. However, since I didn't have anywhere to be or much to do, I spent the day reading and stuck to my fast. I think I finally drank enough water last night because I noticed hunger more today than thirst. Not sure which is better, lol. I know it's only four days in, I just hope my optimism can carry me through the rest of the month. I turned down offered food and alcohol without feeling upset about it. I've gone dry for a period of time before, so that really doesn't bother me. Also, I feel as I get older that it might be a good idea to look at the example my parents set and slow down quite a bit on the liquor.
I'm getting close to completing my first year here in Cairo. I know I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I really hope my pyramid of illusions doesn't come crashing down anytime soon. I'm really feeling like مصر is home and I love it. Yes there are challenging days, but half of the reason I moved was to escape tedium. I like hearing the bikya guy come down the street with his little donkey cart. I like having the challenge of learning a difficult language (and constantly being teased for it). I love the food and drink, I mean, fresh juice, feteer, tamayya, ful, shawerma, and ahwa, c'mon! So far I'm thinkin, "choice well made."