Thursday, March 13, 2008

never boring..............

one of my favourite phrases to use to describe Cairo is 'it's never boring!'. here's what happened yesterday, in a fairly uneventful day, just to give you an idea.

  • I signed the contract for yet another year working on the pharoah. It is all written in arabic and they laughed when i asked what it said!
  • To write my name, on something I couldn't read- i had to sit about and wait for over an hour and a half!
  • While sitting waiting, the police came to move us on (was sitting with 'my boy' on a bench on the corniche beside work) not really sure why this was acceptable behaviour on thier part- surely people can sit on a public bench for as long as they like?
  • I met the general manager of the boat, for the 1st time, even though I have worked there for a year.
  • I froze to bits eating my KFC lunch- since the sun has come out in Cairo some people seem to think that means it's acceptable to have the AC on in restaurants etc at 16 degrees. When i complained , the cleaner took the remote control out his pocket and changed it by a degree (I'm sure it got even colder!)
  • The irony of going to get pampered, ie getting nails done, which also means have the hairs on your face ripped out with threads.............. ouch!
  • My 1st show of the night, on the sunset sail (which leaves after sunset???) was to 4 tables. I felt like I was back in Edinburgh! However, still managed to get them up dancing and got a party atmosphere going so was happy until...........
  • I did one dance, turned round and when I looked- every single one of them was looking out the window- not a soul looking at me. Grrrr. well- what could I do? I could stop, or walk off, or pretend they were watching, but i decided that what I really wanted to do was dance for me- so me and the tabla player just went a bit mad- it was fantastic! I didn't look at the people once- just at the tabla and floor and me.... danced my heart out... then he pointed out I should look at the people and not one of them wasn't looking at me!!!!! A fab show considering how little the audience was!
  • between that sail and the next I finished my book, which had been a present from a good friend. Its called 'Chicago' and its by Alaa Al Aswany. Wonderful- read it in 2 days. All about medical students from Egypt who go to study in Chicago and all the cultural differences they discover. Tells a lot about human nature, and about Egypt life! I really recommend it!
  • had a fight with my singer as to why, yet again, even with all this work i had in one night (3 sails), my fanoon weren't there with me....... (the 2 men who dance with sticks with me in the saaidi section of the show). He makes more profit out of me if he doesn't have to pay them you see..... so often they are 'busy' and can't come! Grrr
  • Another fun tabla solo- totally improvised, since this was a drummer I have only worked with twice before. Think he was enjoying himself as much as I was!!!
  • going up to a guest and asking 'where are you from?' to get the reply 'Scotland'. His face when I said I was from Edinburgh, was a picture!!!! so funny!
  • my friend Amanda came to see me dance, and brought a friend from London and her Aunt, who's Egyptian. It was really fun chatting in arabic with her aunt after the show, and I always love when i have friends to see me- it brings out the best in me (thats what comes from being a show off I guess!!!!!)
  • I managed to get smiles and laughter out of an Italian tour group! Usually they are the hardest audiences to please- but these people were lovely!
  • while dancing I overheard a woman say to her husband- 'she pulls some faces!' i instantly replied , mid dance, 'thanks very much' ! after, when I thought more about it, I realised that wasn't a phrase you would really find outside of Scotland, and yes- they were from Glasgow! I just LOVE seeing the range of emotions that flood over a persons face when they have been watching the 'egyptian dancer' and suddenly realise that I am from their own country!!!
  • Was told that although we don't wear them at all in Cairo anymore- I should ALWAYS had a shebka (a body stocking) in my bag when i work, in case the musanifat (police, sort of) come to check if I am decent or not! when no one told me this a year ago I don't know!!
  • Last show (4th) of the night was nearly all Egyptians in audience. The atmosphere was wonderful, I felt amazing- they were all singing along with the music and very appreciative. Can honestly say I felt like I could really dance last night, which, for me, is saying something!
  • The most amazing things of the whole day was probably the fact that i laughed and joked with the taxi driver on the way home, and he didnt' take that as a sign to be slimy with me!!!!!

So, that was my day. See what I mean. An average day. I didnt' find it boring- if you have got this far with reading it then hopefully you didnt' either!!!!

Oh- and if you still are checking this on the blog- why not get my posts sent direct to your email inbox- you just need to click on the link, it's easy!!! I have readers all around the world now- it's really exciting for me!

1 comment:

Luna said...

Hi Lorna,

We liked your stories about Scottish members of the audience because our night on board the Nile Pharaoh was a bit like that. We sat round the table, watching you, going "No, she can't be Egyptian...", "Yes ,of course she is", "No, she can't be", "But she dances so well", etc etc.

While you were giving it laldie, there was heated debate going on at the table! It was only when you had vanished offstage that the MC said "Shukran Lorna" that we all went..."LORNA!" My brother googled you when we got home and the rest is history!

I really enjoy reading about your trials and tribulations as a brave Scottish independent ex-pat. We admire your bravura. Luna especially is a big fan and I reckon that one of these days (well, not that soon as she's only nine!) you'll have a wee half Frenchie-half Glasgow at one of your workshops.

All the best,