Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wake up call…..

Who gave my wakey uppy man a megaphone????????????? I am going to kill whoever it was!!

At approx 9am every morning a man walks around my whole neighbourhood looking for things- any old things… a rag and bone man I guess. I have seen him with anything in his cart from a man's shoe (just one!) to a sideboard.

I still haven't found out exactly what he shouts as he does his rounds to alert you he is there… but as Margaret pointed out when she was staying with me on holiday, it sounds like 'wakey uppy'. Anyway- since yesterday it just got a whole lot louder- grrr!!!!

Since writing this i have had more conversations with people about this wakey uppy man and seemingly the word he is trying to call is 'Ro Ba Beekeya' which is Italian for 'Old things' (any Italian speakers please feel free to correct me on any of this!) It ends up being shortened to 'beee keya' which for some reason really does sound like 'wakey up'!

It comes from the time when the Italians were a large influence in Egypt
(to read all about Italian involvement in Egypt check out this webpage

and since not all of the Italians living in Egypt were rich there is some debate from people I talk to whether it was the Italians themselves who wandered around shouting for old things, or whether it was the poorer egyptians hoping to get better things in their cart, by appealing to the richer Italians!)

Another form of wake up call happened this afternoon. I went to pay my internet bill at 11.30am. just a short walk from my flat. I got curb crawled the entire way home. In broad daylight (wearing jeans and fleece top!) . I was shaking by the time I got to my door- hoping the bowab would be there to send him packing but he was at the mosque. So I just cried on the phone to a friend for a while.

It really will be THE reason I leave this country. I love my job, and the weather and lots of things about Cairo, but these men who act no better than dogs.......... it's horrific. The bowab told me after that if it happens again I've to take the guys number and he'll go with me to the police station to report it. But the thought of being in a police station with all those men doesn't exactly relax me either! As expected my band all just said its cos i am so beautiful....... well- I dont believe it......... these men are animals who don't really care what the prey looks like just so long as they make their kill. It makes me sick.


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