The Order In The Country

I can neither drive a motorcycle, nor identify a getaway plan were I able to motor this thing. Imagine then my sadness when I came upon it and could do nothing more than admire and photograph it, this glorious moving open-air garden. Some human delivers life, oxygen, and beautification all from this tiny little motorcycle pulling a trolley situation. Isn’t that amazing?

Nothing is tied down, so how does everything inside remain side-up? Do they have a website? Is this like a food delivery system, but for plants? Whom do you call? How do you choose? When will they come? Do they have instructions per plant? Is anyone else as intrigued by this as I am?

It’s these sorts of things which catch your eye in this country, and it’s these sorts of things which fill it with beauty. At least to me, this is the case. Beauty is in the small things most often unnoticed.

Like this chair, which I walked past regularly. As you can see, it is facing the street. Zoom in to notice that its seat is composite a slab of wood, nailed into the body. I’ve never seen it occupied though imagine that by its mere presence alone, it is regularly occupied. In the same way that If you build it, they will come.

As mentioned prior, there is a very specific order in Cairo. Anyone telling you that it is chaos is merely someone unaware of the order within what appears to be, but is most definitely not, chaos.

This chair, for example, is the perfect expression of the existing order.

In almost every public parking area, you will find men guiding you. ‘Go there, park here, watch your back corner.’ They watch the cars parked, make sure (as much as possible) that no one smashes another. They are not employed by anyone but themselves. Sometimes, they even wear a nametag and a vest. Again, they do not work for anyone, though they are providing this service. Which means that they are not being paid by anyone. A little odd, right? Not exactly order, yea? Except everyone here knows that when a driver leaves a parking area, they are to hand such men some money. This is how they are paid. This is the order beneath what appears as none.

Sidebar: I have no opinion on whether this is right or not. I was a guest in a country and treated with the utmost kindness, and grace by every single person whose path I crossed. So long as this is their order, I will respectfully adhere. I’ll only ask you to merely keep this in mind when peering into a world foreign to your own.

Finally, I am super happy to confirm that I was correct in my assumption that the reason for which people keep saying to me Inti assal is because I smile. As I was stepping out of our area yesterday, the lovely older man who sits at the door said it bluntly. He said Wallah d’anti assal. Heya aldu7ka dee, assal! Translated to English, he said I swear to God you’re honey. It’s that smile that’s honey. Of course I wanted to hug him. But settled instead for saying thank you.

Exchanging salaams with him whenever I came in and left, became a source of comfort. Earlier this evening, as we drove out to the airport I waved goodbye like a mad-woman. He didn’t know I was leaving; I couldn’t tell him, because it would have made me sad. Instead, I am promising myself a return to Cairo and all of its sources of comfort, such as he.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. Having made my connecting flight, after a full sprint across Amman airport with a backpack weighing three small toddlers.
2. The gentleman sat next to me on the plane who without a word during or after, simply took my earpiece out of my hand and plugged it into itself before plugging it into the screen. Thanks for helping me watch my movie, stranger!
3. Gaza’s zaatar, very yummy in my tummy and the taste of home.

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