Sunday, July 26, 2015

Goodbye, Times Of Our Lives!

With coffee next to me and the "Cairo" playlist blasting, I am ready to write what should have already been written: my farewell letter to Egypt. Naturally, as a highly emotional person who has surrendered to the fact that the only talent she has is bringing words to paper, this blog post was a long time coming. Musicians write songs about their experience, artists draw a picture and most people just indulge in memories while they go through their photos. I write blog posts! Thanks to my awesome friend Sherif I woke up this morning to a true masterpiece of a video that captured my time in Cairo with my friends, and I finally feel inspired to let my kind of creative juices flow: writing a freaking blog post!

"Nothing's ever what we expect, but they keep asking where I go next"

I'm not a religious person but these days it's hard for me to not believe in God as I watch this video. How was I nothing last year, with no hope and no happiness, and today I am able to look at a video that shows one year in six minutes, with faces whose mere existence make me feel like I'm blessed if ever there was such a thing. It's not self-evident that someone would be lucky enough to have such a video even be possible. I remember when I first came to Egypt and someone told me he was "a lucky guy". I felt the opposite about myself, so that boy offered to share his luck with me. Whether it was him, the universe or God who provided me with my luck that day, I truly stopped being unlucky because I was given a life I never thought I could have.

Within days of receiving that guy's luck, I had a boyfriend, a new job and subsequent career and a group of new people who would become my family away from home. I went from alone, unemployed and unfulfilled to excited and successful just because I had the guts to move to Egypt although it was the last thing I wanted. Due to my boyfriend and sister's help I never had to be the usual foreigner in Cairo that gets ripped off or lost, and thanks to a job I loved I got to go to open bar parties, dinners and interesting interviews which would have been impossible anywhere else in the world. On Thanksgiving, a few of us sat together and were thankful for having met each other, and today I know that it's worth being thankful for that.

Yes, you can find friends everywhere in the world, and it will always suck leaving people, but sharing an exhausting experience such as living in Egypt with like-minded people changed the way I look at friendship. When I was in need of muscly boys to help me move like fifty times not a single person bailed without expecting anything in return, and when I had the spontaneous idea to have some drinks on a boat an hour later my friends showed up in large numbers because why the hell not? This community of people who do not second-guess what it is that made you friends was the thing I took from Egypt the most, because "Why the hell not?" is the perfect attitude to have about friendship, and it rubbed off on all other aspects of my life as well...

Because some things sound stupid, many people hold off on doing them. If there's no reason not to do something, I will do it, and that's what Egypt taught me. If I can take daily sexual harassment, social injustice, horrible landlords, terrible wages, a police force that is anything but my friend and utter chaos wherever you look, I can take on anything. And why? Because all this is inferior to the power that lies in meeting the right people that fulfill, challenge and complete you. I find it hard to believe that any other place in the world is home to more interesting people that instantaneously make you want to stay with them forever than Cairo. There is no such thing as forever for me and Egypt, or me and these people, but there is a forever for me and all those memories, and for the first time their existence makes me happy, not nostalgic. Thank you, Egypt!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Yay, I Finally Get Romantic Movies...

Almost exactly a year ago, I watched the movie The Fault In Our Stars for the first time, assuming it was a comedy because I had heard so much about it. I don't have to re-read my blog I wrote that day to remember how utterly destroyed I felt after. Anyone who has seen that movie knows it's a lesson in sobbing and suffering, and even one year later the tears kept coming. But this time around, I really did watch a different movie, and the reason for that is not that I got accustomed to kids "biting it from cancer" but that I finally started to realize what the movie is about, and it's not a disease.

Last summer, the opening of the movie hit very close to home for me as Hazel was talking about being "depressed". 2014 Sina was not a good person: I was "severely depressed", according to one strange doctor, completely desperate, and even envied the protagonists of that movie although it's hard to admit that. I didn't particularly want to live, and I thought that having a short life with love was more valuable than whatever it was I was living. Triggered by m unemployment and complete unsuitability to live in Germany a cancer-ridden girl that was in love with a dying boy seemed somewhat fortunate to me because at least she did not have to go through her pains alone. I had never been in love, and didn't think I could be.

Just a few weeks after I saw the movie, I decided that this "depression" that never was one was done for, and everything had to change. With that decision, the way I would watch this movie would change as well. In Egypt, of course, I didn't have to face unemployment or the boredom of living in Germany. That's not what suddenly made me realize that The Fault In Our Stars was not primarily about cancer, but love. Living in Cairo, facing harder times than I could ever imagine and being challenged like never before, altered the way I looked at most things, but thanks to this experience I now no longer have to be jealous of the dying girl Hazel. I met my own Augustus Waters, and stopped having to be alone. 

Actually falling in love changes the way I listen to music, read poetry and watch movies. When the movie suggests that some infinities are longer than others, and that some are just better than others, I can now call myself a lucky individual who knows exactly what that means. The time I was given in Cairo would have been nothing without the experience of loving and being loved by one very special person who exited my world quite recently although he's not dead. Even though he's not the one I'm gonna be with infinitely, he was one of the biggest blessings I ever received because I learned to not be made of stone. He won't be in my life anymore, but I feel fortunate for having had that time, just like Hazel and Gus in that ridiculous tear-jerker, and just can't believe how much that experience has changed my life. 

Whatever is happening inside my heart right now would have been impossible last year. I watched that movie numerous times in the hopes that one day I'll be able to feel that way for a person even if I'm not dying, and today I know I can. Last year, I couldn't. With all the dying kids and overly cheesy displays of affection in The Fault In Our Stars, anyone would be hit right in the feels by this movie, but few people might ever really experience the feelings these kids were having, and that's not because not everybody has cancer. I'm not 17, I don't have cancer, and I don't want to quit living "this particular life" anymore, and I still know exactly what that movie is about: appreciating a life with love more, even if it's short, to a life full of time. I had my small infinity, and I will have another one!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What It Feels Like To Be Constantly Moving

It has been a while since I was last able to write: first I had a big visitor in Cairo, and then, well, I left Cairo. It's not like I thought about it much but one day I got on a plane without a plan to come back, just like that. With the looming departure, my last month was the biggest roller coaster of emotions I have ever stepped foot in. Between utter peace and devastating heartbreak I have experienced the full range in the last month. Now, I am writing from my as-short-as-possible stay in Germany and the emotions I have in the morning vary from those at night, and I am all together lost as to where they will be at come tomorrow.

Of course, I'm also in Germany, publicly known as the worst spot for me in the world, but whoever wants to read a bash blog about how tremendously boring and uninteresting Germany is may simply scroll down because I wrote these blogs before I left to Egypt (or Scotland or the US, for that matter) and nothing has changed... at all. While I spent the last year of my life meeting diplomats and artists, the Germans surrounding me in this hole have watched a new mall being built. I can't find a way to describe how that can ever be exhilarating to anyone. Instead, I am going to try to describe always being in transit, and about how sucky that feels.

The last month in Egypt was, everyone guessed it, the best time: Ramadan was wonderful, I finally had a place and I was figuring out some feelings I had for a long time with a pretty happy temporary conclusion. It always rocks in the end, but I wasn't doubting my decision. I left last week being at peace with my break from Egypt. Most of my friends are leaving, as it is the case after Ramadan in Egypt every year, and some people staying and I needed some time apart. All in all, my Egyptian departure wasn't a bad idea. But with departure comes arrival somewhere else. Just because leaving Egypt wasn't a bad idea, arriving somewhere else can be. And while at first I wasn't considering my goodbye to be forever, it's becoming more and more likely in my heart that I will probably never go back. The constant changes of plans also means constant changes in feelings, and it wears ya out!

How I even got to leave Egypt makes no sense to me now. Retrospectively, of course, every moment rocked. That is one of the vices of living the Wanderlust: memories fool you and you'll always love it in the end. But I knew the time was right. I knew it wasn't and wasn't going to be home. I knew that there was more to explore out there. Thinking the world is my oyster made me feel positive about the future; a feeling that Germany erases as quickly as possible. I still have that faith that everything is going to be alright, but the uncertainty and adventure I choose to live with is stressing me out despite choosing that life and having all my positivity. I'm in Germany now, in Macedonia next month, and God knows where the month after. Some people envy this freedom, but it's not all together pleasant.

Not having a home means you have the feelings of homesickness just with no place to link it to. Not having a home means that when things go terribly wrong, I have no retreat. My "home" in Germany is the worst possible place for me which makes everything worse, so I glide from place to place, desperately looking to receive some love from one that will be able to have me, waiting for something to come along that will make it stick. This constant moving is fun and interesting, but exhausting to say the very least. Waking up thinking "Anything could happen" unfortunately includes the possibility of being robbed and stabbed just as well as meeting the love of my life. All my days could be extraordinary but they could also be devastating.

Some people would call it adventurous, I call it lost. I envy all my friends who never made that "mistake" of exploring. They have money, boyfriends and girlfriends who are within a radius of a few miles and their own furniture. I can't even have these things if I tried with my lifestyle. Nobody could be more broke than me and Mamma shrieks at the term "long-distance relationship". If I buy something, I'll have to worry about how to fit it in a suitcase sooner or later. Granted, my life is probably ten times as exciting but it's also unstable and unpredictable. And I'm a small little kitten that just wants some security at some point, too. But no, not now, I can't have it. I gotta keep moving in order to even find a place where I could cuddle up eventually cause so far no place has asked me to stay. Maybe one day...