We all love our home country, Egypt. No matter how good or bad it treats you, you still love it anyway. There are those moments, however, when the Egyptian identity strikes you with how bizarre it really is and haunts you no matter where you are.
Egyptians can be easily spotted aboard airplanes, never ceasing to amaze you with their weird behaviour that makes you just want to hide your passport, yet give out a giggle. From hearing “ya kharabe fee eh..benmut?” during air turbulence to disobeying the cabin crew safety instructions to refusing to turn off our phones, the list is endless. In case you’re planning a getaway trip somewhere, we’d like to give you heads up that just because you’re done with the take off, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Here is how you can spot your fellow brothers and sisters:
1. Boarding resembles Soo2 El Gom3a.
All around the world, boarding time means that people would start lining up in a queue to get aboard the aircraft. In Egypt, some people think it is based on first come, first serve. You can easily identify an Egyptian crowd racing up the airplane tube to get to their pre-checked-in seats.
2.We like to make ourselves at home.
Once you board, you can find that many people have already made themselves comfortable and took their smelly shoes off. If you’re lucky, you might even recognizes others in their PJs or watch typical housewives getting on with ‘ta2tee3 el kheyar’, because why waste a couple of hours on the plane…huh?
3.Save it all for the plane’s toilet.
You almost always find people rushing to the bathroom right before take off or landing. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with the airport bathrooms?
4.We ask for and fight over the window seat.
We would all love to get a view of the clouds…No one wants that other seat with no view. We will punch you and even make your life hell, if you take that window seat….don’t know why, but I do pray for that seat myself!
5.That stranger on the seat right next to you, madame Ferial or ostaz Mahmoud, will be your best buddy for the flight.
3ashan ehna benheb el lama, you will find the person next to you asking personal questions like ‘ente ya 7abebte la2ete ebn el halal?’ or ‘ enta tal3 el khaleeg tekawen nafsak?’ even if you’re on a flight to the United States!!
6.The space in between seats is for children to have fun.
Once you take off, you notice annoying children screaming “khalawees..lesa” and the next thing you know, Hamada is bumping your elbow while chasing his friend down the aisle.
7.Those refreshment beverages on the plane…We drink juice as if it’s the last day on earth.
The flight attendant will be filling your cup throughout the flight without even checking with you first, because we drink juice as long as the plane is not landing or taking off. Free Juice, who says no to that…right?
8.People referring to flight attendants as “Mona..ya 7abebte juice wenabe”..or ” Hamada ya 7elewa..eidak ma3aya bas”
We like to call flight attendants by their names and treat them as family. Of course, you always find those Egyptian harassers who ask for Mona’s number (the flight attendant) and for those, we wish the plane takes you down.
9.You are allowed up to one hand bag with you on board…or 3elbet basbusa.
Wherever we go, ‘Basbusa’ tags along . Egyptian always like to buy Egyptian food for friends or relatives abroad. Frankly, I do take pride in that particular one. Don’t you?
10.We will clap for the pilot after safe landing. He just saved us by not killing us.
Once those wheels hit the ground, we will be cheering for the pilot who did his usual job and landed us safely. You will be hearing people giving feedback on the landing technique ” msA..take off malban” or “el tayar malee eido mel tayara”.
It’s not like we’re making fun of who we are. Even though we know that some of these practices may be quite embarrassing; it never stopped us from taking part. Personally, I wouldn’t mind spotting fellow Egyptians on the plane, because I would feel at home chitchatting to madame Ferial on a long TransAtlantic flight. You gotta love this country with all its ‘Basbusa’!