Egypt’s future isn’t promising, and that’s why people keep leaving. But many of those who leave wish they could come back. You think that you won’t miss anything about the country once you turn your back on it, but that is far from the truth. While you’re abroad, you miss “home” even if home is Egypt. With all its downsides, you can never change the fact that it will always be your home. Egypt’s ability to suffocate you while you inhabit it and break your heart when you leave it is powerfully unique. Also the truth is that some of the things you’ll miss are things you never thought you would and might also be some of the reasons you left the country in the first place.
1- The ‘no rules’ concept
We complain about how everyone dismisses the speed limits and traffic lights. We complain that there aren’t enough stop signs and that people double park everywhere. Yet, when you live abroad for a long while, you start to miss the chaotic life because there’s something familiar about all the chaos. It screams “welcome home”. When you travel abroad, you miss the concept of doing whatever you want, whenever you want it because YOU CAN.
2- The fact that you can throw garbage on the streets
While I don’t really recommend this anywhere in the world, when you travel abroad and walk around in clean cities, you start to care more about the environment. In Egypt, there’s garbage everywhere so when you add to it, you clean your consciousness by reaffirming yourself that “mesh el wara2a di el hatbawez el denya”. Outside of Egypt however, you will rarely see garbage piling up on the streets, so you behave and of course start to appreciate cleanliness. After a while however, you will find yourself walking around with so many rubbish inside your pockets or bag that you will miss the streets of Egypt (Again, I highly advice you to use trash bins). But then we come back and miss the cleanliness and fresh air.
3- Chaos & noise
And that includes street noises such as honking and street fights. You will miss hearing the robabikya guy screaming out “robabikya” at strange times. You will miss the misa7arati waking you up so you could munch on beans and drink water with your eyes half open during Ramadan. And you will definitely miss the screams and roars projecting from every house and jammed cafes during Ahly and Zamalek matches. You will miss the good street fights where everyone runs to the crowd and tries to meddle and break it up.
4- Your mom’s free services
Nothing will ever top your mom’s kind and free services. When you live on your own, you will do your own laundry, cook your own food, clean your own room and be 100% independent. In Egypt, we complain a lot about how we’re all grown up but don’t really feel like functioning adults yet, because we’re 23 and still being smothered. But when you travel abroad and try to make it on your own, you will miss and appreciate everything your mom does for you, even if she does it while complaining.
5- Your hangout spot
Each one of us has his/her own hangout spot, a cafe/restaurant/kiosk/street which they consider their second home. It’s where they meet their friends on slow days, on days during the week and when they’re broke. No matter how hard you try to have a place like that abroad, you will fail because it will never feel the same.
There is no such thing as kiosks in foreign countries and even where this is a kiosk, it’s not really like the ones we have here. In Egypt, a kiosk could be a hangout spot. We give kiosks strange names and a certain one could even become our meeting point with friends.
7- The sun
Nothing compares to the warmth of the Egyptian Sun. When you live abroad and natives tell you, “It’s a sunny day outside”, you feel the urge to tell them, “You haven’t seen sun.” You especially miss waking up to the scorching sun during the summer and it’s time to hit the beach.
8- ‘Belhob’ concept
Concept “belhob” isn’t exactly something we should be proud of. We hate it when we’re here, but we have to admit that it does come in handy sometimes and plays in our favour. For example, when you run a red light and the officer lets you go “belhob” or when you buy something from the kiosk underneath your house and tell the guy you’ll pay him later. You would never get away with things like that outside of Egypt!
9- Delivery in the dead of night
There is no such thing as 24 hours delivery anywhere in the world. In Egypt however, your 2 am cravings will be quelled through a single phone call. You will never run out of snacks, food, beverages as anything can be delivered to your home, anytime of the day. We even let the supermarket get us bread from the bakery next door when we place an order!