We all thought about leaving Egypt once or twice. The sexual harassment, the poverty, the pollution, the narrow-mindedness, the limitations to do anything because, well, we’re afraid of everything. Many encourage us to leave and find a comfier life somewhere else. But, if there’s one thing I learned about Egypt after travelling, it’s that you’ll always want to come back.
1- All the Food
You’ll miss everything that is sharky. The molokheya, koshari, foul, kobeba, zalabya, and oh my God, balah el sham and sawabe3 zeinab. Oh, oh and the kahk! I’m pretty sure I’ve had several dreams about these delicious mouth-watering foods when I was away. And nothing can replace them! Their failed attempts to properly make ‘falafel’ a.k.a ta3meya, disgusted me. And their Arab restaurants are nothing compared to Gad or Shabrawy or Mandarine Kouider; let’s face it.
2-Your mum’s cooking
After taking the decision to travel and attempting to live independently, I realised how much I actually missed my mum’s cooking. I may have complained about it for years on end as a child, But looking back now, nothing can compare to walking into your home after a long hard day and having your nostrils filled with the smell of your mom’s food. Cooking for yourself can be hard, depressing and sometimes dangerous to all our safeties. No one cooks better than Egyptian mums.
3- When you’re sick and your mum isn’t there, it feels like death
Living alone can be nice and all; you get all the privacy you’ve been craving. But once you get sick with a simple flu or fever, you’ll wish you were back in your Egyptian bed with your mom making you soup and giving you 7up to make you feel better. No one’s going to care for you when you’re alone, not your roommates and definitely not your classmates. You’re on your own. Our Egyptian moms though manage to make us feel safe, loved and cared for when we’re not feeling too well.
4- It’s never as lonely here
There’s always someone around and something exciting happening in this lively country. It’s never quiet, and “The city that never sleeps” is actually Cairo, not NYC. I mean there’s the bawab who is ever present spying on you everywhere, which can be seen as a perk. Having your parents in the house as well makes life a lot less lonelier, especially if you tend to fight a lot. You’ll realise that those fights somehow make your life a little more exciting. It can be quieter there, but at some point, the quiet will feel like void, emptiness and just plain loneliness.
5- The warmth
We complain about the heat, until we actually experience the cold. I remember wanting to cry at some point because I was feeling too cold and couldn’t do anything about it since I already had so many layers on me. (I know, sounds like a drama queen joke, but it’s true). Warmth is an actual blessing! The weather is basically perfect during winter in Egypt; it’s not too cold and definitely not too hot. That’s something you’ll definitely want to come back for.
So maybe you can travel and experience new adventures, because that’s what life is all about. But, it’s pretty great to know that you can always come back to this amazing country that is Egypt.