Kaddee’s Cairo Chronicles

June 25, 2009

Can’t fully grok this

Filed under: How it works — Kaddee @ 3:21 pm

Our AUC car will be here to pick us up in about 3 hours.  This is nothing new or different – but it is.  THIS TIME we don’t have a return flight.  THIS TIME we aren’t coming back.

I am having a lot of difficulty with this, for many reasons.  I am not fully prepared to leave.  I don’t mean that I’m not packed, or anything like that, but I am not chomping at the proverbial bit to hop on a plane while doing the Happy Jig.  This feeling is rather new for me.  Just about everywhere I’ve ever left, I’ve done so with a clear conscience and narry a backward glance.  The only exception was Seattle because I knew I was going back there.  Leaving Cairo is not like leaving Hamilton, New York or Albany or even Ports-mouse, New Hampshire.  When I leave Cairo, as sappily melancholy as it sounds, I’ll be leaving part of me here.  That is new.  That is hard.

And somehow the people here have become intricately intertwined in our lives in a very short time.  We have friends in Seattle that I’ve known for 10 years that I don’t feel as tied to as some of our Cairo friends.  Is that “trench mentality” (as a friend recently put it)?  Is it part of being an ex-pat?  Is it just the way that things are in Egypt?  I am already missing some off the friends, and we haven’t left yet.  And some we didn’t get to see.  Perhaps we never will.

There is also a complete and utter cognitive disconnect with our imminent departure and its reality.  I’ve watched my 603kg in 19 boxes disappear.  I’ve sorted, shipped or sh*t-canned all my stuff – AGAIN.  I’ve gotten the signatures and given back the keys.  And yet it isn’t real.

Perhaps it is simply the exhaustion factor.  Perhaps it is three years living in Da-Nile (heh – Zamalek is an island!).  I don’t know, but it isn’t real.


  1. I’m not sure you can compare leaving New England with leaving Cairo, for a lot of reasons.

    Trench mentality (nice phrase) applies to stagehands- and time doesn’t seem to change that substance. The friendships may be a bit thin outside of the trenches.

    Is it also leaving the adrenaline of the last few years?

    Comment by Molly — June 28, 2009 @ 6:14 am

  2. You ask questions where the answers did not go too well for me. But you have each other. It will all be okay.

    Comment by Marie — June 28, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

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