Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On Working for the Government


So first day of work, I go into a room full of strangers and semi-strangers. Round tables of all men and all women. Not a single one with both.

At the door, there was a sign that said "induction 14th-25th of February". It is the second of March and I didn't go to the office yet. We still go to that place, together. And if it is anything I have gained, it's the friends.

The friends and the fact that people like me are a minority. Upper middle class Egyptians are a minority. And middle class Egyptians are different- very different. And so are those who are not from Cairo. I have non-Cairo roots, that's true- but I have never lived elsewhere, my parents are urban as well...

I now know that not everyone gets a diamond for their engagement/wedding ring. They get a set of gold jewellery; earrings, bracelet, ring and necklace. I know that different classes use different slang. That not all men know their etiquette...
I know that some people have gone through much, much worse things.

But most of all, it's that I am a minority. It hit me today. Speaking about apartments and tastes and things. It hit me. Wow, I am not like most of these people at all! But we still managed to get along, yeah? Yes.

Hello, March!
Dear all, 
Make a happy list please?
Thank you,
Sara

21 comments:

Dinah. said...

I've been there too. I promise you =D
and I left the Job for that matter. I couldn't. people of the place matter too.

Caro said...

Go get an oreo cookie box and dunk a few, you'll feel better ;)

Randi Lee said...

aw, I hope it gets better! Why won't they let you get to the work already?!

Mohammed J. said...

and they are the majority egyptians :)

magnoliaamber said...

I am a minority in my country as well:)

I know how you feel. A happy list, wow, that can be very long!

G_Jah said...

Hope you settle down soon. Happy working!

Adele said...

i feel like a minority amongst my coursemates all the time! But if anything you'll learn more about yourself through getting to know distinctly different people (: you'll do great! xo

cinta / sepi / sayu said...

you are so gorgeous. xx

chicknamedhermia said...

It is always a shock to realise how different you are to the rest of the world!

My family would have been lower class, but they worked hard to make sure I was polite and well-mannered and aimed high in life, and that stuck with me. In school there were a lot "skangers" (bad-mannered, sluts, bullies, no ambition, caused trouble, etc, etc) and my upbringing made me avoid those groups at all costs and so, all through school I was very much a minority.

College was the first place I really felt at home, because people were more like me there.

One good thing about my upbringing was that I can get on with all classes easily and I don't judge people by their accents or where they're from!

M. said...

You're welcome : )
I like this post : )

健康保寶 said...

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Athena. said...

Sara, sara, sara,
I love you!
Your life is so interesting, and I hope I don't sound like too much of a creeper saying that.

I will definitely make a happy list for March and peg it to my wall :)
xxx

S.Elisabeth said...

Aw. Trust me every time I get an Asian joke, I feel in the minority. I guess its weird, because technically in America, we're all "minorities." And though our class levels have small differences, we all sort of blend together. I'm glad you're getting along with everyone though!

Hmm and here's something for happy. You get to call a country that has thousands and thousands of years worth of history home. For most of the people I know, the idea of seeing Egypt isn't even something they can comprehend, much less being able to live there!

Winnie said...

I totally get it. I feel this way sometimes too!

My course is almost all International students from China and even though I am Chinese, I was brought up in the UK so lead a very different lifestyle! It's interesting and you certainly learn a lot about yourself when you realise how different or even, unique you are compared to other people!

Mika said...

Hang on girl, it will be better. And what makes me happy? Eating lots of icecream. Mika (www.mikascrap.typepad.com)

Kamana said...

i am a minority in many many ways. one being that i wear western clothes and dont cover my head. in a fully muslim country where most are dressed in hijab, i stand out like a sore thumb.

Nahl said...

Such a wonderful picture!
You have a blog award from me. Head over to check it out. =)

in company with sparkles said...

I forget how privileged I am, so often. That's one thing I should never ever forget. My heart should break for people who have nothing, and sympathize (never look down on) people whose experiences and opportunities for life and travel and learning have been narrower. I really want God to expand my heart that way.

Happy lists are one of my favorite things! I do it on my blog all the time (though not necessarily with that title, or not formally. just writing what brings joy every day.).

love,
cait

beautifulnemo said...

I often think about how could you feel in situations like this, I really think about it.
I would love it would be different.
Hugz, my dear Sara.
:***

pilgrimchick said...

Wow--little nuances like this really escape those of us who have not had the kind of exposure to your culture that you have. What an interesting moment of realization.

missy. said...

i knew people didn't always get diamonds but i didn't know that they got other jewelry instead. how intersting! i hope you like your new job! i bet you do an amazing job.