Monday, February 7, 2011
Out of Africa
A friend of mine remarked to me that though everyone claims it's a small world, he feels the world is incomprehensibly large. I write today from Bangkok, Thailand, and though I've just arrived, my life in Cairo, Egypt already seems worlds apart. Many thoughts melted across my mind, the way coconut milk slides across sliced mango, as I made my way from one continent to another. As I left my Cairene apartment on a rare misty morning only yesterday, I hoped desperately that though a luggage-bearing foreigner, Egyptians would not think I was just another tourist fleeing an "unstable" country. I wanted to tell anyone who saw me that morning that I was not running away after broken promises of Nile cruises or other scheduled tours. I was different, I was one of you. But the truth was I was packing up and leaving, just like any other tourist. As I paced the Bahrain airport during an uncomfortable lay over, I could not seem to shake the feeling. I wasn't prepared to be yet another tourist on a tropical holiday. I had witnessed something, something that changed me. Yet here I am, relaxing in a hostel that is a virtual zen paradise, the aromas of famed street food already wafting away the memories of revolutions past. Still, I console myself in realizing that no matter what happens next, I will recall with great fondness a time when my friends and I gathered and discussed our lives and our new country's future. For we were revolutionaries once.