October 3, 2008


Random things here in Egypt frustrate me. Little things. Small annoyances, you would think, but they add up and you want to scream.

Like last week when I was covering a bazillion books with the plastic covering stuff, I cursed the stupid tape (or "Cello-tape" as they call it here) because it's so frustrating to use, trying to find the end or tearing it with your teeth instead of being a civilized person with a nifty little thing called scotch tape with the handy cutter.

Same thing when attempting to use plastic wrap on a roll and you end up with it sticking to itself, or tearing a piece of paper towel pulling half the roll off because the perforation isn't adequate. Try pulling out a tissue and having 5 tissues follow it out!AAAAAH! If one day these happen one after the other, then I've lost it and gone to the bad place. Crying, and rocking back and forth repeating "All I wanted was a tissue!"

Almost all products here are inferior. For those of you in the US...Appreciate the little things. Don't take that roll of Bounty for granted man! Write a letter of thanks to the good people at 3M for coming up with the brilliant tape cutter thingy! Alhamdulilah, but it's just a rant.


  1. hahaha! the stupid plastic wrap! i remember one time i was trying to wrap my husbands sandwiches early in the morning, and i couldnt get it off the role, it just get tearing in wrong places and i finally threw it and started crying and told my husband to wrap his own damn sandwiches! nothing here works right, it really doesnt! the quality is so bad, IF you can find even what you're looking for, but mostly we have to settle for some kind of cheesy imitation. ARG!

  2. Anonymous3:59 PM


    sometimes i think...they have no sence knocked ito them..i mean it's the 21st century..they need to "it2dam"(taqadum) u know..for cryin out loud..

    wa shukran

  3. Anonymous4:21 PM

    Maybe you could spend a little time to think about what it's like to be a Copt in egypt

  4. Yea, UmTravis. Paper and plastic products here have caused more tears than they should.

    Anon#1 Indeed.

    Anon#2 I was just thinking the other day on Eid if Copts here felt left out on our holidays the way we did in the states...I think they enjoy the time off, but don't know how they feel otherwise. If you're Coptic, maybe you could shed some light on the issue. Or start a blog. Or read a blog by a Copt in Egypt.

  5. Two things to say:

    1- Dear God I'm with you. Its either the products here, or the people. Or both. I was looking at an outlet in my kitchen and noticing once again that the hole in the wall is bigger than the face plate, and then I looked around my kitchen and realized that all the holes are bigger, and differently-shaped than all of the face plates... and then looked around my flat and found the same thing almost everywhere.

    i just don't get it.

    2- Not that I'm disagreeing with anon #2, I know its kind of hard being a Christian in this country, especially in Cairo for some reason.But really... what does Copts/Christians and the way they are treated have anything to do with a rant about being frustrated with inferior products?

    Did you measure it? Is yours longer than hers?

  6. Molly, it's both, of course not all people, I mean people who "finish" apartments don't take very much pride in their craft. Paint is always splattered on the window panes. Another example: 4 out of 5 of the door knobs/handles in my apt are messed up. NEVER in my life have I ever had any door knob issues in the US.

  7. I understand what you mean... Thank you for making us appreciate the little things. I once tried to buy the "sale saran wrap' here cause it had a free oven mitt and it was horrifying. Your rant reminded me of it. I wish the people who made these products would internalize and be reminded of the hadith meaning: If one of you does a deed, to perfect it. Maybe we can send letters to those companies and show them the real functioning products and tell them that their companies would be successful. etc. I mean I assume that these local companies would love to be better right? ANyway, it makes me mad, especially about the door knobs and unfinished stuff, I mean its just like one more day of work!!!! More people need to have higher standards and say, if its not finished, Im not taking... at least they will get the message that they need to be sincere in their work. Thanks for reminding us about this.

  8. Yes to higher standards, Eman! Hmm, I wonder if they know their products sucks.

  9. doorknobs. The very first night, in the first hour even, in our flat moh and I were locked in the bedroom for an hour because the handle jammed and we couldn't get it to turn the tongue. We eventually dismantled it with a tiny screwdriver and a credit card.

    To this day our bedroom door does not have a door handle.

  10. Molly, the same thing happened to our door!

    We had to tape the tongue in entirely and to shut the door we pull the towel from behind the door and stick it in there to keep it shut. Dawood's door needs a certain jiggle to open it. The girls door, the hole that's supposed to hold the tongue in the door frame wore out (wood, there SHOULD be a metal plate) and that doesn't shut. Kitchen door, same as our door but we took the door off the hinges to save space in the kitchen anyway and it's in the balcony. The all squeak and need oil regularly. Thank god the bathroom door is the only good working door with a lock!

  11. hahahaha what a funny discussion.

    you wont believe the utter amazement i had when i realized how the workers actually work here... hahahaha... i think they just throw the cement on the wall, nevermind where it goes... and the paint too, we had our flat painted, and it was all over the floor, and the painter thought.. no big deal! NO BIG DEAL?! and holes... hahahahahahahha everywhere!

    ya, and i wanna know why someone commented about copts? that was weird. subhanAllah..

  12. Yea, how about some professionalism? In my old apartment all the electric plugs were too loose, no plug would stay put unless you pushed some piece of furniture against it. Then if that furniture moves a bit...off goes the light or the TV. It's really ALL the little things that are maddening.

  13. LOL! When you pull something out from the plug in the wall you have to be sure it doesnt bring all the wires behind it, or that plug is no longer in use!

  14. "All I wanted was a tissue!"


    btw, today seems to be my lucky day. All my comments are actually posting!!

  15. Don't jinx it S&S! I wonder, can you access blogspot blogs on like a Google reader from Syria?


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