Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Difference is in the Details

The other morning on my way to the bus, I passed three boys who were probably around twelve years old.
When they caught sight of me, they began laughing and pointing.
"Sabah al-kheir, gamal!" or "Good morning, camel!" they shouted. I realized that they were mocking me for my overstuffed backpack that was causing me to bend forward slightly and must indeed have looked like a hump.

Egyptians don't wear backpacks to school, but carry their books under one arm. Older girls and women usually put them in their purses. I felt more embarrassed than I probably should have, but it is these small cultural differences that can make one stand out as a foreigner and make one horribly self-conscious.

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