Conversations: A night out with the Boys
The Participants: K: my best friend from high school and the most decent person I know. He is also, however, the horniest person I know. He currently works and lives in Saudi. S: The son of a very prominent member in the El Wafd party, and a very good friend of mine from high school. He is also very religious, so we tend to agree to disagree a lot. But it’s all good. R: K’s sidekick. He fills the loveable idiot role in this group. He knows nothing, his head is an empty canvass, but he has a good heart, so we love him regardless. H: A new friend of mine and an old friend of S. His sister happens to be also a very good friend of mine. He is a cool kid. Me: Well, you know how I am like! The event: K is back for a week, so we are going out with him. Since S is coming, we opt for a Shisha Café instead of a Bar or a club.
K: Man, I am so happy to be back. Look, women, walking on the street. Me: Lol, it’s that bad living in Saudi? K: You have no idea. It’s so good to come to a country where hot girls wear revealing cloths. R: Wait, where are those girls wearing revealing cloths? Me: A better question R, is where are those girls to begin with? K: See, you are only saying that cause you’ve been to the states for a long time, and you got used to their standards of hot and revealing cloths. I am telling you, this country is the garden of Eden compared to Saudi. R: Can you imagine what it would be like if Sam lived in Saudi? Me: Jesus, don’t even joke about that. K: He would kill himself. He wouldn’t last a week there. Me: Chances are the religious police would kill me first. K: Actually, that’s more like it.
*After I tell them about the marriage convo with my mother* S: Half a million? Only? Man, I am getting married to a relative; A relative, so I am getting a discount. And it’s costing me almost a million and a half so far. Me: Jeeeeezzzzz. S: The wedding by itself is half a million, do you have any idea how much a single singer costs these days? H: No joke man, weddings are expensive. Especially with all the new fads in wedding in Egypt. K: What is the new fad in weddings in Egypt these days? R: What I know, is that it has to be somewhere Unique and original with something extreme in it. Like the one that happened last week, where the bride and the groom moved the wedding to the pool section and then jumped in the pool halfway through with their friends. H: Shut-up, you don’t know what you are talking about. Here is the new fad in weddings: The Bride and groom don’t get to sit, you don’t have the extended walk down the isle celebration with the belly dancers from the car to the hall anymore. That’s out. You only have it in the celebration hall. And you don’t hire any singers or belly dancers: you get Dj’s. S: Both of you don’t know a thing. I am the one who is getting married, let me tell you: The extended walk is out, that’s true, but you have to have singers, and those singers have to be from Lebanon and preferably female and… Me: Okay, I am just wondering about something here: Do all of your periods synch up nowadays, or do you ladies still get them separately? (All of them looking at me dumbfoundedly.) Me: Are you all kidding me? Talking about the latest fads in weddings? What are you, a bunch of women? What kind of men are you? (K falls on the floor laughing.) R: Do women’s periods synch up?
Me: Oh my god. (pointing to 2 women wearing burkas) Check those Ninjas out. S: Ninjas? You call those religious women ninjas? H: Come on S. , they do look like Ninjas. K: Here is what I don’t understand: It’s hot and it’s humid, how can they be dressed like that? Me: Chances are they are naked underneath. K: Hmm, you think? (his mind going all kinds of perverted places) S: Hey, stop that. Respect those women. Me: You know, this is the first summer I spend in Egypt in 6 years, and here is what I don’t understand: In the US, the summer is like a skimpy cloths competition amongst the girls. Hot Shorts, miniskirts, tank tops. They seem to compete on who would could wear less cloths and get away with it. In here, it’s the opposite. All I see is muhajabat and Ninjas and they seem to be competing on who wears more items of cloths. Like look over there, here is one wearing a jacket and gloves. In this heat. How do they do it? H: I don’t know, but it’s one of those times where I am glad I am born a male. S: Those women are being religious Sam. They are doing this to please God. Me: But come on. It’s freaking hot! Ok, how about this for a compromise: They get to wear the Hijab 9 months a year, and then for the 3 months of the summer they get to take it off. 9 months a year isn’t bad; I am sure God would understand. (K, R, and H all laugh.) S: Don’t listen to him. That boy is the walking devil. The human Satan. You will all end up in hell because of him. Me: Hey, hell is where all the fun people will be then. S (can’t help but smile while saying this): You all are hellbound. Forever there. Hellbound I tell ya. H: Sam, all kidding aside. It sounds like you are having a reverse culture shock. Me: Probably. Although it could just be that I am pro scantly clad women. K: Hey, you want to talk about a culture shock? How about this for a culture shock: Last year, after spending a week in Ibiza, I went back to El Riad in Saudi. Me, R, S & H: OUCH. K: From Nude beaches to Ninjas. Now that’s a fucking culture shock for ya.