Monday, August 17, 2009

Letters from Egypt: Recognition, Clarification & Determination

Is it just me or does this look like a major safety hazard?
With recent blogs like Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Use Caution, and Ulterior Motives, you must think I am having a difficult time in Egypt. The truth of the matter is that I suppose I just didn’t quite clearly know how to explain the way I was/am feeling and had all these realizations that well, were negative.

And you know what, those thoughts still aren’t positive. However, I refuse to remain bogged down in the negativity. What I do feel that I need to explain is why this has occurred.

For those of you that have been an expat for years, this is nothing new to you. Then there are those of us where this whole expat world is, well, different. I always thought I was an excellent judge of character. It was always said in NY that I could tell if I liked someone within three minutes. After those three minutes were up, I didn’t cause a scene, I just simply walked away. I’m under the impression that you can be cordial, but why waste your time on people that you know you’re not going to mesh with? Maybe that works for some of you, but I’d rather use my time more wisely and surround myself with those people that I do care for.

As my friend Harold said, “[Egypt] it’s a whole new game. You never know what you’re going to get.” Before any of you remotely think about emailing me to tell me how this occurs everywhere, let me explain.

At the Red Sea in Hurghada

Moving to a different country with a different culture and society, you’re at a great disadvantage. My problem was that I couldn’t decipher the good from the bad. It’s a learning experience and instead of getting angry with myself for not recognizing it sooner, I would rather use this experience to help guide me toward the good ones. It may take awhile and undoubtedly I’m still going to get burned here and there, but this is just another piece of advice I can give to any of you moving from your home country:

Recognize that you will falter in your judgment, but it isn’t the end of the world. Just use it to be a better judge of character and remember, not everything is as it seems.

There are always ulterior motives, but there are also those that genuinely want to help you and show you the special things that their culture has to offer – something you never would have attained from home.

1 comment:

  1. Yepp, I can only sign your last statement.
    There'll always be the ones that want to help.
    I met the most genuine people in Kuwait and the biggest pricks.
    It was nothing like I had experienced before.
    Korea was more like strange people all around (Expat wise) and Hungary, well, a place with it's own stories.
    But in Kuwait I had met people online and for the first time really went through meeting them "in real Life".
    But I also met people in real Life without net and was highly disappointed, despite liking them at first.
    I am looking forward to come to Egypt in October.
    It will be Sharm and not Cairo though and I'm actually grateful for that (am not a big city kind of girl ;) )
    Take care out there!