Tag Archives: sweat

I’m Just Trying to Sweat On Some Strangers

Last night I was the proud and only occasionally unwilling participant of a house party that lasted until the sun came up. This was not an American house party, where you crank up the music in someone’s apartment and stand uncomfortably close to one another for two hours tops before you realize it is the worst thing in the world and then escape. This house party was a public party with “house” music at a club-like location somewhere near the pyramids.

I know that we were somewhere near the pyramids because I saw one as we were driving back in the early dawn. I also saw the sun itself, a fluorescent red disk rising over the Nile. And then I went home, saw I had no notifications on facebook, and went to bed. All in all it was a fun, enriching, and eye-bulging experience. Here’s an advertisement.

Saqqara Oasis: Where There Are No Worries Because Your Sweat Will Put Out the Molotov Cocktail Flames

Hey you! Yeah you with the “One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Dance floor” shirt!

Tired of squeezing into your tightest threads on Monday nights and then having nowhere to go? Do you yearn for a place where the music will make your heart feel like it’s about to explode, where the beat itself picks up you and throws you down in endless mini-earthquakes? Do you find perfect hearing a burden? If you have ever experienced these sentiments or eaten food, then Saqqara Oasis is your destination! You’ll always remember your bomb night at Saqqara tearing up the dance floor with your sick moves and hair product because your hearing will be permanently damaged and your brain seared with images of Egyptian youth like you’ve never wanted to see them before.

When was the last time you sweated so much you created a natural pattern of salt stains on your jeans and then sold them the next day at twice their original cost as haute couture?  Can’t remember? That means it’s been too long! Saqqara Oasis is your only solution. After you sweat your brains out, strip down to your boxers and cannon ball into the pool! Then climb out of the pool and GO CRAZY again! Be the dripping youth full of life that you have always wanted to be.

Are you incapable of experiencing “fun” on account of your extreme coolness? Do you get tremors thinking about your hair moving? Did you wear heels that came with a handicapped sticker? Saqqara is still the place for you! There are numerous locations at your disposal from which you can project an air of mind-blowing awesomeness while doing nothing except for staring at other people with a blank expression or bobbing your head. If desired, there is a short posing workshop before the party begins where you can learn all the latest hand, arm, and leg positions so you can put off the vibe you’ve always known you were capable of.

Have you ever felt like your hands, arms, and heart are actually a different being trying to flee from the rest of your body? Do they flail around wildly and cause your abdomen to move in an inhuman fashion to the eardrum bursting beat? Have you ever wiled out so hard that your body couldn’t handle itself? Have you ever become a music nymph in the heat of the moment? Come to Saqqara! Find your flailing friends and throw your flesh encasement around like it’s something you won’t need tomorrow!

Are you trying to inhale as much smoke as possible in an outdoor setting? Forget sheesha and come to Saqqara, where one could read by the light of the glowing cigarette butts if they weren’t too busy being AWESOME. Let us convince you that there is no better place to partake of second hand goodness. Don’t think you’re a good dancer? Our quasi-non-stop strobe policy will make whatever movements you are capable of producing seem out of this world, and just when you are getting used to making a fool out of yourself, we will flood the entire dance area with yellow light and reveal you sweat soaked youth for what you really are before returning the safety of pulsing darkness.

Saqqara Oasis: You will lose control, sweat, stay out for longer than you wanted to, go through an endless cycle of despairing of departure and then catching a second wind, and discover the heights of who you can be.

This means you too, cookie monster t-shirt.

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The day’s adventure: a glimpse of heaven, crushing disappointment

Thanks to years of  being subjected to family scorn, I am overcome with self loathing whenever I wake up past 8am regardless of how late I went to bed the night before. I could have run a 5 hour midnight marathon and woken up at 10:30am, and my family would still say upon seeing me with my marathon trophy, “You just got up?”  Thus, as I transition to a more Ramadan-appropriate slumber regime, sleeping at 4am and getting up at 12 pm, the first thing I feel upon awaking is a sense of shame, followed quickly by righteous indignation. “I didn’t even go to bed until 4 am and I got exactly 8 hours of sleep so there is nothing wrong with this. NOTHING WRONG. I’M NOT CRAZY.” Before I even drink my morning nescafe and peruse the morning internet, I’ve experienced a veritable roller coaster of self-blame and justification. My family has clearly taught me well; I look forward to imparting a similar sense of self-loathing to my own children.

After this train wreck, I pulled myself together and then made the mistake of sitting in my living room for four hours straight as I planned my upcoming Italian vacation. This was a poor decision since my living room is generally an unbearable place, filled at all times with stale air, heat, and gaudy furniture. When we removed the heat element through the wonder of air conditioning in addition to closed windows, we were left with a new evil: florescent lights. As I lingered in the harshly lit cave, clicking through endless tabs of travel advice, I found that having the fluorescent lights suck the soul from my body was equally uncomfortable as sweating through every layer of clothing I have on.

Realizing I needed some soul revival, I set out on a little errand that would take me where some sun rays could splash my pasty skin and help me remember once again what life felt like. And so I descended from the den of death and burst into the sunshine. Never had I seen Cairo more beautiful. It felt like my first spring day, even though it was near a dusty 100 degrees. I even saw several trees wither and die while I saw out, but to me everything was beautiful. While wandering around the shaded streets of Doqqi, I noticed a burst of greenery resplendent in the sunlight at the end of a street. What joy! I thought. Perhaps this is a park I didn’t know about! I saw visions of myself wearing ribbons in my hair, strolling in the park while licking lollipops and petting puppies. As I savored the possibilities of the future, I came upon the green area and found to my chagrin that it was merely a spit of weedy grass with some scraggly trees in the middle of a traffic circle. There was no park to be found here, and if I wanted to come and lick lollipops with ribbons in my hair it would be weird.

So I went home and sat in my room and read a book with the window open, suffering through the sweat so I wouldn’t have to suffer through the depths of fluorescent hell once again.

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Damp Pants

The weather in Cairo can be quite warm, some might even call it hot. During the day the temperatures climb almost as high as those currently prevailing in Mid-America. And when we’re really lucky, there is equally high accompanying humidity. There are some places the heat is not a problem, like the classrooms at AUC and Alpha market. Everywhere else, however, it must be dealt with.

My apartment has three air conditioners (central air conditioning does not exist here/I have not seen it so it might exist), but they remain off 90 percent of the time. Our living room is particularly unpleasant, since its physical location is such that getting a breeze in there will be possible when little flying pigs tumble in through the window at the same time. The coffin-like air moves only begrudgingly and  only when human folk stir it directly. Regardless of the time of day and exact location, the apartment is always a little bit warm. And since I spend about 90 percent of the time I’m in the apartment sitting down, either doing homework, clipping my fingernails/toenails, or brushing my hair, I often suffer from what I call “damp pants.”

Damp pants is that special feeling you get when, after sitting for a while and then rising, you realize that a steady and even output of sweat from the back of the legs/thighs and the derrier was absorbed into the fabric of your clothing. Usually after walking for a few minutes, the clothes naturally disengage themselves from clinging to the body, but manual assistance may be needed. The severity of the situation depends on the material in direct contact with ones’ clothes. Our choices of sitting situations is particularly dismal: we can choose from warm blanket, to cozy couch, to fake leather chair, or to gross carpet.

Day after day and night after night, all of us suffer from damp pant syndrome, its only remedy wicker chairs and/or standing desks. Though it is not particularly harmful, I would hesitate to damp pants a pleasant situation. I think because of all the alien movies I’ve watched (Monsters Inc.), I associate dampness with filth, thus on some level I am continually disgusted with myself at the level of filth I bathe in every day. This does not, however, urge me on to frequent rounds of laundry.

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Appearance first, substance later

I want something like this

Every morning when I board the metro, I impulsively begin analyzing the components of the outfits surrounding me. This research is part of a long term “going native” “project” in which I construct an Egyptian wardrobe (or at least a few articles of clothing) that will ideally allow me to further blend in; sometimes business pants and collared shirts just enhance the foreignness of my features. I have always wanted a native wardrobe, but inevitably I get used to wearing the same clothes/run out of money/stop caring about blending in. Not so this time! I would rather starve than wear my t-shirts for the next 11 months.

The variety of clothing is endless. Every girl wears her hijab in a different way (about 9 out of ten or 12 out of 13 women cover their hair), and the rest of the outfit is always color coordinated. Imagine every combination of tier skirts, tight jeans, long shirts, tight long sleeve shirts with tank tops over them, bangles, colors, sequins, cartoon characters, gibberish English, gaucho pants, layers, cardigans, t shirts, bows, buttons, heels, flats, bejeweled sandals, abayas, niqabs, and almost everything else except for tie dye shirts, cargo pants, and whatever the Americans are wearing in general.

As we stand humidly on the metro and my eyes wander from ensemble to ensemble, I’m almost overcome with despair. I want it all! -especially a shirt with cartoon characters and or/teddy bears with sequins on them and a tier skirt . My goal is to go so native that the only clue I’m not Egyptian will be my predilection for peanut butter and the fact I prefer to eat meals in front of my computer instead of with humans. Here in Egypt I will be able to fully indulge my love of gaudy color combinations and obnoxious patterns: color goes with color, as I always say.

Today I finally embarked on my nativ-ication project and had great success. I purchased a blue long sleeve spandex shirt to go underneath other clothes…when I later tried this on in my home (there was only one size) I realized it breathes only slightly better than a trash bag. Part of my going native outfit might have to be the tissues everyone carries around to dab the sweat beading on their faces. I also purchased a long shirt-like thing that has stripes on it. I could have gone tackier—no sequins, bows, obnoxious patterns, or animals today—but there will be chance in the future, I believe.

Both my roommates saw the bottom of my feet today and were disgusted/charmed by how dirty they are. What does this mean?

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Didn’t understand and wouldn’t like it if I did

I saw a movie, “ِAn Ant’s Cry,” tonight. The experience was costly in a lot of ways…money, time, broken expectations. The group met outside of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, in the middle of an unfamiliar district that was in a wasteland of hospitals and other hotels along the Cornish of the Nile. I though it a random place to meet for a movie unless, of course, the milkshake shop we planned to visit beforehand was close by. It turns out both were about a twenty minute walk away, but we were not informed of the distance beforehand, so it seemed we were walking down the middle of the street, cars zooming past us, heading towards an undetermined destination for an infinite amount of time.

We reach the movie theater and it turns out there’s not enough time to get milkshakes before the movie starts. At any rate, tickets are purchased and then comes the best part of the night: the popcorn. Oh it was quite salty and delicious and gone within 3 minutes.  It was just the thing a weary traveler needs after a trek along the dusty streets of Cairo.

The usher shows us our seats in the movie theater, a baby sits directly behind me, and the movie begins. At this point, I saw the movie as a barrier between me and my milkshake. The movie finally ended after an hour and a half of blaring music and shouting that was less than half-understood. We were rewarded for our patience with milkshakes, which were large and relatively delicious.

So I guess the story has a satisfactory ending, despite the fact I made a critical error tonight when I said “I just want to try you” instead of “I just want to try it” regarding a dessert one of our friends had invited us to enjoy. Ooops. Pronouns are hard to get right sometimes.

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