Sometime ago I was twiddling my thumbs, waiting for a cab, in Luxor. As the wind pushed against me, I was reminded that I had missed lunch. I needed to eat something. Anything. My stomach cried out for a spoonful of koshary much in the same way those cute little beggar kids do. As I was trying to reassure my gastronomical desires that food was minutes away, my efforts were interrupted by a loud cabbie who felt that honking obnoxiously and brushing up against my body with his car was the best way to let me know he was here. I quickly snapped out of my dreams of a food coma and climbed in. Barely a few minutes in, I realized I had gotten the chatty cabbie. Better than the pervert, I figured. Quickly, however, I realized that this wasn’t just any cabbie – this was Mike. Yes, it was Mike. You may not remember him, but he made a headline before Egypt went into turmoil and gag-inducing analysis. Mike spoke candidly, over beers, with an NYU professor about his sexual preferences and, through that, she had learned all about patriarchy and violence against every single Egyptian woman and the amazingness of the White Lady Lady Parts.
“Would you like me to tell you the difference between talking to a White person and everyone else?” “Mike” said as he leaned back and gazed sincerely in my eyes. “Look, I think it is important to be able to discuss these things.”
Mike, an Egyptian who had lived in London for ten years–as a car mechanic– had just returned to his native Egypt two years ago, and claimed to have a special kind of firsthand experience. To begin with, his name was not “Mike”, but Mohammed: he had changed his name in England when he noticed that if he was in a bar, and a mate called out, “Hey Mohammed!”, everyone in the pub looked at him funny.
It was in London he had begun to have his experience with White people. [Read more...]