Seven months ago, when I moved back to Canada, I willingly made the exchange of third world problems for first world ones. I traded Hepatitis for Salmonella, Bit Torrent for Netflix, and a nanny for daycare service.
I miss my third world problems.
I’m afraid the clean air here has purged years and years of accumulated toxins inhaled from the Cairo streets. I’ve reached a disappointing clarity- a metaphorical slap on the face if you will.
It all started a few weeks into my move – when I discovered that laundry does not in fact do itself. Of the several boxes I had shipped from Egypt, I forgot to bring Rifaat – the man that keeps my life together. Initially, I believed buying more clothes was the solution, maybe, just maybe if I had enough clothes, I would never have to do laundry.
It made the problem significantly worse. What was just one room packed from floor to ceiling rapidly spilled into the next. Back in Egypt, I had never had this problem. Clothes just magically appeared folded in their respective drawers, dresses and coats hung, socks packed away neatly following the protocol of my colour coded system.
How hard could laundry be?
I decided the first thing to do was to get something to encourage the process, so I went to my nearest Bed Bath and Beyond and got that shirt folder that Sheldon uses on the Big Bang Theory.
I was going to own this.
Over 10 loads later, I learned several key lessons:
1.) Separate colours.
2.) Do not put more soap than the allotted amount.
3.) Do not overstuff the dryer.
4.) Bleach doesn’t fix everything. In fact it doesn’t fix anything with a hint of colour.
5.) Again – separate the colours. Darks and lights do NOT work together in this instance.
Rifaat, I miss you.
The laundry wasn’t event he worst problem. Dinner time would come on a daily basis but the scent of ready made home cooked food never followed here. So, I decided to learn how to cook – like a normal person. After purchasing every cooking DVD out there and playing them while I slept – in hopes my brain would absorb them through some sort of trippy form of osmosis, I attempted to conquer the kitchen. My two year old gladly filled with role of Gordon Ramsay by violently throwing my meals at me, I could have sworn I heard him say “THE HALIBUT IS RAWWWW!”
Rifaat, I took you for granted.
And the worst part, is that I’ve been cheating on you – with a woman named Joy. She does some of the stuff that you did, but not like you. No one could ever mean to me what you do. Without her, I would be a mess, and you wouldn’t want that, would you?
No. The worst part is when I’m walking my dogs and they do their business.
I actually like driving everywhere, so sorry Wael, I don’t miss you as much.
How do they do it? With their impeccable stews, spotless houses, flawless yards, and enchanting Christmas decorations?
My Christmas decorations look like I scribbled all over my house with crayons and my stew is inedible. And what are all these bills that keep coming via mailbox, email and SMS? I don’t think I’ve ever seen bill from back home. Rifaat, have you?
I miss third world problems which were really my problems transferred onto someone else. No accountability.
I miss Rifaat.