I left Egypt 4 months ago (for reasons too long to explain here) and I have had the hardest time letting it go. Life in Cairo was challenging, exhausting, some days I wanted to leave, 5alas! but looking back I see that it was an incredible time and I learned more in those 6 months than in any other moment of my life. Cairo faced me with myself and changed me forever. It taught me countless life lessons, the last one being how to say goodbye. By leaving I realized I hate letting go of the past but it ’s necessary to move forward. I am sure this has happened to everyone who has lived in a foreign country, when you leave you start missing the smallest stuff, you feel the grass was greener on the other side, that you made a mistake and you let something great go…
I am in denial of leaving Egypt (that’s why it took me so long to write this) and sometimes I dream of coming back, I miss feeling small in a big city, like every corner was full of adventures and possibilities, I miss feeling big too by conquering Cairo each day, I miss being surrounded by Arabic, the magic and spontaneity of the language, the street noise (and the metro noise), because even if it drove me crazy it was the soundtrack of my daily life there, the foul and ta3meya and shawerma at any hour, the 24hr lifestyle and of course the amazing people that walked by my side in every adventure. Every single person I met will always (no matter what) have a special place in my heart, everyone played a part in my surreal and amazing experience. You were there in the happy and sad moments and of you are a big part of my memories now.
It seems so far away now, like a dream, a very vivid dream that is lingering in the back of my head. A dream filled with a special kind of mysticism… sometimes I have to remind myself that it was real and that it’s over now.
I understand why people leave Egypt and why people come back and some stay forever… I see now what makes you say 5alas! but I can also see what recharges you every day and makes your life there an unforgettable experience. I wish I could’ve stayed more because I wanted to explore everything else Egypt had for me, I feel I missed out and that I woke up to suddenly… But life is life, and in a way it was time to move on and dream in other places.
I know I will go back at some point (ISA soon) and see everything with old/new eyes. I know I will meet everyone again, I will sail down the Nile, I will explore the desert and the Red Sea and I will feel the vibrations of Cairo again…
I will always have a piece of Egypt inside me, it’s very surreal how I changed me and how I am secretly hoping someone will bring it up so I can share with them my dream .
I promise I will never forget it and I will stop being nostalgic, because the past is the past and there is always the chance to dream again.
*Note: 5alas = enough! no more!