Sunday, February 21, 2010

Umm, I probably need to apologize now . . .

So, I both impressed and depressed myself at the same time today. Impressed because I realized I knew an Arabic word I didn't think I knew. Depressed because it's not a very polite one.

Most days I go visit a couple of friends who work at a dive shop in town. (Yes, these are the guys I ate maggoty cheese with the other day.) Another guy used to work there, but he quit a few weeks ago. Now he's working as a doorman at the building next door. His nephew took his old job at the dive shop. One of the things that the doormen have to do here in Egypt is fill the building's water tank up on the roof. They usually have to do it a couple times a day. So when I came by to visit today, my friend was up on the roof. I sat down and started chatting with his nephew.

My friend apparently didn't enjoy being left out of the conversation, so he started throwing rocks from up on the roof to get our attention. We moved to somewhere where he couldn't see us and sat down. But he scored a lucky shot and hit me right on the knee. I tried to think of something mildly insulting to say in Arabic, but could think of anything. I thought that if I didn't say anything he'd just keep throwing rocks, so I blurted out the first thing that came to mind which was, "ya khawal." "Ya" in Arabic means "hey." And "khawal" . . . well, let's just say that it's not particularly nice. I probably need to go apologize to him tomorrow . . .

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