Just a few stories from yesterday. I went out a few nights ago with a deaf friend. He took me to the other side of town, and we walked around and met a bunch of his friends. We ended up sitting at a coffee shop playing dominoes with them. I was actually the only one there who could hear and speak.
Yesterday he called me several times. We've got this system worked out that when he calls me, I'm supposed to come meet him at a certain spot. So I went to visit him, and he told me that a friend had been in a car accident, and he wanted me to go visit him in the hospital. So I went along with him to the hospital to see his friend. Turns out, it was one of the guys I'd played dominoes with the other day. He'd been riding a motorcycle, waiting at a traffic circle. A car came from behind and slammed into the left handlebar of the motorcycle. His hand is a mess; broken bones and missing flesh.
I remembered the guy when I saw who it was, and he remembered me. I fumbled through what little Arabic sign language I know, then sat there, and sat there, and sat there, with his family, and friends, and the nurses. It was a really awkward moment for me, but nobody else seemed to mind. I felt like I didn't belong, but learned something about the culture I live in. Egyptian culture is a community-based culture rather than an individual-based culture (like ours). Because I came with someone who belonged, I belonged. Cool, huh?
Later in the evening I was eating dinner. I had lentils, fried potatoes and bread. (delicious meal, by the way) I was halfway through my meal when I realized something. When I come back to the States, I'm going to have the worst table-manners ever. In Egypt, it's customary to eat with your hands. I seem to remember my mother trying diligently to stop me from eating that way when I was a child. :) Also, making a lot of noise while eating here is considered an indication that you enjoy the food. Yikes! I might have to get cultured all over again when I get back home . . . Sorry, Mom :)
Okay y'all, that's it for now . . .