My Microsoft Zune mp3 player took it's millionth and final fatal fall this week (I ditched my Ipod for a Zune last year). When it initially fell, I just picked it up and kept walking, unperturbed. Later on, when I got on the bus and tried to listen to a NPR podcast, the screen read 'unavailable'. I tried another podcast and several songs thereafter and received the same message over and over again! I tried turning it off and then back on only to be met with the 3 most devastating words you can encounter when you're abroad: "Contact Customer Support". I kept walking around the empty house and singing to myself in the absence of music and hoping to resurrect my Zune somehow, "One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain..."
I realized a few days before my Zune's death that both my roommates would be returning to the U.S. this past weekend. Everyone else I know has left already or is leaving Cairo as fast as they can during the 1st week of August while I'll still be here a few more weeks after that. Although, I was saddened at the thought of being in Cairo (alone), I was surprised to realize it was my Zune's death that really made me feel vulnerable and anxious to leave. It rendered my world silent and in that silence I was reminded of all the things I wanted to block out. Suddenly, I wanted to go home and complete in the U.S. whatever I hadn't already finished here. It seemed to me that there were pressing matters that needed to be attended to and I could only to get my life back in order State-side. After several frantic, spur of the moment calls to Continental Airlines, reassessments of my time table and goals, and lengthy debates with myself, however, I've decided to stay in Cairo the allotted time...unless Continental does find a seat available on an upcoming flight then DUECES . Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name..and they're always glad you came.
On a side note, I want to lend my full support to the activist dedicated to the passing on the Dream Act, a proposed legislation in the U.S. Congress that would offer immigrant students in the U.S. without residency status a conditional permanent residency status and the opportunity to get a college degree. Education is a right, not a privilege.
In the News:
Mubarak TV address calms health fears
Egypt through Western Sunglasses
U.S. upgrades diplomatic ties with Palestinians in a bid to woo Abbas
The Budget Traveller Guide to Sleeping in Airports (not surprised CDG made the top of the Worst Airport list. It's still the worst, most disorganized airport I've ever been in!)
Palestinian jailed for 18 months after consensual sex with an Israeli woman (...Jim Crow, anyone?)