Friday, 17 September 2010

Garish Gifts

They came in all colours and styles. I begged them that is was enough. It was too much. I've been showered with gifts. I wanted to ask them if this was their goodbye to me.

One was a Moroccan style gown - it has a pointy hood, and long sharp sleeves. It was glittery and as I put in on, they all smiled happily. I smiled back, though on returning to my room, I tried to control my giggles, as I caught my reflection in the mirror.
When I wore the hood, I ended up looking like a golden-robed member of the Ku Klux Klan.

That day involved me walking back and forth from my room to the living room, each time trying on another new item of clothes, which always had the aroma of the market ingrained into the fabric (the market smell is musky and woody, very earthy and very suffocating).
They cooed and clucked, as I swirled on their demand, and tripped on my way out.
The swirling adding to my dizziness and to the feeling that I was in a dream, all the voices merging into something unintelligible.
Their eyes shiny bright, as they talked about how university days are the best.
(Coincidentally, none of them have actually gone to university, as tradition and culture had tied them down to family and children from a young age.)

They asked me if I wanted to go walking around the area one last time, though the use of 'for the last time' sounded so omnious, that I couldn't help feel a little sad.

There's so many things that I wanted to tell everyone, but I just didn't know how to frankly. For the written word is so much easier to organise than what your lips mumble.
I wanted to tell them I still didn't agree with so many things because it didn't make sense, I wanted to tell them that I had always fought for my independence, but after a few incidents, i completely understood the importance of having a male with you.
I wanted to tell them I couldn't help smiling and laughing so much, and so the list goes on.

Instead they were the ones to tell me what they wanted, while I listened and nodded in agreement to their wise advice...

"keep social life to a minimum, you are going to study"

"Learn not to be so nice, otherwise people will use you, and you'll fail your studies and your life"

"Look after yourself, yourself and yourself, remember to buy lots of dettol and clean too..."

" Enjoy yourself, live and love everything, but don't go out after dark" (babati it gets dark at like 3pm! i replied...and so he replied...yes, well try not to walk in the dark alleys)

"call us if you need anything, although we'll try to call you everyday"

Was this the inevitable end that I have been trying to avoid for the past few months?
I admit it, I am quite literally a coward at many times, and I shall not pretend I am otherwise.

This is actually one post that I am having difficulty writing, and it would probably be easier to type up what happened over summer, stuff about culture etc, but I feel this post is a lot more cathartic.

I have successfully managed to confuse myself anyway in writing, but that is perhaps from lack of sleep and travel tiredness.
One day I'm going to look back and think what was I panicking over, but right now, I'll just panic quietly through the medium of writing and breathing uneasily...


Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful post!
Where are you going to university?
Wish you all the very best :) It's interesting to know about your life ad culture. Mashallah looks like you have wonderful family and friends around you. Inshallah life will be great ahead :)

I'm new to your blog and quite like it :)

jnana said...

Hmm..I can understand your feelings even though I was not allowed to study away from home. Must be a mix of excitement, apprehension....
Good luck with university life

JG said...


Good luck with these new challenges. I'm sure the experience will be great.

Touta said...

in a far away place from my family, is where i am going to university. :D
thank you for your wishes and your kind comment, and what about you? university etc? you seem very optimistic which is always a great thing :)

i can't help but smile when i read your name because it reminds me of jnoon (madness), and i sometimes wish i studied near home, with all the luxuries around me, although fate has not written so for me. :)

great, but at the same time scary, plus i am not sure how i'm going to cope with homesickness...apparently edgware road is a good start though i'm apprehensive. :)

Hypercryptical said...

Good luck at university Touta!

It is the start of your new adult life! Are you coming to the UK - re your reference to Edgeware Road? If you are - we are not to bad here - although I don't live in London and perhaps it is not as friendly as were I live.

Good Luck again!

Anna G :o]

Ihsiin said...

Good luck and stuff. University life is really like every other type of life; precisely what you make of it.

I never had the courage to go away to university so I don't know if I can say anything valuable, but I'm sure you'll do fine. And Edgeware Road is... well...

Touta said...

thanks for your kind comment :D
I have previously lived in the UK (for practically all my secondary school education), but i suppose its the 'alone' part that is frightening :D
i do believe the whole 'nothern' friendly thing to be true though...

Thanks :D

The point is you see,I don't know what to make of university, just like i don't know what to make of life. There's far too many options.

As for edgware road,apparently 'arab lenden' are quite fasad filled, or so my parents seem to insinuate. :D

Sandybelle said...

I wish you all best with your next step, and i am sure inti gadha :)
just trust yourself, everything will be fine :)

Wallflower said...

That's exciting! All the best!

Sousa said...

Good luck with uni Touta, and did you know that your blog's song reads 'fog elna khel fog' and not 'fog elnakhal'? Do you know the difference?! :-)

Touta said...

sandybelle, wallflower and sousa,

thanks!! I apologise that I was too lazy to answer or reply separatley, but this living alone buisness is harder than i thought!

best wishes to you all. :)