Thursday, February 02, 2006

I just ran into a cultural wall for which I’ve long braced myself. My non-English-speaking housekeeper and I have begun commiserating over a few of life’s little woes. So of course she asks me, in Arabic, what religion I am. I lied and said I was Christian. My parents are Christian -- not very religious ones, at that -- but I really don’t consider myself much of anything. That’s a concept I fear that the average Egyptian would have difficulty understanding, but I had to say something. She didn’t know the English word “Christian” (it’s masihi in Egyptian Arabic, so I just learned), so I drew a cross, which really made me feel like I was lying. Then she got it, and proceeded to recommended a church I should go to. At least that’s what I divined, and she confirmed it by saying yes when I made a praying gesture. I replied, “Me not.”


Anonymous Jeff L. said...

I had the exact same conversation with my maid in Cairo. In Lebanon I had an Iraqi Christian housekeeper who was kinda hot.

7:06 PM  

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