Mia: Shaken Not Stirred


The true life stories of a NYC female.

Monday, January 31, 2005

A CAT NAMED ELVIS WITH APNEA....

My cat has apnea. Prior to coming into our lives 9 years ago Elvis had a hard life. He belonged to drug addicted, mentally ill, abusive woman named Candy. Elvis’ function in her life was of Mouser. He was expected to survive off the mice he caught in Candy’s apartment. He was fed cat food a couple of times per week but basically had to fend for himself by stealing food off the plates that Candy and her friends would leave laying around the apartment or by foraging in the garbage.

As a result of digging in the garbage and snatching food off plates Elvis was often beaten. This left him with a fear and distrust of humans. One day Candy moved away abandoning Elvis in the apartment. The thing is she didn’t tell anyone he was there so when the buildings’ handymen came to repair the damages done to the apartment they patched all the huge holes in the walls, plastering and painting over them. What they didn’t know was that Elvis had gone in through one of the holes in the wall looking for food and was was sealed in. A couple of weeks went by and people started complaining about an incessant meowing coming from within the walls. When the super heard the meowing for himself he took a sledge hammer to the walls and rescued Elvis. When he was pulled out from in between the walls he was near death, weak, starving and dehydrated. My mom and the super nursed him back to health. They even managed to find him a home with a friend of my mom's but it didn’t last more than a day because the lady's son was terrified of the cat and that's how Elvis came to be ours.

My mom named him Elvis because of the way he saunters when he walks. One day an friend of Candy’s was in our house and recognized Elvis and told us of all the abuse Elvis had endured. My mom then decided to just leave Elvis alone and let him get to know us, little did we know it would take years! We’ve had him for 9 years and it took 5 years for him to trust us. He never allowed anyone near him , if you tried to pet him he’d bite you. Now he’s as loving as could be with our family. It was only last year that he allowed us to pick him up and that’s how we found out he is actually a “she” but we still refer to Elvis as a “he” old habits die hard.

The other night Elvis was sleeping on the sofa, the house was so quiet you could hear her deep and loud snoring. My mom was a few inches away from her and noticed that there were a few times when Elvis stopped snoring and seemed to stop breathing, only to flinch and start up again and resume snoring. My mom spoke to the vet about this and he said it’s Apnea…lol So now whenever he’s asleep my mom makes it a point to check on Elvis and make sure he’s okay… Oh man. A cat named Elvis with apnea!

Labels:


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:32 AM
0 comment from:

Wednesday, January 26, 2005




Looking out on The Red Sea Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:23 AM
0 comment from:




Rainbow in Cairo Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:22 AM
0 comment from:




camels in the sahara Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:20 AM
0 comment from:




working Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:18 AM
0 comment from:




alexandria Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:16 AM
0 comment from:




My cousin Said, no he's not a terrorist! Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:15 AM
0 comment from:




vendor Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:10 AM
0 comment from:




Alexandria Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:08 AM
0 comment from:




Mosque in Cairo Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 9:06 AM
1 comment from: Blogger brnxprboi,


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

There's No Place Like Home...

I have returned! I’m finally home. Egypt was a fantastic experience, and I’m sure as I settle back in to the routine of being home I’ll be reflecting on my experiences out there. Aside from the natural beauty of the country what struck me most was the poverty. During my first day a child no older than 7 approached the bus I was on. He had a tin plate in his hand and made the universal signal for eating. It broke my heart.
We had been eating lunch taking a break from our 10-hour ride to a resort on The Red Sea. I immediately told my uncle to give the child my food, my uncle said, “no” and closed the window curtain on the child as I me not seeing the child would make the ache in my heart go away. I was unable to eat, my food remained untouched. After a few minutes the child re-emerged on the other side of the bus again plate in hand. By this time my traveling companions had begun plotting on my meal planning to divide it among themselves. I stood my ground and demanded that my uncle give it to the child. He did and the child sat down on the road and quickly ate the meal. There were many scenes like this if I could’ve I would have provided for them all. I found that the people I was traveling with were embarrassed by the beggars, they’d get indignant if I attempted to give the beggars money. When a 14 yr old boy cleaned our window and held his hand out my friend admonished me for trying to give him some money. She told me, “No Maria, he does nothing all day, he should go out and get a job!” On a street I saw a woman and her daughter begging when I attempted to take a picture of the scene my friend Ahmed blocked the shot telling me not to take a picture of it. It wasn’t that I wanted to record the image as proof of the poverty but the photographer in me found the scene poignant and it deserved to be photographed and preserved.

The people in Egypt were friendly I’m not sure but perhaps because I was in the company of Egyptians who see me as family I was treated different from other tourists. I was treated as a national and not a foreigner. I danced with the belly dancers, and learned the lyrics to Egyptian pop music. I Traveled into the high tone touristy neighbor hoods and chilled in the ghettos. I felt more at home in the ghettos. My friends smoked hashish night and day and took me along on the hash highway with them. I’m not a smoker, or a drug user and I only drink on social occasions but I joined in with them and was accepted as part of their crowd. I developed a taste for tea which I’ve always hated since Mahmoud would serve to to me everyday at breakfast… The sight of my “aunt” Malak sitting on her floor preparing a rabbit for dinner was surreal. I was on the phone with my aunt Nora as Malak sat there chopping away at the neck severing the head from the body, “so how are you liking it over there?”, snap snap , the bones of the rabbit being broken, “ oh it’s nice I like it Malak is making rabbit for dinner she asked if I like it”, “you do I’ve served it to you here I just never told you what it was” ripppppp the skin being torn away from the rabbit carcass… I learned to appreciate the difference in home cooked meals and the same stuff served in restaurants. I preferred Malak’s cooking. Because I have a lot of food allergies I basically stuck to chicken in restaurants out there prompting one of my uncles friends to comment, “I think she came to Egypt to sprout feathers and lay eggs for us she eats so much chicken!”…

I walked the streets of Alexandria on a shopping expedition with my buddy Little Hassan aka Cookie.. the day after a holy holiday, Eid Al-Adha, the Muslim holiday commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. Instead God spared his son and accepted a sacrificial lamb. Muslims around the world gather and share a special meal for Eid, but reserve a third of it for charity. In the streets I saw pools of blood of lambs slaughtered for the holiday. It was amazing. Cookie is a 19 year old kid.. he’s into hip hop and all things American. I got him into reggaeton music while I was there.. and on my next to last day he pulls me to him and gives me the highest ghetto compliment, “You are my beech” I just stared at him and laughed so hard tears streamed down my face.. and I gave him a “pound”. I miss the country, I miss the people but (clicking heels 3 times) there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home....

Labels:


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 4:51 PM
0 comment from:

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Capricorn and her friends...

Capricorn: You have many good friends who don't get along with each other. Leave the peacemaking for someone else and be happy in your role as a go-between. Others will join you once they share your taste for variety.

Ahhhhh how true this is.. I've got a diverse group of friends yet none of them seem to really like each other.. i'm gonna take this horoscope to heart...

Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 11:55 AM
2 comment from: Blogger JaCLyN, Blogger JaCLyN,


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Big Bird, Tattoos, Cheap Thrills and Being a Woman....

My trip to Egypt is on its last leg.. been here for 3 weeks and I wanna go home...I'm homesick.. miss the good ol' USA, say what you will about us but dammit toilet paper is still free in public rest rooms!!!

It has been wonderful here, made a few friends I plan on staying in touch with and I definitely want to come back next year. The people have been fantastic, my arabic is improving..but still I wanna go home... This morning I was talking to my mom back home and this song just popped into my head ..." i wanna go home to my nest.. i wanna go home to my friends.. i wanna go homeee i misss home and they miss meeeee" it was a song I remembered hearing when I was a little kid in kindergarden I had a talking Big Bird and he had this book and cassette (remember cassettes??!) that went along with it... in the story Big Bird goes to visit his grandma for the summer leaving all of his Sesame Street friends behind.. Don't ask my why or how I remember the damn song but I do.. it's like that with me and music.. it's like I've got a soundtrack playing in my head continously.. my life is set to music.. lol

The other day I was trying on some dresses in a dress shop for some big family jam that required me to wear a dress.. well it wasn't really a requirement but my uncle Hassan insisted on it, high heels too.. that bastard!...How dare he insist I dress like a woman?!! lol Said (saeed) his bro went with me to pick it out and was shocked at what he saw... when I removed my shirt to put the dress over my head (I had a tank top underneath) all of my tattoos were revealed ( 5 )..He wasn't shocked at my tats my family is already used to them, plus they are situated in such a way that unless i'm in a sleeveless outfit you can't see them, except for the one on my neck and my hair has to be up for that one to be seen.. Na, what shocked him was the womens reaction... A crowd of women ran from the other side of the store and mobbed me. These women were mobbing me and feeling up on my tattoos, they were in awe of them..I swear to Spongebob Square Pants if I had been a lesbian I would've gotten my cheap thrills for the day!

Okay I gotta admit I've got some pretty nice looking tattoos they're more like art work... i've got 2 sleeves on each of my upper arms... 1 is an anime fairy.. the other is a really intricate and detailed periot fairy ...drama/comedy masks in color on my upper breast...fairy in lotus position (also in color) on my neck.. and on my shoulder blade an complicated Egyptian Ankh with ying yang in center, flames underneath it and my name in script under that... pretty nice tats if i do say so myself.. the women seemed amazed that I also a woman had these on me they loved the art work of it... I was hoping to get a tat while out here but to tell you the truth finding a place to do it is proving to be hard, even the Coptics have to have the crosses they tatoo on their wrists done in secret and out in the desert some where.. guess it's in the same place where they're hiding the pork chops.


That night I got dressed up for the party and my uncle just stopped and stared at me I think for the first time in his life he realized I wasn't a little girl anymore.. I was standing before him with my hair done, make up on, high heels, and "girly" outfit..he just looked at me and he had this look of pride ..he told me "Maria today you are a woman" ...Said looked at me, and said "you're beautiful" then he told me to close my coat because some guy a few feet away from us was checking me out.. lol.. so I'm guessing i'm still a kid to them in so many ways.. lol

Labels:


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 2:02 PM
0 comment from:

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Beware of Egyptians bearing food....

My uncle Hassan gets hungry....we go right past some fast food places and a couple of nice restaurants and into his favorite sandwhich shop.. sorta like the Blimpies of North East Africa...he serves me a beef sandwhich...no ham and cheese here buddy.. we're in Muslim country now... buying pork in this country is like buying drugs in the states gotta be done all on the down low.
Ok back to the sandwhich.. it was beef, it was slimy, had no flavor, so of course I add my favorite flavor enhancer of all time KETCHUP!!! Here's the thing ketchup in Egypt and in the US are 2 different animals.. out here it's like a thick tomatoe paste with some sugar..so it didn't make the sandwhich taste any better... my uncle then hands me a cheese sandwhich... it looked more like a cottage cheese spread with some pepper in it... I try it .. after a few bites I noticed it smelled and tasted like vomit... ooooooooooh ho ho i think to myself i'm gonna spew if I take another bite of this... but because my uncle got it for me I suck it in and eat it...
On the way to the car my uncle tells informs me of what I had just eaten... the beef sandwhich was cow liver.. okay not too disgusting my mom eats liver.... BUT he tells me with great delight the cheese sandwhich was actually cow brains... Let me tell you something he can thank God almighty I was able to hold it down because hewasthisclose to having to scrape up regurgitated cow brains from his car...so far since i've been here i've eaten stuffed pigeon, rabbit and now cow brains.. lol

Lesson learned here beware of Egyptian uncle bearing food! lol

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 2:49 AM
2 comment from: Blogger Phil T. Rich, Blogger Gayle,


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Blinded by The Whites...

Greetings from the Land of The Pharoahs! I`ve been in Egypt for the past several weeks and it`s everything I every envisoned and more. I`m not doing Egypt as a tourist does, sticking to all the `chi chi` spots. I`ve come out here with my "uncle" on his annual visit to his family so I haven`t been very touristy yet. I`ve learned a few things while on my visit so far.
(1) Bring toilet paper with you when you come out here. They charge you for it in the public rest rooms.
(2) Thanks to my complexion I blend in inconspicuously here.
(3) KFC here doesn`t make mashed potatoes, or biscuits and The Colonel`s secret recipie is still a secret out here, the chicken tasted like Old Bay Seasoning.
(4) Guard your food! I was eating at a restaurant in Cairo surrounded by cats when all of a sudden I see a paw gingerly feeling around my plate...a cat had hooked his claws into the chicken on my plate and ran off with it.. lol

Everywhere i`ve gone they`ve been amazed when I tell them I am Puerto Rican.. no one seems to have heard of Puerto Rico here so I tell them "it`s an island, a common wealth belonging to the USA, we speak spanish" "Oh you are Spanish!" sigh, "yes, I am Spanish"... " No, No, you not Spanish, you have Egyptian features, your skin, your nose, the big eyes" I get that alot especially on the eyes... who knew a `rican could have arab eyes? lol
I`ve heard it all my life from my Egyptian "family" in New York but to hear it here from the natives themselves it`s different.
I`ve got a lot to say.. but can`t possibly do it all today... Here`s the thing though there are just certain things a 22 year old woman should not be seeing and the top one the list is her middle-aged uncle in his tighty whities...
I was talking to my uncles` brother in his room making our plans for the day when in walks my uncle Hassan in his briefs...Man, oh man! I was blinded for at least 2 hours.. my uncle had no shame no running for cover, no twisting the body to the side in modesty.. he just stood there and wanted to have a conversation! Meanwhile I could feel the retnas burning and detaching itself from my eyes. The image of my uncle Hassan in his tighty whities forever burned, seared into my memory. I am scarred for life.. That night when I finally recovered my sight I spoke to my aunt Nora and told her what happened. "For the love of God Nora buy that man some boxers!! Grown ass men should not be wearing tighty whities!!" she told me to count my blessings that he wasn`t wearing his speedo briefs.. I`m pretty sure if I had seen that I would`ve gone permanently blind.

Labels:


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 2:44 PM
1 comment from: Blogger DannieS72,





Cairo, Egypt, sun was peeking through the clouds.. what's that I hear the them from the 10 Commandments? lol Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 2:41 PM
0 comment from:




Pyramid in Cairo Posted by Hello

Labels: ,


Click here to read entire post.



Posted by @ 2:30 PM
0 comment from: