It was in Sanat Fe, New Mexico, when I came into a shop for accessories and silver items. There was a horseshoe with torquoise in it. I liked it, yet it was far beyond what I could afford; 70 $ and for me, it would be less. The sales man looked like Egyptian guys; in my early days at louisville, it sometimes passed my mind that I would get down and find people talking Egyptian, and a song for Om kaltoum coming from a place nearby. I asked him abruptly if he was from Egypt. No, from Palestine. I contepmlated his face: honey eyes, and unshaved beard. He called for another sales assistant, asked her to put the pendent in the bag. I was wondering what the man was going to do. If you would cut down the price, I want to know how much I would pay. I thought I could not afford it, even for far less. "It is a present". I looked at Yana, my friend who happened to be with me. It came to my mind that this was a way of making people buy items; I asked him about the acceptable price he could take for it. Yet, he was serious. He did not take money, and I accepted the present.
Today, I was on my way to Muhamed Ali Center. It was all dim inside. I pressed the Intercom. I am from Egypt, and would like to visit the center. Will let someone talk to you. A young lady came out, let me in. Today is Monday. She gave me an admission ticket. You have already come today, she said. I went out. I kept walking , and missed the bus stop . My eyes were lingering on the red signal. I already did not know if I should cross the street or keep ahead in the other direction. I looked around; two gentlemen, wearing suits, asked me if I was lost. Yes I am lost. I wanna take the Fourth Street bus. We would show you the way, don't worry, one man was holding a drink. From where? Egypt. Oh Really. In Egypt, I said, people may take you to the place you are looking for, if it is nearby. Now, If feel like home. I contemplated the women who looked adventrous crossing the street when the red hand was on. I got the schedule of the Fourth Street bus from my bag. They looked at it; one of them stopped to ask a peddler selling water about the way; over there, he said. The Fourth Street bus was coming; it was Okay if I missed it, I told them. No, we would make it stop for you.
I ran timidly towards the bus; I conjured up the images of crowded buses in Egypt that would stop in most of the times by a sign of your hand; I knew it would never stop here. They were running far ahead. I started to run seriously, when the bus driver did not close the door. The two men were standing across the corner, talking to each other, I waved heartly to them... the bus moved.