Friday, September 14, 2007

On trying different angles...

It was 5 pm…my day was only half over. I still had a long, tiring evening ahead. Mercifully, the sun was going down and the heat was lifted when I stood on the pavement waiting for the bus. I knew the pain was growing, I could feel it swelling up my knees and threatening to stay on for hours on end. But I just had to stand. Suddenly, I had an idea; I would sit right there on the ground until the bus came. It is an option you always have to think of while waiting for a bus in big old Cairo. For a while I thought what a silly thought it is considering the sooty ground and the oppressive culture that wouldn't let an innocent girl sit on the pavement without staring, laughing, or throwing a dirty comment…but I thought what the heck…people here stare ANYWAY.
So I, very coolly, picked up a piece of paper, spread it on the pavement, and sat down. Amateur and professional photographers have this concept of trying different angles when you shoot a picture. A humorous example is a picture taken of the Guiza Pyramids from behind the fore and hind legs of a donkey. The point is that different angles always give more ideas and invoke more feelings inside of you…The moment I sat on the ground, my whole perspective changed. It is not anything I can explain. I was first aware of a huge yellow ant beside me, and tried to ignore the fact that she was probably crawling up my spine now. Then I saw two crows perching on the ground and sharing some food. I must have been a hilarious sight because people in cars twisted their heads around to look at me …I don't know why! But being so close to the ground…very much shorter than the usual…feeling the same as some infant viewing the world from a limited height…was amazing.
Another time I was in a felucca (boat rented in the Nile for a short trip), and though I was enjoying the view, I suddenly jerked my head back so that the waters were above and the sky below me. Perfect.
The next time you are in the streets of Cairo, try different angles, like the top of a forty-storey building…sitting at the same level with the water or even riding back-to-back in a bus...
You will not be able to explain it to me either, but it will be unforgettable.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

hI Noha,

Great experince, also funny i think.You have beter position to watch teh other people. Anyway Nice Ramadan and best wishes for you and your family with the holy month

Sherif

Digg said...

I can't help but wonder: why do people always criticize "difference"; yet if they ever tried it, they would simply enjoy it because of its "difference".
I did that once in the subway; on the waiting station -people didn't actually laugh; but a soldier came and told me "mamnoo3 ya beeh". That was funny, I actually laughed at his face and said: "How mamnoo3 is that? Which regulation says that to you? Who implied it? Or is it us, Egyptians, whenever we see difference, we just mamnoo3 it to save the pain?"

Love the entry; great perspective as well; I definetly will try that. You should lay back on the sand, next to the beach at midnight and look at the sky in some distant/calm place, Noha, you'll feel like flying; and it's awesome. I "remember" I was :)

Wild at Heart said...

yeah I tried the sand at the beach perspective, Digg, listening to Supertramp...music always gives everything a great taste.
People don't accept difference because they don't realise that even they are different from the rest. That we're all different from each other-oh, thank heavens we are!