For 11 months now, I have been commuting between two major cities in Egypt; Cairo and Alexandria on a fairly regular weekly basis. The distance between them is about 220km. It does not sound like a lot and in fact the Cairo/Alex desert road has been recently renovated to meet “international standards”, and yet many street lamps are not even lit ensuring to keep hazardous standards above average. Such is the joy of driving in Egypt.
Every weekend I go to Alexandria to help my mother out in her restaurant. Then I return to Cairo 4 days later to work in the office for the NGO work and thus that has been my life for 11 months. What prompted me to take this decision still astounds me to this second and such a decision did not wait to come without its share of consequences yet I am slowly discovering the reasons, the explanation, the purpose or whatever it is I’m supposed to discover through therapy and sobriety.
To try and step away from the seemingly perpetual company negativity and pessimism that have been good friends of mine for a couple of years now, I will list 10 good points and 10 bad points of this experience which actually has a genuinely challenging one. In a nutshell, it has been taxing on me mentally and emotionally and needless to say physically. And this is the kind of “travel” that hopeful Facebook posts talk about that has helped me discovered the joys of life or the beauty of who I am and could be. Commuting in Egypt is no joy ride. Endless traffic is endured, potholes and bad roads are passed over, pedestrian zombies and roadkill are dodged and a harsh test of reality and patience is passed upon you by force.
Anyway, here is my list of pros and cons of living and commuting between two major cities on a weekly basis.
- It is a lonely ride
- Very little social life
- Friendships are tested
- Disillusionment with what I’m doing in both jobs
- Inconsistency in outcome of both jobs due to its nature
- No savings
- No privacy, no real alone time
- Exhausting and no time to exercise
- Old parental resentments
- Lack of focus due to demotivation
- A lot of reflections on the road
- Strengthened relationship with one parent
- Solidified old/new friendships
- Understanding what I do not want
- Knowing your limitations and addressing it
- Overhauling old room and donating things
- Ability to walk in Alexandria
- Forgiving the parents
- Learning to let go and move on