Before I start:
– I really miss Cairo. I honestly never thought I would, since living there was pretty stressful, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I keep remembering little things like hearing the adhaan, going to Starbucks, eating Egyptian food, and being surrounded by Muslims. At this point I feel like moving back but at the same time I know that if I do, I’m going to wish I hadn’t and I’m going to regret not giving Holland a chance. It’s only been 2 months, and like my best friend told me, it takes at least a year to settle down somewhere. Inshallah once I start meeting people that are like me and once my MA classes start, things will get better.
– I miss my family a lot too. It’s weird coming home to a quiet empty apartment, and not having anyone to say hi to. I miss little things like going to Starbucks and doing gorcery shopping together; or just having someone to complain to about stuff. I also really miss my friends. We had so many good times, and I really hope we never lose touch. Finally, I miss my 2 cats, Sugar (white & fluffy) and Flatface (grey).
– I thought that there was no way I’d be able to gain weight during Ramadan, since I’d be fasting for 16+ hours, but now that it’s started I’m starting to change my mind. The problem is 1) your metabolism slows down a lot if you don’t eat for long periods; 2) you think about food the whole day and so overeat once fasting is over; and 3) it’s difficult to go to the gym. Last year in Cairo iftar was around 6, so I would eat then go to the gym at 8. In Holland iftar is at 9, and my gym closes at 10. So yeah, I pretty much have to work out while fasting which is hard, because once you get home after you’re pretty much dead. I go every other day for a 30 min training session and once I get home I kind of lie on the couch half-dead checking the clock obsessively. Not healthy behaviour. Since we’re on the topic of gyms, I also really miss my old gym. It was the first gym I’d ever joined and I did not realize how attached I was to it till I came to Holland and kept having flashbacks of it. I used to complain about that gym all the time while I was there, but I would give anything to be able to go there again! That’s a pic of it, on the left.
– I’m a bit nervous about starting my Masters. I know for sure that I want to study Islam, and that I want my future career to involve Islam, but I’m worried that I don’t have enough of a theological/legal background in Islam to do well. I’m also worried about not knowing classical Arabic.
– I’m addicted to Starbucks, and it’s kind of something I’m known for among my friends and family. In Cairo I was a regular at 3 different Starbucks’, where they knew me, my order, and pretty much my life story. I thought Holland, being the coffee-loving country it is, would have an abundance of Starbucks’. Then I came here and found out there are only 4 – 3 of which are at the airport. Those are the closest ones to me, and they’re about 30 mins away by train. Now I would gladly make that journey, and I will once Ramadan is over. Till then I’ll just have to keep daydreaming about carrot cakes, vanilla lattes, and caramel frapuccinos. Sigh.