I snapped. It was coming, but it wasn’t the take my shoes off, apply some Vaseline and swear profusely kind of snap, it was a push her hands off my back, mutter “Get OFF me”, give the dirtiest kissing of the teeth and cut my eye so deep that I’m sure I saw a slit in her throat… under her niqab… beneath her hijab. You get my point.
As you know, I’m non-confrontational (no, don’t laugh… the above was not a confrontation), but that 50th lady to push me onto the metro yesterday was a match to the petrol of frustration that been spilling every time someone’s pushed me on or off the metro.
It’s not that there is any need. There is a beeping sound that tells passengers when the doors are going to close, and they usually close about 10 seconds after the beeping starts, but in this case Aunty Rush (that’s what I’ll call her) must have heard beeping in her head and thus felt she needed to push me ahead to get onto the train faster.
I know Cairo is crowded – I can never forget that when I get on the metro every day – but in this case, it was in the middle of the afternoon (after I’d been for a post-surgery check-up at the dentist) and the trains weren’t crowded. Maybe she’d been shut in between the doors before – that happens when brave people (or maybe stupid) decide to jump through the doors as they are closing – or maybe her clothes had been trapped between the doors – it easily happens. But in my foreign eye, I could see no reason except that she wanted to get on quicker.
The following tweet sums up the invasion of private space issue in Cairo, and I couldn’t have said it better. Of course, we have the non-generalisation clause attached, but he still articulated it excellently.
Egyptians and the respect of personal space are 2 sides of different coins in different pockets of different pants on two very different men – Joseph Adel (@JoeyRation)
– The Londoner