We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Scenes from the expat life

A few things I never imagined writing:

The other day I took the boys to the club for their tennis lesson.

Yesterday I signed our housekeeper up for a cooking class.* (The woman at the desk said, “So you are signing up your maid?” I cringed, but said, “Yes.”)

Oh what a strange world it is.

*Mexican food! We are all excited. Also, she’s as much our nanny as our housekeeper. Just ask Bug.


5 January 2009 Posted by | a little different, expat scene | Comments Off on Scenes from the expat life

“What’s a dibet?”

Indeed, what is a dibet? Well, first of all, it’s actually a bidet. Though Bug’s pronunciation is much more charming.

We have two bidets, once in each bathroom, in our new flat. They have attracted some interest from the boys, especially Bug. We have set firm rules for what you may not do in the bidet, but Bug is still curious about what you can do.

For the record, the list includes washing your feet and shaving your legs (a tip I learned from my host sister during a high school summer in Spain), amongst the bidet’s more traditional cleansing functions.

Last year, in our old place, rather than stand alone bidets, we had toilets with a bidet feature. This is pretty common in Egyptian toilets (though sometimes you also see a hose with sprayer next to the toilet). The bidet feature is basically a hole at the back of the toilet. You reach down to the right, turn a knob on the toilet shaft, and a spray of water douses your nethers (or shoots out of the toilet and soaks the floor and your undies if your aim is off).

I’m not sure the boys made much use of the bidet feature on the old toilets. Just Bug, once in a while, when I would shock him with a little extra cleansing power.

The bidets have generated so much interest that I did a little research. Interesting stuff, especially in regards to the meaning of the French word “toilette.” Speaking of the French: while many Americans associate bidets with France and Europe, apparently they are pretty common throughout the Middle East as well as some parts of Latin American and Asia.

(On an administrative note, this post marks a new category of posts, one I’m calling “a little different,” as in, some things here are just a little different. I’ll eventually go back and tag some old posts as well. As always, questions about life in Egypt are welcome, preferably via a blog comment.)

16 August 2008 Posted by | a little different, bug, our life in egypt | 1 Comment