The Egypt thing

One thing has surprised me about the revolution in Egypt – how many Egyptians speak American. I’m very used to seeing interviews in the Middle East where the person speaks very understandable English but it’s always British English. When they step up to the mic and speak American, it sets me back. It cracked me up to hear even the slang phrases and specifically regional American accents just popping out in normal conversation with the interviewers. Are these Americans just visiting Egypt? Nope, these were natives. I had a similar experience on my first trip to Germany in the Frankfurt airport. I needed to ask directions of someone and saw a black guy amongst the Euro’s so I walked up to him – assuming he was an American. Wrong, he spoke German and no English. It hit me immediately how stupid my assumption was but clearly my brain linked black,western dressed folks and Americans. Ditto listening to a Middle Easterner and half expecting a British accent. The other funny thing about it was that all of a sudden, I felt much better about the protesters. In my head, for a moment, they switched from Al Quaedas to ok folk who would do the right thing. My conclusion is that my internal racist is language based not color based.

And there were two other things that really impressed me about the Egyptians. One, they didn’t bomb and burn their own buildings and; two, after they were done rioting, they had a clean-up day to take care of the trash. Very civilized. Contrast that to the Iraqi’s etc where the most likely statement is a bombing – blowing up their own buildings and innocent people. Hell, we’ve got places in this country that still haven’t been fixed up since the rioting in the 60’s.

Back to cold again but my gut tells me winter is winding down for real. There was a chance for frost last night – according to the weather guy – so I covered the potatoes at the last minute for the second night in a row. Sure enough, it was white and frosty out this morning. But at the same time I’m still planting the summer stuff in the house. Put in the jalapeno and eggplant seeds today with a target of having them in the garden about mid April. So as of now, I have all the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant planned for the upcoming season planted in one form or the other. I’m actually going to put two tomato plants and maybe two bell peppers in the garden this week with the walls of water protection. The recommended date for this area is March 20 so I’ll be a month or so early. I’m assuming the guys who do the recommending don’t know about my walls of water. I confess to having a hard time controlling myself from jumping too far ahead and Nancy is getting anxious to have the gardening move from in the house to out in the yard “where it belongs”. I’m anticipating the sweet potato plants arriving at the end of this month and have their spot almost ready – a few remaining cabbages to be picked. Picked the last of the broccoli so that space is now available for whatever comes next.

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