I rushed into the tube station for shelter after another greusome and futile struggle against the wind, armed with little more than my polkadot (inside-out turning) umbrella.
As i regained my composure, i spotted a little stand with a vast array of chocolates, sweets, cookies, drinks, nothing i wanted in particular, but everything that could meet my fluttering, no longer fasting, heart's desire :)
On approaching the stand i was welcomed by a realy warm smile and the tradional "Oi Love.."
sounded a bit like an irish/scottish drawl, but, then again, what would i know :)
I picked out a pack of chewing gum, and looked at the salesman inquisitively, "That'll be 40 pence, darlin'"
I smiled back again, always touched at the affectionate "passing endearments"...
I spotted a pack of tissues, and figured, that too would be a worthwhile purchase,
"And those?" i asked..
"Sure Darlin', would you like it in pink or orange.."I smiled, touched again, as he decided pink would suit me best..
I payed, and he returned the change with much affection and warmth and kindness, transmitting what i felt were phsychological 'hug vibes' all the way.
As i prepared to leave, he cocked his head to one side, looking a bit unsure, then with another strong beam and mispronounciations, awkwardly blurted:
I reacted with a sharp intake of breath as my eyes widened, my eyebrows raised, my mouth stretched wide on either side of my face and my chin dropped considerably..
Yes, my face, had grown considerably.
He had uncovered my best kept special secret.
Elnahardah eidey :)
I smiled and loudly very excitedly replied "Aywa! aywa! Thank you!"
and attempted to send back as many hug vibes as i could.. as he stood there beaming back at me, proud of his gesture.
I stood back waiting for my train and kept trying to figure out what gave me away?
Where they my extra-neat curls i had laborously attempted to tame this morning for the occassion?my crisp, well-matched outfit?
Maybe, my favorate azza fahmy necklace, given to me by my mother on my last birthday; a string of green and purple semi precious stones, and a big dangling pendat that read "Al omr el Salem" in beautifully caligriphied arabic..
Nonetheless,i sat in the train, catapulted, for some reason, into a string of childhood memories of all that eid ever was.
My father bouncing on our beds (my brother and i) on eid mornings chanting
"Eid eid eid..
eid eid eid..."
Picking out presents in our favorate toystores and being told "dee ba2a men teyta..." "dee amo mamduh.."
And i would wonder incessently, did teyta from egypt somehow predict i would choose those toys but tell dad to let me pick them out on my own, ultimately believing i had chosen my own presents?
Choosing to believe in magic, fantasy and the power of my special family's crystal balls, i would never bother to ask.
Later on , in the Egypt eid's, the eideyya that was popped into our pockets, in the joking "here's your ba2shish for today manner.." or ta3aly bas 3ayzaky fe kelma..
The ka7k i would remind myself every year, did not agree much with my tastebuds, but can never seem to resist every time it comes 'round.. for three consequative days, before i remember again, "Maba7ebuhush aslan!!"
The family trips to the desert, sitting in a circle, each telling bits and pieces of a story and coming up with one ridiculous bundle..
The little presents i would buy family members (whom i couldn't offer '3eideyas) depending on 'what' i felt 'represented' or 'reminded me' of whom..
The all day family get togethers, of one meal after the other, when at teh end of every ramadan we remind ourselves that we were sick adn tired of food.. come first day of eid, it was food fest once again!
Za7met sherra hudum el eid that hit cairo once "wala lessa badry badry ya shahr el seyyam.." started to play on radios and tvs..
all the new frilly dresses and neatly piled "2ossas" on little girls' forheads, and the perfect "bedal el geysh" or little suits worn by little boys..
The concept that no matter what was due where, no matter what had to be done, first day of eid was sacred "nothing to do-ness" and complete familyness..
and no matter how much of it's splendour it had started to loose as i grew older, i always woke up wtih a tiny lit special feeling inside me...
Being away from "it all" and my family in particular, the fact that life didn't stop, and that london seemed quite indifferent to my special little secret, made me feel forgotten by all eid's splendours..
as if i was too far away for it to reach me..
But i wore an outfit, not new, but very recently purchased by my last shopping spree with my mother.. (my favorate shopping partner!)
I went out for breakfast and treated myself to a warm espresso and scrumptious chocolate chip cookies with my best friend..
and plan for a special dinner with my entire warm, loving family, all encapsulated in one very special heart and soul mate.
There's little ka7k, little heyssa, little 'pause' from it all...
But i'm sure it took my family alot of effort to create that atmosphere for us, that eventually implanted itself inside me, and all around me..
Some things are just what you make of them :)
And some occassions are worth making the best of...
Eid saeed awey :)