A day in Ramada

By
Dear Journal,
Having nothing of importance to do, I decided to join dad to work Tuesday morning. I had never seen anything like it in my entire life, not even in the "Matarria" where mum works. I got appropriately dressed in a white T-shirt and a loose pair of jeans, for I cannot go wearing anything exposing, that is to say I got dressed by the "Ramada" standards. Having accomplished the dressing code, I took my digital camera, Mp3 player and my sunglasses and followed dad to the car. I was mentally enthusiastic, it was not until we began to enter the village that I got into a complete fit. It was awesome, the grassy land was emerald green. Heavenly landscapes stretched across the horizon. It was as if I were in an Arabic movie. There were no cars or any evidence of civilization as far as your eyes can see. We were the only ones, as a consequence, people looked at us as if we were driving a spaceship. Not all of them accepted the idea of getting their picture taken, only a few smiled widely at the camera, those who remained settled for giving us alienating gazes, chasing the car with their suspicious eyes. As surprising as it was for me to see it, I should have expected it, but everything was too extreme for my imagination to picture in such a way. For instance, they still lived in cloth tents, only the rich ones lived in awkward-looking houses, unsymmetrically made of clay. They still had to go all the way to a pump in the middle of the land everyday, for they still had no running water. I saw a group of men sitting on the clay ground, each enjoying a cup of tea, not even slightly bothered by the gruesome smell of their herd of sheep surrounding them. However, their satisfaction and complacency amazed me, which opened my eyes to the fact that they didn't know anything else to aspire. The fashionable kids wore colorful pajamas and their supposedly modern mothers wrapped themselves with various pieces of patterned cloth. Head scarves were a must, even though many didn't match the clothes they wore. Before arriving at the medical unit where dad worked, I had only seen the exterior of everything. It was not until then that I got to understand the way people thought. All patients seemed to have diagnosed their cause of illness before they even entered the dentistry office. They entered confidently, explaining to my dad and his working associate what they had to do to cure them, imagining there was no other dental cases than cavity. Their ignorance did not seem so much of a problem in comparison with their stubbornness and sincere refusal of development. Mothers would check her child's teeth after leaving the office and if she was not convinced of dad's work, she would come back and argue with my father instead of trying to understand why he did not do as she ordered. The other dentist, my dad's colleague, would sometimes revert to physical violence as a solution, which was typical of a low-life like him. From the way that he talked with my father, I knew there was something wrong in his tone before discovering his way of treating his poor-minded patients. He seemed to have some kind of a superiority complex, meaning that we would get harassed by his boss, suck up to him and then take his anger and frustration out on his clients, which, also by the way, seems to be the prevailing type of treatment in Egypt generally. Moving on to the nurses and hospital pharmacist, they were nothing more or less than unfortunate. The pharmacist ,as I understand, graduated with a very high degree from college but seemingly, life and consequences deprived her of any chance other than to end up working in there. The nurses were of the loud but easy-going kind. The medical unit was not in a very good shape. Some dental utensils were missing due to the absence of the nurse in charge, who was on vacation. The office was not very clean, for hardly any other reason. The villagers formed some kind of a riot to bring back a popular doctor, who was transferred. There were some issues with the government and a set of newly passed rules. Everything was just in a mess and almost all of the doctors, dad included, were threatened of dismissal if they did not follow them. Nevertheless, they all seemed to manage. It was time to go, I jumped into the back seat to let the pharmacist sit. I did not know dad was planning to give the others a ride as well until the remaining three nurses crammed next to me in the back seat, as fast as bobsled players, leaving me with the experience of a squashed mosquito. I did not bother very much, for they were a fun lot. I still took pictures on the way home, despite their laughter, for they lived in the place I was so eagerly taking pictures of, but luckily for me, in the civilized part. They even helped me and pointed out some nice scenery for me to picture. I admired their integrity, for their attitude was not an easy one to pull, giving that I was practically though unintentionally offending them. I had asked dad before taking out the camera to make sure of that exact thing from the beginning. For the first time in my life, I was not afraid to let go and be myself with all of the encouragement their spirits inflicted, leaving me with one of the most memorable and fun experiences in my whole life. I cannot deny that this particular experience refreshed my social life and uplifted my senses, leaving me, as surprising as it may sound, on many sides developped.





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