No matter what school you go or went to in Cairo, there are certain things we get used to that don’t actually happen in schools abroad. We are quite privileged to have lived in a city where time doesn’t really matter that much, AKA having to be at school by 8am actually meant let’s think about leaving the house at 8am.
Here are some of the things we’ve learned from our time in school.
The security and workers become your best friends when they aren’t napping at work
One of the most important things to accomplish before graduating is becoming bros with the workers because it makes your life so much easier.
If you’re a smoker, it’s practically essential because at the end of the day, they know all of the best spots to smoke around campus and will give you a heads up if someone is coming. So really, we would be screwed without them.
Even foreign teachers understand Arabic swearwords
I’m sure everyone has their own experience with this issue, but I will never forget my economics teacher who spent a year trying to pull off an intense southern accent and pretended that he didn’t speak Arabic.
Obviously, we thought we were so cool because we could swear at him straight to his face and he wouldn’t even notice. We realized we were so wrong when he was caught talking to a worker in the hallway and speaking perfect Arabic, so we had to go back to being low key and keeping our sheteemas to ourselves.
The traffic on the way home from school will always be bad
Regardless of where you live in Cairo, you can’t escape rush hour no matter how quickly you try to get on the me7war. If you’re smart, you’ll learn to take advantage of the traffic by taking a little nap or starting your homework, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Oh, and if you’re late to school and don’t have a reason, just say there was an accident, it’s too common for them not to believe you.
There’s always an excuse not to do work or go to school on time
Everyone knows that Egyptians are the best at coming up with excuses not to work, and we learn it from a young age because there is always something better to do than study. Unless your teacher understands the struggle, you need to come up with a few excuses to get out of doing your assignments.
Top tip: Never forget what you decide to tell your teachers because I’ve killed off the same grandmother twice before; it took my teacher 10 seconds to realize that I was lying and that my grandmother was actually just chilling at home drinking her tea.
The nurse never knows what she’s doing
You could be absolutely fine and just bored, but you know that you can’t just walk out of school. Go to the nurse, cough twice in front of her and tell her you need to go home and she will feel bad and write you a note in a second. It’s pure genius. Unless said nurse studied medicine and healthcare at somewhere like Bradley University, then they’ll more than likely send you back to your class.
Girls always have their periods when it’s time to swim
If sports is mandatory in your school and you have a pool, it’s very likely that once it hits spring, swimming becomes obligatory. However, girls always seem to have their periods when it’s the week to swim, what a coincidence! It’s the perfect excuse, they aren’t going to check to see if you’re lying, so you know you’ll be fine.
Skipping class is always an option
I’ve never met someone who hasn’t skipped at least one class in Cairo, it’s just one of those things that we all do because we know we can. Just make sure you stay on the down low later on, because if your teacher sees you, they will ask questions.
When an assignment is due on Monday, it really means it’s due on Thursday
You can always get away with giving in an assignment late; you just tell them that you have a lot on your plate and you can’t do it now. Or just don’t show up to class, so you can’t technically hand it in.
Never tell anyone you have money at the canteen
Many people come to school without money and end up esh7ating from there friends. Don’t be too open about the 50 pounds your mom gave you because she didn’t have fakkah on her, because people will think you’re a baller and try to take it from you.
Your first high school crush is not going to become the eternal love you first expected
When you meet your first crush in high school, your expectations of your relationship are completely different compared to what actually ends up happening.
Yes, I know it happens to some people, but realistically, it won’t happen to you, so just get over it and move on.
Your best friends through high school will always be there
No matter how popular you were in school, there are always going to be certain friends who you trust with your life. I can assure you that no matter how old you get, your friendships won’t fade away, because if they could deal with looking at your ugly ass face every day when you were going through puberty, then you know the friendship is true.
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