Why? hmmm why? Let's see...because since 1962 we've had about 10 years of good life and abundant food, jobs and total security, because until now with all the economical reforms that Bouteflika has undertaken we are still suffering HUGE inflation, unrealistic property prices and unemployment has reached a staggering 30% (slight exaggeration on my part perhaps) and insufficient infrastructure and never ending state of emergency that is causing havoc in the capital including constant traffic and air pollution.
And then you have the Algerianism which is a way of being and living and talking only Algerians are capable of...
- You are invited to a wedding! who? someone’s lost uncle's daughter is marrying a pilot! oooohh a pilot weshbik! Or perhaps he’s her cousin and nobody wants to admit it.
You get dragged to the wedding party, music blaring from a DJ who doesnt know where to look there's so many half naked girls around, you try to talk to the guests at your table and you end up just nodding and smiling or shouting to make yourself heard "I cant hear you and no I DO NOT want to bloody dance" my mother giving me evils that are supposed to order me to smile and that spell "behave you're embarrassing me", the bride dressed in multicoloured traditional extravaganzas, her hair fashioned in a way only the angels or a pair of scissors could entangle, giltter all over her skin, big black smoky eye make-up a la Libanaise apparently, right so you weren't going for the Goth look? Well you look lovely..Mabrook(1).
Bride and everybody else: Lakouba lik inchallah(2)
Everybody: well say Inchallah
Me: I said it in my heart...now fuck off.
Multicoloured cakes are served, they are all made from the same pastry and filling, almonds scented with rosewater, covered with different coloured sugar coating, served with mint tea that is so sweet it could induce instant coma or some luke warm كَوْكا كَوْلا or Coka.
Whilst we eat, the bride struts around the hall showing off her "beautiful" gowns, people stare with half smiles and some break into deafening ululations, a feel of hypocrisy fills the space, I feel so awkward when she comes near my table so I start to smile beamingly in an attempt at expressing "wallah am not jealous" hoping not to be categorized with the other group of young girls dying to be married and are apparently giving her the evil eye. I like the Carakou and le Caftan I thought, leaving the party.
- Sitting in a Salon de Thè in Algiers as they do...Iiiih we have Oil and it doesn’t show, Morroco is better, Tunisa is amazing and we have a LOT of money but a lot more vultures, thiefs...Heard it all before!
Where are you spending the NYE? Me: Sahara, bourgeois mate: Paris and another is talking about Honolulu....me: I see....
Whilst still at the airport, we are all still Algerian staring but discreetly, doing "El Watan" crosswords, once we get on the plane we all become British, all pick up "The times" or for some its "The Sun", polite to one another and only address each other in English and smiling to your neighbour is a NO NO. Once in Heathrow, no eye contact, all on their mobiles and promptly ignoring each other.