Wednesday 7 December 2011

The Algerian dream - Altered

Dreams like plans are often altered; yesterday I dreamt I was swimming in a beautiful calm blue sea, when a singing dwarf appeared and started howling the national anthem, I told him to shut up so he transformed into a shark and chased me then I woke up….

My Algerian dream was of moving back to Algeria, farm broccoli and Brussels’ sprouts and import Salmon which lets face it, sounds like hard work and I am Algerian, I like to know where my next income is coming from, I am not the one to take risks, I like to get paid at the end of each month whether I showed up or not, and I stash my money in the mattress bank.

Nowadays I dream of working in Algeria, get a job in Algiers at one of those big Banks in Hydra or some major Oil company that pays double my fucking London salary…seriously! I work my butt off; I pay exorbitant rent to live a poxy flat that I have to share with someone and their needy cat.

I am not done – I have to pay bills on top of that, water, electivity, gas and then come a series of taxes; Council tax, Road Tax, VAT on nearly EVERYTHING, TV Licence because you own a TV then you have to pay Virgin or Sky to rip you off with lousy Internet connection and a bunch of encoded channels that scramble on a windy day!

My little cousin, who has the IQ of a garden pest and who is about 10 years younger than me, has a job that pays almost the same as me after tax!! And I know this because in Algeria everybody discusses salaries in cafés, restaurants, buses, doctor’s waiting rooms, everybody knows everybody’s salary, your mum will boast about it when her friends come around, your brother will inform his friends as a reference and your friend will tell her other friend your salary not to sell you short. Good catch!

My little cousin who’s name is Celia - since when do we have names like Celia? -  I make a point of calling her Sellia to bring out the Arabic in her,

She lives with her parents – rent free - no bills, utilities or taxes are imposed on her, her boyfriend pays for her phone bill (flexi) because she’s only supposed to be calling him! - Chuckles - she drives a brand new Seat Leon and doesn’t have to pay for petrol because the company gives her coupons to pay for her “commuting” – honey, 15 minutes drive to work isn’t commuting!

Sellia is getting married this winter to the young man by the name of Massinissa who sends flexis to her phone, he drives a black Audi Q7, lives in a Villa in Hydra (with a pool), his mother is a gynaecologist and his father is a high ranking government official, naturally, Massi has a great job, his job title is “Superintendant des operations internes et chargé de synthese techniques” (What??) and he makes around £7000 a month. Good catch!

Sellia tells me I ought to move back to Algeria, she’d introduce me to some “interesting” guys (by interesting she means rich and speak good French) and have me married by next year, all I have to do is bring my booty, my charisma, IQ, fun and my fur coat she wants, another inflicted tax…roouuuh

I tell her I am angry, cynical, mostly moody, and lunatic
I don’t even own my own flat and I am 34 going on 35. The jig is up! NOT a Good catch

Dz-Chick…Chief Operating of interactions and data Guerilla!


  1. Pfff, I'm jealous (too)...
    Où ils payent 7000£ à Alger ?!

    FOL ?

  2. At the Societe Generale?? If I knew I wouldn't be here telling you about it! :)

  3. I wish I could interpret dreams and tell you what that dwarf meant, Miss DZ-Chick. Returning to Algeria looks good now, but who knows how you'd feel when some big shot husband started ordering you about.

    Maybe you should stay in London and marry a rich dwarf who wouldn't dare to boss you around. That must be what the dream meant! Warwick Davis is available and making a lot of money from his TV show.

  4. On fait nos valises et on rentre alors. En plus, je suis sûre qu'ils bossent jusqu'à 16h à Alger alors que nous on finis pas avant 18h30...

  5. Hahahaha you're funny DzChick! Great sense of humour!

  6. Leave my cat out of it!

  7. Gorilla Bananas I can't understand why on earth I would dream of a swimming, sining dwarf!

    Algerian men aren't bossy, that's most men, but it's up the women to steer his "commanding" energy towards better and more productive activities :)

    S You serious! you wait and see...this chick will be writing from DZ Land sooner than you think.

    Anonymous Thanks :)
    HouseMate You just keep your cat out of my room!

  8. Ha ha ha, everyone talking about their salaries openly reminds me of my home xxxx

  9. You really sound like you're done with london(I just noticed that it rhymes..loll) Well, I think you should give it a shot!! during vacation you should go back home and see if your cousin can hook you up with some dude that have plenty and yes he has to speak french(for me it's a must and I'm sure for you too).

  10. Blue perhaps I am done with London! It certainly feels that way! But to count on Sellia to find me someone!! Perleasssse! I think I'll be happy just living under the sunshine, close to my family! For the rest London would still be only 2.5hrs away!
    English is more important to me than French now! He has to speak English, how else is he gonna read my book?

  11. ... And I'll comment from DZ Land sooner than you think ? :)

  12. Chillax DZ Chick, those salaries aren't raining down like pennies from heaven in Algiers, for everybody making a great salary there are plenty of people working in shops for tuppence ha'penny a month.

    The girl working in the shop in Bab Ezouar is earning a princely £100 a month which isn't enough to cover the journey.

    That said, a pool would be sweet, no complaints about one wearing a swimsuit in public then are there! Also do not forget, what do you do with all this income? Spend it in Sidi Yahia? How much coffee can you drink? No, you take the money and spend it abroad, in which case you may as well be living abroad, which you are. Xxx

  13. S I'll hold you to it :)

    Anonymous sure enough the average salary is about £100 PCM I already covered that previously but I am not aiming to work in a shopping centre selling shoes or bras (there is nothing wrong with that - let it be noted)

    My dream scenario would be, I get a job in Algiers earning the same or equivalent to my London salary and escape to London or else for weekends and holidays! Of course am ignoring what comes with living in Algiers; traffic, Algerians, bureaucracy and dull Fridays!
    On second thoughts.....

  14. I left Algeria about 20 years ago. I went back to visit home/Algiers three times since for a total of 1 month and half. Every time I return from there, I say to myself this is the last time a will set foot there. But my parents are still alive, so I have to visit. My last visit was few months ago, I am now absolute certaint that I would not move “voluntarily” back. I just can't live there. No matter what status you give me!
    With all due respect to those who live in Algeria, life in Algeria (specifically in Algiers) is crappy. The country is absolutely beautiful, but people don’t know its value. Traffic is a nightmare; beautiful beaches are dirty, etc. DZ-Chick, I am sure you have your reasons why you don’t like living in England, but I would think twice before going back.

    Here is how Algiers ranks amongst the worst cities in the world, very sad:

  15. Maricani it is sad for me to hear that, but I realise it's a general consensus. Every time I go home, I laugh at everything and shake my head a couple of times but I love it all the same, my family, my origins, I would have no issue living there and comp laming about it the same way I do here...adaptability is great talent...

    Good luck Maricani

  16. Hah, Italy protesters rally against Berlusconi

  17. DZ... it isn't a good idea to make decisions about London in November / December. She's not at her best then. It would be like the callous man who leaves his new wife after he sees her for the first time without makeup, early in the morning after a late night and too many chocolate ice cream desserts.
    And how could your readers live without single girl dilemma's? Where's the fun in telling us all about your married life non-dilemmas?

  18. I went back to my country after 20 years abroad
    I found a job with a good salary
    I spent 3 years there with my family , my fiends of the Houma ,
    playing football every week in Bouchaoui and taking enlish courses with young 18 algerien students who speak it better than me ..

    The dream overed and I had to come back to abroad home

    Sad life

  19. Formosayou're probably right about the winter decisions on London but I am surprised London is a lady to you, for me it's a dude!
    As for my dilemmas as a married girl they'll have to wait! this Chick is not ready to hang her single girls hat despite her many complaints unless someone RIGHT came along!

    Anonymous that is a bit sad but it's a reoccurring story it seems a lot of Algerians live the same thing!!! It'll probably be me as well apart from the English lessons, they'll be teaching me Arabic!

  20. I wouldn't insist it was a lady, androgenous maybe?

    Thoughts on London from Cerys & Catatonia...
    London never sleeps, it just sucks
    The life out of me
    And the money from my pocket

    London always creeps, showbiz hugs
    The life out of me
    Have some dignity, honey

  21. --during vacation you should go back home and see if your cousin can hook you up with some dude that have plenty and yes he has to speak french--

    pfffffff, incroyable et grotesque.

  22. I don't hear a lot of positive things about London. It is too close to the homeland and it's too crowded.
    Come out west!
    There are problems here, but I think it's better than Europe. It’s cheaper and there are more opportunities (for those with an education) than in Europe. If you have a british accent, you will do well, they love it here. With your writing style you can probably strike a book deal to write about Algeria and its social issues (not that you are spot on on everything you write…LOL). When you make it big, you can go back “au bled” if you want, and you won’t need an income. At that time your blog will say 40 and single.

  23. Formosa Androgenous I can believe! The quotes on London are spot on! Mine would be .... Well all that I said above dns maybe this
    London sucks me dry, makes me cry, takes me rough and makes me wanna die

    Maricani is that the American dream? Because I am not that ambitious, I only aimed for the Algerian dream but since I seem to have a pretty good chance....maybe one day, though you know they don't make it easy for us to come and dork in the US of A! As British let alone as Algerians!
    Americans love the Brit accent! Say Table, say Computer, say the Internet lol

    Hang on!!! No spot on?? I thought they were quite accurate actually! Please let's hear your comments and corrections if any :) am here but to learn

  24. After all Sellia or Celia and her fake knight massi...are wrong!

    Don't sell your pride...your nif chere DZ-Chick!



    again...guess who's back?

  25. Hey Dz-cheikh I was wondering where you got to! Welcome back.
    I am not the one to fall for a man for his riches or his French! Or I would have been settled already :)

  26. I haven't seen yet a nice, handsome and classy man driving an Audi (or a Mercedes) in Algiers ! It's terrible ! Those german institutions are now so beggara friendly !!! So Massi must look like a big "baghrira" entangled in a tight flashy shirt and glitter slacks with a huge Dolce & Gabbana belt and half a bottle of One Million Paco Rabanne sprayed on his hairy chest every morning ! That's the main profile of algerian Audi Q7 drivers..

  27. That is the American dream and we are all after it. Make money and let it work for you to give you the time to do what you love.

    I am sorry to say that your Algerian dream will be difficult to achive especially in farming, just because you are a woman. Those people are backward and they don't want to change. Logic has no place in Algeria, just push with your "chest".

    You are right, they don't let us in easily in the US of A, some of us were able to sneak in during "waqt el ghafla".

    As far as accuracy of your posts, well, I actually enjoy reading your blog, you write mostly about how you see things from your own perspective so there are few opportunities to debate issues.

    Anyway, I have two pieces of advice for you if I may, leave London and don't move back to Algeria. Good luck!

  28. Homo Erectus - I haven’t either, but they sound hilarious these Q7 drivers you describe, a mixture of eighties cheese with Italian Mafia and a hint of Nouveau-riche.
    I am coming to Algeria soon; I will do some spotting….
    Maricani - The American dream seems so easy to attain, you make it sound so nonchalantly attainable…
    I am not saying moving back to Algeria would be easy or drama-free but I am sure it’ll be fun, funny and hopefully novelistic
    My posts like my blog generally, talk about my life, my experiences, so yes it’s very personal but also talks for a lot of Algerians out there (girls and boys) shared feelings and experiences, similar stories and anecdotes, some dilemmas and a few observations that everybody has lived and takes for granted until its brought to your attention and you think DAMN it’s true.
    Thanks for the advice…London is my home and so is Algeria…where do you suggest I go? Stay in the middle perhaps?

  29. Ok but... is Celia hot as hell ?? I'm sure she is.. you can only be hot when your name is Celia.. A moins que..

  30. The name is not always reflective of the physique, you can find a very hot Tasa3dit :)
    But you're right Celia is hot as hell! C'esg normaaaal it runs in the family :)

  31. The American dream is still alive, but it is harder to attain now than before. One thing for sure, the American dream is easier (for me) to attain than the Algerian dream. I stopped entretaining the idea of Algerian dream, I have no hope in the Algerian system, they can have it!

    You are right about your blog, so far this is the only "well written" blog I found on the internet that talks about (all that you mentioned above)and you are doing a very good job. I wanted to start a blog similar to yours, but I am not as gifted in the writing department as you are. I thank you for bringing up all these issues, dilemmas, etc.

    If you have two homes that you love, I respect that. I just have a problem with the latter.

  32. That's too bad DZC, you didn't take the bait?

  33. I re-read my last comment and you are right, there is no bait...Never mind...

  34. Again another post I've enjoyed!

    While housing, owning a car and some luxury items like meat, good quality things (clothes; shoes, etc) are not affordable or found easily living in Algeria is alot cheaper then aboard. As you mentioned, the bills are far and few - gas, electric, phone, net, transpot .. everything else depends on the lifestyle you want.

    Well I've never heard of a 7000£ salary ... but cruption does come to mind when I read this. Only the people involved in cruption are earning money like this. The average ALgerian salary is about 25,000 but one needs at least double that to be a mm over the poverty level. Forget it if you don't own your place and have to rent! But it's true for the youth life seems to be easy - live with mum and dad, go to school or work and keep all your money! Sadly, once you get married that's when the nightmare begins ... no way to buy a home unless you've worked aboard, inherited or part of the mafia. No halal loans. Government only helping the rich or the very poor with housing. MOst ppl are in the middle class .. what's their options? While little easier, same applies for cars. It took us 2yrs to save up enough just to buy an old junker! Food is relatively cheap but forget steak dinners or going out to eat LOL! Add a few kids in their - special foods, clothes, entertainment and you've got a noose around your neck! No wonder people aren't too concerned with all the cruption!
    @DZ chick, while you're cousin may be living this high life ... in Hydra or EL Biar most people aren't living like this. Head out of Alger past Zeralda to see how ppl really live!
    @Maricani, you're right! ALgeria is one of the most beautiful countries I've ever seen ... but the lack of respect for nature here? disgraceful! The French nor the Jews can be accountable for people throwing trash out of their kitchen or car windows! lack of adab! Go to a beach, they ask for 50,70 even 100dinars for parking .. yet the place is litered with trash, burnt out, beer bottles everywhere ... why the hell should i pay for such shit? these parking "guys" should be working for 100d! But I'm proud of such org like Ness el Kheir which are trying to enable not disable DZ!

  35. I am really fascinated with this great blog , wish to see what happens in 3 years time !
    you know what a guys your not alone!Egyptians as well !
    I travelled 1 month before DZ-Chick Blog ! Yet feeling hard to go back till the moment .
    Frequently Flying for work ! yet more then 2 weeks in home country is still ok !!
    I wanted to try the UK Dream and leave a good job but getting calls to interview is not enough.
    PAPERS hold you back from dreaming sometimes! convinced to leave anywhere but having a good life is not negotiable ! but is Egypt included ..... ??
    now in Algeria was searching for an apartment at Hydra then i luckily found the great blog.

  36. Heni I agree this lifestyle is not shared by all, but it's not corruption that makes for inflated salaries, it's the access to certain jobs with multinational firms etc...though you could argue that the access to these jobs is sometimes only through who you know...ergo: corruption

    Nader Thanks! so you're in Algeria now? I didn't understand what you meant.


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