Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Cautionary Tale


 
It’s probably time I announced to you if you care, that I am planning on moving back to Algeria. Many years and a thousand reasons later I thought it’s about time I returned home.

Reasons? Besides the fact that I miss my family, besides the fact I watch as my parents get visibly older and my nieces and nephews visibly and scarily less innocent.  I find myself missing out on so many things and finding myself alone here always trying to find a justification to it all, usually it’s of the type “What? It’s my life and I decide how to live it”, but more often than not I can find no real justification (to myself) for my lingering here on this island, where I am deeply happy and unhappy at the same time, where I am crowded and alone, lonely and lively, positive yet so gloomy, Always going but inevitably always staying.

So like every couple of years, I declare to all my friends and family that this was it, I am leaving! everybody shake their heads laughing and say “ah what you like!!” and I get a bit indignant but then give up on the whole idea and resume my life of miserable commuting to a shitty job working for a knobhead of a boss and get paid some dineros, half of which is spent on the miserable commute to the shitty job working for the knobhead of a boss.  BUT not this time, not anymore. This time I mean business; and LITERRALLY...well and a bit of fun!

So my mind starts to wonder about what my life would be like in Algeria, when I know I am there for the long haul and not a fleeting week where my mum makes my favourites dishes and my dad suggests to take me out to touristic sites and thinks it’s cute when “Je fais mon anglaise”.

What will I wear? I fear a wardrobe reshuffle would be in order? What do I speak? Algerian, French of English? What will I do? Can I get a job there? Will I be able to drive on the left hand side? Can I go to the cinema when the mood strikes? ; can I go out for dinner and stay out with friends? Will I get used to the infernal traffic, the driving antics of Algerians with their 7 lane motorways (actual lanes: 3) and their “Normaaals” and whatnots! I wonder about how long my grace period will last with my dad before he starts to scrutinise my everything and make me feel like I made a massive mistake!  

I think about how loud the local mosque call to prayer is but how comforting to hear the Adhan again, not so much for its religious meaning as for being one of the only things that never fails or changes, no matter what happens, there will always be that soft magical velvet voice singing, floating on the warm air making you feel home safe .

I think about how life seems so difficult yet so simple! I Think about constant stares in the street that often make me trip, I think about all the French speaking that seems to determine social class! I think about so many things, important and trivial that my head spins and I just want to take a big nap and throw it all to the wind and decide that what you were used to before, you will get used to again.  
But I decide that nobody should force exile on themselves just because there’s a lack of cinemas, first class gyms or Costa Caf├ęs or even freedom, democracy and justice in their country! Not because of the level of corruption or nepotism or the number of things that will rub you the wrong away on a daily basis, or the fact you will hate everyone and want to throw in the towel after about a month.
Time only will tell…

Dz-chick... Announcement one of two!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Let’s talk ...Period!



Day 19 of Ramadan, Day 5 of period

Yes my period, you know that time of the month when women bleed from their vaginas and sometimes have red spots in the back of their skirts (not me)…of course these are not the only symptoms or consequences of this monthly torment but that was already covered, remember?

I find myself increasingly eager to talk about my period to anyone willing to listen or not, something so overwhelmingly natural, half the earth's population endures from the ages of 12 (sometimes even 9) and reluctantly until menopause yet we are not supposed to discuss it openly and without shame and men refuse to acknowledge it unless it brings relief, because the wife or girlfriend is not pregnant or bad news because it means no sex (unless he's into that sort of thing) because the flow came to town (I love this expression haha)!

I like to talk about my period, I just blurt it out nonchalantly like discussing the weather, I say things like I am in pain, I have my period, I am a woman, can I have a box of tampons please?, What’s your strongest period pain drugs?, I am due any minute now I can feel it, I think we’re synched now, I say things like “urgh get over yourself, it’s just a period, we all know it happens”.

Men get squeamish and twitchy and pull faces like you just said Bogie sandwich, some women get a bit timid, most get horrified with shame, others only discuss it in whispers and euphemisms, whilst others just laugh and add on a layer of much needed girly complicity, I personally just like to put in on the table! Yes I HAVE MY PERIOD, I BLEED FROM MY VAGINA and I have several hormones playing havoc with my body! The sooner you deal with it, the sooner you’ll grow up.

And no I am not one of those vulgar girls who likes to talk biology and anatomy in unscientific words, I am not a rebel, I am not a “feminist”, I am just a woman who recognises that a period is something very very natural she’ll experience about a thousand times in her life and would like the world to stop behaving like it’s witchcraft and get “au fait” about it, would like for people to stop behaving like bleeding women are the devil and that menstrual blood is bad, and stop thinking that vaginas are evil, because they don’t seem to mind them when they’re not bleeding.

And now it’s Ramadan, so really I am not supposed to talk about Vaginas or women in general because a woman is really just a vagina.  I am certainly not supposed to eat in public when menstruating because it’ll mean that I have my period and that is shameful; to whom exactly it’s still unclear to me! I certainly don’t want people to start having mental pictures of what’s going on in my knickers but I will not hide my period, or the pain it causes me or that my reproductive system is functional, because really, that’s all it means, if anything it should be welcomed news!

I do not need to be brave, courageous or have a big mouth to discuss my period, my moon cup or which tablets work the best, it’s a natural biological process of the female body, I am proud of my body, when it runs a mile, when it lifts 80Kg, when it withstands 9 months of pregnancy, when it fasts 19 days in a row or when it bleeds for 5 days!

Dz-Chick…You’re Welcome.

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