Up until this day, mama and baba have been doing our laundry and feeding us the molokheya we've never been able to make. But while we've all rejoiced in our perpetual Peter Pan syndrome, there are some things you should just learn in your 20s, and yes, they include (gasp!) using a washing machine.
Our good old twenties - that time of our life we couldn’t wait to get to, though once we got there we instantly wanted to go back to our sweet carefree childhood. The Western world seems to have it all together with most 20-year-olds already paying rent and bills. We on the other hand, have had the lucky, cushy privilege of Egyptian parents who love us too much and who literally do everything for their children - and then expect them to be able to get married (as soon as possible obviously) and run a household and take care of a family, with all the life skills by the end of it that entails.
They’re expected to know how to feed themselves, how to save for a house, or use a washing machine; and not like a random washing machine from the 19th century; we mean like one of those digital touch screen Electrolux Zanussi machines with more options than we can count. Although they do call it ‘Family Care Plus’ - perhaps that’s supposed to encourage parental instincts. Anyway, enough about washing machines, here are seven things we think you should know how to do in your 20s.
Washing Your Own Clothes
God forbid! As Egyptians we're kind of still children well into our 20s and telling us we’re supposed to know how to use a washing machine is absurd! You would never tell your five-year-old to turn on the washing machine, so why would you tell your… 25-year-old? But let's all admit that we really should be able to wash our favourite sweater and not have it reek of BO for weeks because we couldn't figure out how make a washing machine work. Now if it’s anything like the Zanussi Family Care Plus washing machine, it will make your life infinitely easier; it’s got a digital control panel, flexible cycle duration and, apparently, limits water and electricity consumption based on the amount of washing - so you're saving on your water and electricity bills too, which leaves more money for pizza. The sound levels are minimal so you can definitely continue with your plan to rewatch all of season 5 of Gilmore Girls without hearing weird thumping sounds in the next room. Or if you really want to crack the whole washing machine code - and by extension, adulting - just play with the options indefinitely like it's never going to break down, since its inverter motor protects it from short-circuiting.
Nafd El Segada
We can’t think of anything more soul-draining than spring cleaning with mom. Removing the couches, pushing the beds, and lifting the floor rugs. And then she hits us with, “El segada me7taga tetnafad,” (the rug needs to be shaken). Well, we’ve seen the strong and busty cleaning lady do it in the movies. But just the thought of standing in the balcony with this gigantic thing crushing us is terrifying; what if it falls? Maybe we just won’t buy floor rugs if we ever decide to grow up.
Not Asking Mama to Feed You
Oh, the horror. You’ve never cooked a day in your life, you’ve never touched an uncooked chicken with your own bare hands, and you probably don’t even know how to use the stove. Also, did you know there are round things with handles where you can put food in and they cook it? Incredible stuff.
Paying Your Own Phone Bills
Flashback to the days when mom and dad were buying us 5 LE phone credit at a time and told you, “this will last you until next month.” And of course it never did because you were too busy gossiping on the phone to your favourite Derp about why Sansa should also feed Little Finger to the dogs like she did with Ramsay on Game of Thrones. By the end of the month, you always managed to scab around 50 LE worth of credit, and every time you scabbed money you would say, “I need it for homework.” No more, friends! It is time to subscribe to a monthly service and pay your own phone bill like a proper adult.
Do people actually do this? It can’t be that hard. You only have to stop yourself from paying for Netflix, buying pizza every day, resisting the urge to go to the cinema, ditch coffee because that’s really expensive these days, no more snacks – that’s an impulse buy, and while you’re at it, just live in complete darkness because electricity is expensive and your parents are no longer paying for that either. Wasn’t that hard, was it? (Do you even have a bank account?)
Getting an Insurance Policy
Sometimes things break in our lives; like the fridge, the car, your laptop, your lonely heart, or your leg. Now getting an insurance policy is the ultimate transition into adult life. Why? Because there are people who live a full life and die without knowing how to get insurance or understanding the benefits they should be receiving. While we really don’t think that an insurance policy can fix your broken heart, we know that it can fix your appliances and pay for your leg.
Changing a Tyre
In the Western world, 12-year-olds will probably already know what to do when stranded out in the middle of a highway surrounded by nothing but cacti when suddenly, a tyre bursts. But in Egypt, if a tyre pops – which in Egypt's pot-holed streets basically happens three times a week - us good old 20-year-olds will most likely call baba, and then baba will send the sawa2 to either call a towing service or just change the tyre himself. Due to Egypt’s congested norm, you’re probably also holding up traffic and embarrassing yourself among passers-by. So just don't. Get your hands dirty and change that tyre.
*The contents of this article are sponsored.