In his Cairo Columnists debut, Karim Rahman gets in tune with his inner Carrie Bradshaw, minus the sex and the Manolos.
The idea of this column came to me in a 6AM, post-sohour haze phone call with my best friend. In fact, this is exactly how the idea came to be born:
Me: I think I'm going to write a column about my life.
Best Friend: Oh God, not again...
And he had every right to sigh with exasperation. My life is nothing if not a series of misfortunate events, all piling up to me attempting to be famous or achieving high standing in Cairo high society. In my defence, though, this column has much more going for it than just insipid snippets and tidbits of my not-so-glamorous life. Rather, I'd like to think of it as my two-cents on the matter that is life in Cairo and the chaotic adventure that is the Cairo social scene.
Actually, this column had two, prominent figures that served as unknowing inspirations: Carrie Bradshaw and Amy Mowafi. While I may not have as much sex as Carrie, and me relating to Amy's "Good Egyptian Girl" dilemma is biologically impossible, it's safe to say I managed to finish half a pack of cigarettes in the while it took me to write these first two paragraphs, so at least I have that aspect of Carrie down. And I may not be as glamorous or as influential in the Cairo social scene as Amy, but my laugh is as loud (if not louder) as hers. Truth is, I'm Amy Mowafi, you guys, secretly writing this as Kiki. Column's over. Go home.
I'm 20. In fact, I've only been 20 for an insignificant number of months. The transition from almost-no-longer-a-teenager to barely-a-young-adult has been interesting, to say the least. It involved heartbreak, happy times, college failures, fights with best friends, fights with parents, a lot of cake (eaten directly off the plate in a haze of depression, I might add) and orange hair. Of all the things that happened the past year, nothing hurt more than the orange hair. Even now, I'm still trying to regain my natural, light-brown-but-I-like-to-call-it-blonde shade (it's still a muddy brown).
And if all of the above wasn't enough to deal with (along with the remains of teenage hormones), there's still the added issue of me not knowing what the fuck I want to do with the rest of my life. As a fashion designer/interior designer/writer/painter/occasional singer, you can see my dilemma. As my best friend once eloquently put it "Fuck you, you can't be all of those things at the same time."
In elaboration, my best-friend-turned-muse so helpfully added that we're faced with many paths in our lives. You can take one path, one that's really well paved for you, end up straying into a different road that only ends with a total train wreck, find your way back to "your true destiny", get lost a little bit more, before finally settling on your true calling. "You can't be a writer/singer; you're not Paris Hilton."
I couldn't help but wonder, though...why not?
In all fairness, I don't know who I want to be, or how I want to end up as, much (MUCH) later in the future. I still have a lot of self-discovery to go through, a lot of steam I want to let off and a lot of tequila shots to down. I don't want to focus on one thing and find my place in life, settle down in the house with the white picket fence and the stable, successful career. I want to be all over the place. I want fame, I want to be recognised just by walking into one of Cairo's "It Places" of the month. I want to be this and I want to be that.
Cairo's a jungle: it's chaotic and it's messy. One minute, you're in and the next, you're as irrelevant as Laila Elwy (how she still manages to find her way back on the screen is a feat in its own). So, if I'm living in such an ever-changing and unpredictable environment, why can't I be as unpredictable and ever-changing as that very same environment? I can. In fact, I will.
That's basically what I'm going to write about. A (much over done) recycling of the Sex and the City theme, explored from the vantage point of a barely- young-adult trying to make it in Cairo, all the while juggling college, a career, a (barely there) love life, best friends and parents. And being fabulous to boot.