Life in Boxes

SHipping boxesThe shippers came. But they left the boxes behind.

They’ll come tomorrow to pick them up and send them on their way.

Today, I moved my electronics to J&K’s pad, and E got all the plants. We moved everything in a little Peugeot taxi in two trips. The plant trip to Mohandiseen (about three miles) was funniest, with big, bushy green things blowing in the breeze on the roof of the little car.Appliance boxes

Because I’m a congenital pack rat, I kept the boxes for the TV and microwave and stuff, so it all traveled well the two and a half blocks to its new home.

Now, it’s odds and ends, and the clothes I kept to last me three weeks in Turkey and here.

Finally feels like I’m getting somewhere.  Where that is, and what I’ll do when I get there?

Serendipity is my closest ally.

Plants plant


The Shippers Haven’t Shown

Magda’s Moulid PaintingThis will be the hardest thing to ship: a painting by Magda, who also happens to be the mother of a well-known journalist and blogger in Cairo.

I once bought a painting at a gallery in Baghdad – an abstract, almost cubist, trio of musicians – and, in order to get it home, I had to take it off the frame and roll the canvas up and put it in a tube in my luggage. Having it remounted and framed cost three times as much as I paid for the artwork.

This piece is also a trio of musicians, and is quite a bit larger — about 3 feet by 4 feet. It’s part of a series of paintings of scenes from a moulid, a kind of birthday festival for what passes for saints in Egypt (though they’re not officially Islamic).

Maybe I’ll start a collection of images of middle eastern musicians. Collecting is in my blood. My grandmother had hundreds of sets of salt and pepper shakers in two china cabinets in the grandparents’ old house in Mecca (that’s the one in Ohio).

I’ve spent the afternoon waiting for workers to come and pack up about 2/3rds of my belongings here so they can ship them back to the states. That will avoid the hassle of dragging everything to the airport and paying excess baggage fees, which the airlines now delight in wringing every dollar/euro/pound/dinar they can from.

And I won’t have to drag the excess bags up the fourth floor walk-up Marie has kindly let me crash at for a while when I return.

Magda Mother Child

But I’m not sure how we’ll deal with the paintings I’ve bought.

Guess when the shippers show, we’ll have a conversation about that.

When they show.


This is another one by the same artist. The woman’s beautiful face reminds me of my friend G.