Taking out the trash: How I learned to let go and live like an Egyptian

Trash. I’ve told you all before but life here in Egypt can be ridiculously strenuous at times. Sometimes it can be exhausting.

Take for example this past month. With my busy schedule I am sometimes not home and simple chores like taking out the garbage get left to my wife. Here in Egypt we have doormen who assist with many of the routine tasks such as trash. For the last two years I’ve paid him extra. Why? Because I’m aware the dollar is worth more here and also, it’s not breaking the bank for me to do it. I’ve made it clear that whenever I’m in financial difficulty I’ll have to scale back. Anyways, he’s understood. He only has one job; Clean the hallway and take out my trash. Even with those two tasks he’s constantly late. I decided to buy a trash can to put in the hallway of my apartment to help him out a bit. Within hours it was gone, why? The landlord took it, complaining that he didn’t want a trash bin in the hallway. I was confused? Wasn’t a trash bin infinitely better than trash bags being placed on the floor for cats to make a mess. I guess not.

Today after a beautiful day with the family I came home to shouting in front of my apartment. Who was it? My landlord, yelling about how I left two bags of trash outside. Long story short, everything is now peachy, but what I wanted to mention is that I went out of my way and bought trash bins for myself and others. I attempted to create a system that would work for everyone, but none of it mattered.

What I had to remember is that in their eyes, I am at fault. It doesn’t matter if I think what they are doing is illogical. This is THEIR country, with their culture, and their rules. I have to humble myself and work in a way that is accordance to their views not my own.

What matters is working things out in a way THEY understand. The sooner I understood that, the better. Does this same method of thinking help you in various aspects of your life?


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