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How (Not) to Be Courteous

Say what you mean, unless you don't mean what you say.

My friend Bobo’s leather jacket caught my eye. I thought it was rewesh neek and told him as much. He sarcastically pretended to take it off, muttering ‘etfadal, etfadal’, as if he was giving it to me, followed by ‘Kosomak!’ His unique ability to break down any sort of emotional idiosyncrasy or nicety into its most basic form and simultaneously make me crack up is quite genius and inspired me to write about the following situations where things and people don’t particularly mean what they say…

When you’re leaving the taxi and the driver spits, ‘Khaly,’ what he actually means here is ‘kosomak, give me my money or I will follow you into your building and make snorting noises.’

When Mobinil text you, in the middle of an emotional text battle with a female, to remind you that your bill due date has passed, what they actually mean is ‘Kosomak, pay us our money so you can continue using this device to be a bitch.’

When someone is having a gathering and they put out those La Poire “sweets” and “sandwiches” that no one will ever touch because they taste like cement and broken dreams, what they actually mean is just ‘kosomak.’

When a nouveau riche boy is new to going out, wearing a D&G t-shirt and Gucci shoes and an Hermes belt, identifies the richest kids coming into the club and invites them to his table before he’s even sat down, what he actually means is ‘Look at me! Kosomak, I am cool and have money and get drunk without my parents knowing too! Kosomak.’

When TE Data tell you their system is down throughout Egypt, even though your neighbour’s internet is working just fine, what they actually mean is, well, ‘We know we are completely useless but you aren’t going to be doing anything about it because we basically have a monopoly on the interwebz here so… kosomak.’

When you call McDonalds at 11.25 am and they purposely put you on hold for 5 minutes and then say that breakfast ends at 11.30 am, what they mean is ‘Kosomak.’

When the KFC guy arrives and you can see that he has plenty of 10 LE bills for change but instead decides to give you 5 LE, then look at you for 2 seconds, then give you another LE coin, then look at you, then give you another coin, then fiddle with his pockets as if they’re struggling to find the change to give you, what he means is ‘Kosomak.’

Illustration by Bouklao Illustrations.

When your cleaner takes a piece of your hash for himself, as if he’s entitled and knows that you can’t ask him if he took your drugs, fel akher ya3ni, kosomak.

When someone says LOL, ‘Kosomak’.

When you try to put the USB in one way and it doesn’t go in, then you try to put it in the other way and it still doesn’t work and you know there are only two options but you end up doing it 10 times, what the USB is saying here is, ‘kosomak.’

When the hotel leaves a bottle of Evian out on the side table, with a big sign wrapped around the lid that says ‘ENJOY!’ Then you drink the water and read the back of the sign that says this water is 35Le… they mean kosomak.

When you’re really excited to show someone a YouTube clip, the kind where you keep looking at their face to see their reaction, and YouTube decides to be an asshole and buffer every three seconds whilst you nervously try to explain why the clip is so funny because it’s not working and then it starts to stream again and you think you’re in the clear but it starts buffering again just as the ‘good part’ is about to happen… YouTube bey2olak kosomak.

“Ezayakk? 3amel eh? Tamam? Eh elakhbar? Ezayakk?Eh el nezam? Kwayes? Ezayakk?” Kosomak.

You’ve just met someone and they’re like, “Oh, you’re going to Barcelona/Paris/London? I have a house in Barcelona/Paris/London, it’s right in the center of Barcelona/Paris/London! You totally should come stay with me!” They have no intention of accommodating you, they just want you to know how cool and Westernized they are and, essentially… Kosomak.

“Check out my new set!” Kosomak ya DJ. Kosomak.

“Timmy, I like your articles but you use too many swear words, it’s unnecessary.” Kosomak.