Finally, someone beats Timmy Mowafi up. Unfortunately, he hasn't changed.
I am by no means a confrontational person. It’s a cliché, but I’m a lover not a fighter. Partly because I don’t know how to fight, and loving seems much less hassle. Before moving to Egypt from England the only altercations I ever got into were with my brother Adam when he wanted to watch crane documentaries and I wanted to watch the football. Cranes are shit.
Ever since I’ve been over here, it seems like I’m getting into more and more fights. A few years ago I was hosting an ‘original superhero’ party at Imperial Boat. All was going well until I got a message that there’s some guy outside who is asking to see me. I walk outside in my cape, guy liner and boxers on top of my meggings to see what’s going on. Turns out, some random guy who I accidentally spilled water on the night before at 35 and had completely forgotten about, had found out my name, where I’d be the next night and probably my star sign and my favourite book too. He was stood there with 12 of his massive friends. All I was thinking was, surely they have better things to do on a Friday night? Putting on my thickest British accent I told them I’m a lover not a fighter. I then translated it into Arabic as best as I could. Apparently, the language barrier wasn’t the issue because a minute later I’m flat-out trying to fight 12 half-armed guys on the street… Fully dressed as a superhero.
Last weekend, it happened again several times at Nacelle. It seemed like every few steps I took, a guy was trying to start with me.
First off was an older acquaintance. Let’s call him Mr.A. He’d asked me for cigarettes about five times previously and each time I apologised and told him I didn’t have any. An hour later, he’s there asking me for cigarettes again, and again, and again. I assume he’s joking by this point, jesting like an older brother type, so I play along, put my hand into my pocket and take out my middle finger.
He calls me pretentious.
I tell him to get a thesaurus. I then realise that’s an incredibly pretentious thing to say.
It took about 5 minutes of him grabbing my neck whilst repeatedly calling me a “bitch-whore” for me to realise that this was no jest. He was genuinely angry.
It got me thinking, did he mean “bitch-whore” like a sassy prostitute or an overworked employee of an existing whore? Either way, I thought neither were relevant to my possession of cigarettes. Especially as, if I was employed by a prostitute, I bet I’d be chain-smoking and have at least two packs on me at all times, thus avoiding this whole situation all together and disproving his “bitch-whore” theories.
Oh well. As Jay-Z said, on to the next one! I was walking back to my table when I saw a girl from behind I thought I knew. I tapped her on the shoulder, and before I could reach in for the cheek kiss, the man next to her, let’s call him Mr.A-Hole, digs his index finger into my sternum, grabs my forearm and growls… “That’s my fucking wife”.
I look back to the girl, and indeed it is not my friend but, apparently, his “fucking wife”.
Trying to be as civil as humanly possible to get out of this pointless testosterone-fueled situation, I took him gently by the shoulder, apologised for the mistake, apologised to his fucking wife, told him that I thought it was someone else and there was no need for the aggression and walked off. Not to mention I was wearing a jumper full of butterflies; the least offensive top in the history of apparel. How harmful could I be?
Ten minutes later I got a message telling me that Mr. A-Hole was waiting for me outside. For fuck’s sake, not again.
Learning my lesson from my short bout as a superhero, I tried to gather an army. I hyped up anyone around me who I thought would have my back; 20, maybe, 30 guys ready to rip Mr. A-Hole a new A-hole in my honour. I marched to the exit and turned back to face my army for a rallying speech.
Apparently, monkey-dancing to Aly B was a much more enticing prospect than spending their Friday night in fisticuffs. There was just one shab gym guy there standing behind me, and I’m pretty sure he had no idea who I was. He was far more disappointed than I to realise the man was bluffing and there was no one waiting outside.
After telling my sister about what happened the next day she pondered me this question: “Maybe it’s you?” I sat there contemplating if it was me or not and there was a montage going through my head of all my fights in pastel 80′s colours, sort of like a socially awkward Van Damme, when I finally came to this conclusion: No. It’s not that Egyptians don’t agree with me, it’s that I, being myself, don’t particularly agree with Egyptians.
I’m not sure what it is about me that offends the Egyptian ego so much. Yes I dress differently and I articulate my sentences without the use of the prefix ‘aha’. And, yes, I may go up and talk to any beautiful girl I see and what of it? The Egyptian ego regularly confuses ‘respect’ with chauvinism. It’s a small society and, believe it or not, most of the time I’m just interested in stimulating conversation and a bit of banter. I see it all the time. There’s no reason to grab your girlfriend every time I walk past and piss all over your territory The Egyptian ego is fueled by insecurities and the more you keep pissing, the more likely it is the girl is going to drown.
At the end of the day, you may think you have a bigger penis, but I have a bigger thesaurus and I will fuck your mind with it.