When people hear we are planning on moving to Egypt, they fire off a number of questions, all of which are highly predictable. The order they are asked changes, and phraseology differs, but inevitably they all come up.
Q: You're what? What will you be doing over there?
A: Yes, we're moving to Cairo...Egypt. Andrew will be getting his master's degree at the American University in Cairo.
Q: What's he majoring in?
A: Math....Just kidding! Middle East Studies.
Q: Oh, that makes sense. Well, what are you going to do over there?
A: Same thing I do over here.
Q: What's that?
A: Stay at home with Rachel.
Q: Will you have to wear a burqa?
A: No. I will wear the hijab, though. Calm down. It just means modest clothing: long sleeves, long pants, long skirts. I won't have to wear the veil or anything.
Q: Are you scared?
A: Nervous, yes. Stressed, yes. Scared, no. There are a lot of things we have to do to get ready to go, but it's really pretty safe over there. There's less petty crime than there is in America, in general, and tourism drives the Egyptian economy so they handle foreigners with care.
Q: Do either of you speak Egyptian?
A: Well, no, but Andrew has studied Arabic for about 3 years now. I have picked up a bit here and there.
Q: Have you been there before?
A: Yes. We traveled through Egypt for about 10 days and lived in Jordan for a semester. We've been to other places in the Middle East as well.
Q: How does your family feel about this?
A: For the most part they're okay. I mean, we've traveled a lot and we can email and call home. They're just sad that we're taking Rachel so far away.
I can't tell you how many times I've run through varying forms of this conversation. If you can think of any original questions, I'll be interested in hearing them!