When I am writing this, I am wearing my silver diamond ring, conjuring up her face- my mother- when I asked her to search for my earring that I have misplaced somewhere in New Cairo. Now that I am missing it, I can idealize it a bit; it was the ‘fairest of them all’, a ‘fantastic’ ‘triangle-shaped’ ‘very decent’ earring with amber stone in the middle.
I remember quite well that when my parents left me at the airport on my way to England, it was not the silver white ring that I am wearing now (which I bought from a small shop in Giza), but the greenish trapezoid-like silver ring that I bought from Turkey. It is not that I like the one I bought from Turkey less; I actually like them both.
In a small purse, in my backpack, I carried the silver diamond ring to Egypt from England where almost ‘the whole collection’, ‘my treasure’ of accessories currently lie.
While dragging my bags at Manchester, looking at the sky, it crossed my mind that I must have missed something in Cairo; mhm--my earring - but what else? The phone charger? My passport?! I must have stopped for a while before remembering that I certainly cannot have forgotten it.
After a couple of days when I settled in my room, my accessories were the first thing I arranged; I put them in sections in an empty chocolate box that my friend gave me as a present. Looking at the chocolate box, I said that apart from that earring, I am sure, I have not missed anything else- I assured myself as I put my treasure (rings, bracelets, and pendants) in place.
A couple of weeks later, in that hall at Lancaster, I imagined myself telling the life-guard- with –splashes of water in the background- that I forgot to take off the ring and it fell in the floor; ehm.. the water… the water swallowed it.
Looking at my hand, I went back to the changing room, opened the locker, and put the ring carefully in my bag.
I have thought a bit why it is my accessories that I love the most- it is not that all of them are in gold and valuable. I got most of them from small ‘not expensive’ shops in Cairo: the earring with orange stones I got from Kerdasa, a textile-center for making costumes; and the earring with red stones- I got from khan El-Khalili; this amber-like stone I am missing a lot now is a present from my mother.
It must have started long ago, in my childhood, my favorite fairytale scene was not that one - recounted by my mother- when the gardener married the princess but that of Ali Baba (one famous character in One Thousand and One Nights) who after walking in alleys and curved roads, is dazzled by pearl, diamond, and emerald.
It might be strange, really strange to write a post about missing my ‘amber’ earring (‘the fairest of them all’).
It will take me a couple of months more to see it –flesh and blood – in our house in New Cairo. The only thing is that during this journey I know I will encounter new things- and miss them. Missing things seems to be a life-style, a technique.