Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flavoured Lattes

As I venture into the real world, I continue to struggle to make sense of my surroundings. I’ve graduated almost a year ago, but I still feel lost.

University was my comfort-zone. My friends were like me; we had the same interests and hailed from the same background. I went to the prestigious American University in Cairo where everything and everyone was a walking advertisement of Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Porsches were parked in front of the main gate and we had flavored lattes on campus. My favorite flavor was “Irish Cream” and my second favorite was vanilla. Yes, I used to drink flavored latte and discuss Isabel Allende. I have to admit, I was a bit of a cliché. The spoiled kid, a pseudo-intellectual, excited about the prospects of getting a job, but too worried about managing her own finances.

On Thursday, I stayed on campus after my classes. Our auditorium was turned into a cinema hall and we had the chance to watch all the new movies from Hollywood for free.


You just had to show them your ID.

Armed with a number of witty comments, we would head to a café and discuss the movie over lattes.

Sometimes, our conversations shifted and we talked about the real world. In a few years, we would be graduates, getting our MA’s and getting real jobs. We talked about graduation; we claimed to be ready to graduate.

I graduated and it hit me.

University didn’t prepare me for the real world. I’m still shocked, dumb-founded. I still can’t wrap my head around the idea. Getting a job seems like a mystery.

Once upon a time, in the comfort of AUC, we were told we were special. Our parents paid large amounts of money for us to receive quality education. We speak good English and we have a number of extra-curricular activities to brag about. When we graduate, we will get a job in the blink of an eye. Oh how I miss university! The feeling of being unique, well-educated and privileged. The feeling that nothing is out of our reach. You just have to take a deep breath and reach for it.

As I sit at my desk in Khartoum two. I reminisce about flavored lattes and an overpriced twix tart. I can smell onions as I climb the stairs to my office ( Sudanese people ate the heaviest breakfast in the world at 1 pm) and I start thinking to myself: maybe this is how the real world smells, different, but at times, challenging.

1 comment:

Precious said...

Wow! See what a big difference there is between University life, and the real world! However, I love the real world, for the same reason, it is challenging, thus acheivments taste much better than flavored latte ;)