Quarantine Diaries #1: Ana Ba2eit A3da Fel Talaga Msh Fel Beit

By: Rawan Khalil

Quarantine, lockdown, coronavirus, el viroooos – whatever you want to call the current pain in the ass – it has flipped our lives around. It has undeniably transformed them into this soggy blob of nothingness and to be fair we don’t remember what life was before the coronavirus.

Quarantine is a perfect picture of bakol w bat5an w msh batnayel ahabeb 7aga 3edla. And, el so2al yatra7 nafso everytime you decide to exercise by getting up and walking to the kitchen- hal ana zah2ana wala ga3ana? (But, also damn doesn’t it feel good to stretch your legs.) A question we have probably all asked ourselves as we opened the fridge for the 16th time this hour, to be unpleasantly surprised by the lack of surprising uneaten pieces of cake. And, after scanning the fridge for the 100th time; we call mama:

“Mama ga3ana akol eih?”

Mum: “E3mely Sandwich gebna”

“Ooof, tanii?”

Mum: … 

“Taib el ghada emta?”

Mum: “Msh delwa2ty”

“Taib el ghada eih?”

Mum: “momken nefakar barra el talaga”

“Oooof” 

Most of our days now consist of laying in bed with a big bag of cheetos, meanwhile calling mama el f el oda el gambena to ask her el ghada eih, w emta w et2a5ar leih. They also consist of going through instagram or pinterest looking for easy recipes because we are shit chefs, we are hungry or we are lazy. In some cases, all of the above. Most of us have tried the whipped coffee by now (guilty).

But, instagram is also full of very motivational quotes and posts about how this is a perfect timing to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do. Ekteb el ketab el ba2alk sana hatmoot w tektebo, go back to painting after the three months hiatus, rateb el dolab 3ashan el wad3 sa3b, learn Spanish 3ashan Elite was hot so why not??????? 

But the realities look more like this (this is a mixture of my own realities, mixed with my sister, mixed with my friends): 

Day 0: The Curse

i.e: The day you found out about school being cancelled/el karsa 

I don’t know if you remember that day, but it’s probably a flashback to when you thought the corona virus was an overhyped flu. It’s a classic case of mass hysteria just like that episode of Sex Education where everyone was freaking out over chlamydia. Personally, school being cancelled lowkey crushed me because we already had a week off before it and well I was sick of my home.

So, like any upset person laga2t ela el talaga w ta2reeban akalt ice cream w ana msh tay2a 7ad 3ashan keda keteer.

Two weeks off, leih msh fahmeen? If we had only known el donia shaylalna eih.

Day 1 of quarantine:

This when we told ourselves “Okay, I am going to be productive and get my shit together, and study since I don’t want to fail my A-levels”. But, what’s studying without snacks and so again laga2t ela el talaga. 

This is back to when you download duolingo and sat on the couch screaming: “buenas noches” at your phone but for some reason you get an alert saying they didn’t get it, so please try again. But, after the sixth time of screaming at your phone, you give up and you click the “I can’t speak right now” button. 

You’ve made a plan for the next two weeks to ensure they’re as productive as possible, and well maybe it’s time afara7 mama w a5es el 5amsa kilo el nefsaha a5esohom. (P.s check out Chloe Ting on youtube her workouts are amazing- prep yourself for a crap tonne of planks)

Day 5:

You’re still learning Spanish, decluttering awel dorg f el maktab, you’ve seen every meme about the coronavirus by now, scrolled through twitter 15 times today, said fakes lil riyada el naharda cause you’ve ate enough pasta to weigh your body down, and start considering your career as a chef after scrolling through aveckarim’s instagram. 

Day 14:

The two weeks are over, you’ve ticked off two tasks from the list you made on day one. You did finish level one of spanish, so can we please hear a hallelujah.

You have gained three kilos and you’re contemplating your life’s decisions, but the world is ending and damn you still look like a snack, in those coffee-stained sweatpants.

On another note; the shit chef inside me has learnt to make easy recipes 3ashan mama msh bet3mely el akl el ana 3ayza, bss she calls manzar el matba5 after I cook: “gareema” and she refuses to try anything I make… 

And, well take out is not really an option right now and we kind of high key miss McDonald’s.

Day allaho a3lam:

I made vanilla lattes from scratch 3ashan msh hayenfa3 aroo7 Starbucks, I can make pancakes now and I have not burnt anything to this day. 

Day fuck knows what:

I am with one of my close friends on houseparty, it’s 1 in the morning and god knows how I start talking about craving pasta, and before I know it Hanya is in the kitchen showing me how to make alfredo sauce- because again I am a shit chef. I am watching in awe and as soon as she’s done I am in the kitchen where for some reason we don’t have any butter, or I can’t find the butter. Anyway, I decide to make pasta as well. 

Day Awel Embare7:

I have a stomach ache and I am about to throw up.

Me: Mama batny betwga3ni

Mama: 3amalty 7aga mn el 7agat el ghareeba el bet3meliha di 

Me: la walahy

Mama: taib kefaya akl ba2a

Me: eish da5al 

Yesterday:

My mum finally agreed to try my pasta.

Today:

I wake up, and I really wanna try the @aveckarim challenge and make French omelettes. I watched the video for the third time with my mum who is prepping lunch in the kitchen. Apparently we have butter and I just couldn’t find it. Not the point – I do everything exactly as in the video and the moment I put the eggs in the pan and start to swirl with my spatula I fail miserably and my omelette turned to scrambled eggs and I cried eating them then came and wrote this article.

The realities of quarantine involve a lot of food and a fight between self-discipline, control and completely letting yourself go. I am sorry if you came here looking for a scientific explanation to why your hunger is channeled from your boredom.

May the forces help us get through this. 3ashan bgad keda keteer.

To a lot more nights in the kitchen,

Love, 

Rawan x

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