Wednesday, 25 March 2009

"Cocktails and Camels", by Jacqueline Cooper

Witty, sarcastic, honest, and very true.
That's about as accurate as I can describe this joy of a book.

Lebanese and Alexandrean Jacqueline describing in hilarious details the things that make Alexandria exactly that: Alexandria.
A place where, some fifty years ago, all foreigners and Alexandreans were combined into one big happy family. Cosmopolitan city.

The way her family lived, how it was going to a French convent, then being transferred to the English Girls College (which, at that, still exists.) How the British and American soldiers came here, and how one specific American changed her whole life. How she "stepped into a new world of subways, no servants, and American-style housework -- a world for which her preparation consisted of a faultless education on nineteenth century French literature, perfect French, very English English, and fair Arabic."

I would love to quote some parts, but I would go crazy trying to decide which ones, all of the work being so great.

What I found typical was that even though she describes her life the way it was before WWII, and that it has been at least fifty years ago, a lot of things still haven't changed a bit. Lebanese are still the same. EGC is still a popular school, upholding the same system. Alexandria lost it's foreigners, mostly, but it's still either very rich, or very poor people. There is only a minority that is neither rich nor poor. Apparently that has been like this years and years ago.

Haven't enjoyed a book like this in a while.
The Gypsy.

No comments:

Post a Comment