Back in the UK, Julian is currently labouring through the dreaded big job hunt that I’m sure we’re all familiar with. For months I’ve been trying to convince him to pack it in and set himself up as a relationship advisor to Egyptian men wanting to go out with western women (a bit like Hitch in Egypt). He however remains stubbornly convinced that he wants a job that actually has a future so in his absence here are my guidelines for Egyptian men pursuing those elusive foreign women.
(Disclaimer: this is a tongue in cheek exercise in no way meant to denigrate the many, many lovely and gentlemanly Egyptian men I’ve met here, but rather as a way of dealing with the strange behaviour sometimes exhibited by the annoying ones! And not to be taken too seriously in any case.)
1 – Maintain eye contact at all times. This is a cardinal rule because if you don’t focus your gaze on the object of your affections, how is she to realise that you’re interested in her? The more intensely you stare the better. If you happen to be engaged in another activity as she’s walking past don’t let that put you off! Look into her eyes as you drive past her, peer into the window as she passes you on the train. Don’t be discouraged if she seems to be avoiding eye contact with you – just up the intensity of your own stare if possible, or try one of the other helpful hints below.
2 – Memorise the following phrases and use them whenever you can: “Welcome in Egypt!”, “Hello!”, “Ah, beautiful!”, “Very nice!”, “I love you!” Be careful not to say them too casually – if you get the tone of voice a little off they will simply sound friendly, which defeats your purpose. Lengthen those vowels and try to let your voice convey everything that your words can’t. One particularly effective technique is to wait until the woman in question is walking right past you and then keep your voice low as you utter whichever of the phrases first enters your head. This combination of intensity and spontaneity will drive her wild.
3 – Remember, it doesn’t matter what the woman is wearing or what she’s doing: if there isn’t a man standing beside her you should always take it as a sign to approach.
4 – It’s always good to have a talking point when you make contact so be sure that she’s involved in something quite absorbing when you first initiate conversation. If she’s with a friend, maybe you could join them? If she’s jogging on the beach, be sure to call out how much you like sporty women (how will she know otherwise?). If she looks lost or is carrying a heavy bag that’s the perfect time to use one of the helpful phrases in no. 2 – sure to make her feel better no matter what other issues are on her mind!
5 – She might appear to not want to talk to you at first. Don’t be put off by this. Women love persistence – if you keep trying you’ll get a response.
6 – Once you get talking, don’t beat about the bush. Be clear about what you want. A good sequence of phrases might be the following:
“I’m not married yet. I want to marry a foreigner, not an Egyptian woman. Are you married yet?”
7 – Get her phone number by any means necessary, and as quickly as possible. Don’t give her a lot of time to think about it in case she says no. If she seems reluctant, try telling her you want to improve your English. Be sure to say “Let’s be friends”. She’ll have no idea what your real motive is and you’ll have her phone number!
8 – Obviously once you’ve got her number, call her. As often as possible. Try to mix it up a bit so that you call at different times of the day and in the middle of the night. This way she’ll know you’re thinking of her and it’s easier for you to keep tabs on where she is. If she doesn’t answer your first call, try again immediately. Keep calling until she picks up.
9 - If after the 14th or 15th phone call she still hasn’t answered you should try calling from another number. If you can try to call from a few different numbers – you maximise the odds of her answering your phone calls and you keep her on her toes!
10 – Incidentally, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t meet the love of your life on the phone. If one day you dial the wrong number by mistake and a woman answers, keep calling her. All the rules of no. 8 apply. You could always try just dialling phone numbers at random until an attractive-sounding woman answers – it’s bound to happen sooner or later.
11 – If the object of your affections proves really difficult to get hold of, you could always leave it a couple of months and then try calling her once more. Sometimes an eight week break is all it takes to get her to want to speak to you again!
12 – Find out where she lives as soon as you can. This way you can organise to bump into her in the street or even wait for her outside the house if she’s proving particularly hard to get hold of.
13 – If you come across her in the street by chance and she hasn’t seen you, follow her for a short while to find out where she’s going. 10 – 15 minutes should be long enough for you to get a good sense of what she’s up to.
14 – Women love surprises. Why not try jumping out in front of her as she’s walking down the street?
15 – Practise your best checking-her-out look to make sure you’ve got it spot on. This is the only time it’s acceptable to break rule no. 1. Look her up and down, lift one eyebrow and smirk – it works every time. The great thing about this rule is that, unlike many of the others, it can be done at any time and no matter who you’re with. A group of friends? No problem – just make sure they can’t pull it off better than you! Your existing wife or girlfriend? Don’t worry about it – she probably won’t notice and even if she does you’re a man, right?!
16 - Remember, nothing says "I love you" like persistence and dedication. She might get angry on occasion, or threaten you with police or embassy action. Don't be perturbed - true love always wins out.