Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CXVI. Alexandria – My Vacations (2 of 10)

My mother had a standing grievance against my father. As previously stated, when we went to Alexandria, we stayed by aunt Linda. But the choice of staying with relatives during our vacations was an unpalatable one for my mother. Staying by uncle Maurice was out of the question considering how small his house was. But even though aunt Linda had a larger house, it was still a very difficult endeavor. We were 10 people in this house! How we all fitted in is still a mystery to me. When dad came on the weekend we were 11. Linda and Vita had to give my parents some privacy, and they did. They gave them their own room.

After Linda, Vita, and their sons left for Israel, we had more room; by then, the house was occupied by Nina, Victoire and their families. But it was still a tight fit. Eventually, we enjoyed the hospitality of Rachel and Daniel. But here again there was a problem, Daniel had a temper, and his explosions were legendary.

The alternative was to rent two rooms in a house, or in a pension (roughly equivalent to a bed-and-breakfast). We would have had our own rooms with comfortable beds and the required privacy. We would have seen the rest of the family on a regular basis, and would have joined them in their activities. It would have been the best of both worlds. But my father claimed he couldn’t afford it. But the cost was affordable even if it was for two months and during the high season. The reality was that my father loved his in-laws (we have seen that when he had surgery, he went to Alexandria), and would have hated to come on week-ends, and during his two-weeks vacation, to anonymous rooms, rather than being among family.

This was an average day. After having breakfast by aunt Linda, we headed to uncle Maurice home. There were always fruits waiting for us. After we topped our breakfast, we headed for the beach. Uncle Maurice had a car with a chauffeur, and we all piled in there and headed to Stanley Bey.

The first order of the day was to change into our bathing suits and go swimming. Once in the water, it was near impossible to get us (my cousins, Robert, and myself) out. Only the demands of the stomach forced us out of the sea.

Lunch was the main meal of the day, and aunt Rachel woke up early to ensure that we get it on time. When it was ready, the two servants took the food to the car, and the chauffeur headed again to Stanley Bey. In the cabin we had foldable tables which were opened as soon as the food arrived. We then all sat down and tucked in. After our swim, we were ravenous. The adults then sat down to talk and/or play cards. Us children walked around Stanley Bey, went fishing, or simply went for another swim. We rarely played in the sand.

Often there were extra guests, and we occupied the spaces of adjacent cabins. Mostly, those cabins sat unused; the owners were wealthy and were probably vacationing in Europe. We had so many people that often roving photographers suggested a picture. We have as a result a few pictures showing quite a few friends and relatives.

When we came back home, we played board games. Our favorite was monopoly which at the time was a new game, indeed a very recent invention. By the evening, it was time to take a long walk along the corniche.

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