Beatrice stayed at home taking care of her child for the first two years and then started working as a teacher in a school in Zamalek, until they moved to Saudi Arabia, where they lived four years.
“I didn’t have problems adapting to the culture; I used to have a friend who used to laugh and say I am a British woman from Bulaq,” she says as she candidly laughs.
“Men in this culture are so focused on their friendship with other males, while I am used to being the center of a man’s attention at all times,” she tells Cairo Scene.
“But I have been learning that it is ok for him to go out a few times a week to decompress and I try to take that time for myself too.
As they arrived to the airport in Alexandria, Beatrice encountered the flavors of Egypt for the first time.
“I had the idea the tour guide is always expecting for the next group of people to hook up, but we stayed in contact for six months every day, and that’s when I realised it was something more important than that,” says the 30-year-old woman, now married for two years and based in Australia, where the couple takes care of their little daughter. “We had once an argument because he was telling me what to do and I said ‘you are not my dad’,” Claire exemplifies.
For Claire, negative comments rained when she shared the news of her marriage amongst some friends in her home country of Australia.
“There was a lot of negativity among my friends around the relationship; I got told I was stupid because he was using me, and his friends would tell him the same,” she recalls still in surprise.
“It took a while for him to realise he needed to share decisions, something which is very common in the Australian culture.
But we have a lot of understanding about the cultural difference, and this helps us handle things in a better way.” For Alexis, an American non-profit worker married for two years, talking and setting up common rules was essential to overcoming cultural differences.
“I had packed my suitcases with my Prada handbags and found myself choosing between buying yoghurt for my daughter or milk for me, as we couldn´t afford both,” she laughs with irony.