Monday, November 27, 2006

Cairo at a Glance

Am moving back, after the constant state of chaos that has been predominant for the past few months, everything has fallen into place this week and I am moving back to beloved Cairo. As my job and social life in the south of France have expired and I don’t like the south of France enough to start all over there, I am happy to be moving back home to a challenging new job and .. well… home.
However, as someone who has lived away from home for two years plus, there are things that halt me and make me wonder if
Cairo has always been like this and I have been enlightened with a fresh eye, or if indeed things have changed…. From ten days in Cairo, I wonder about…

  1. Traffic. Explosive, uncontrollable, defiant to the laws of space and unyielding. I am told the government has consulted foreign experts and the pros said it is not solvable.
  2. The prevailing (and by prevailing I mean sole) topic of conversation is relationships. Marriages in particular, engagements are still hip though over due, and other ceremonial celebrations are hot hot topics. The status of people is now officially classified as single or attached. It is truly unbelievable. Divorce though, is much less frowned upon.
  3. Social consciousness; I myself caught myself watching people and labelling them in bodega, I who pride myself on being open minded and accepting and non judgmental. My other similar friend was doing it too. I think our brains switch to that mode when we land in Cairo. Shameful.
  4. Everyone is tired. No really, everyone is tired.
  5. Dust, in a relatively low on dust month I was congested through out.
  6. Corporate life: local companies trying to make it remain the same, either too much money horribly spilled all over the place in horrid taste, or people crammed in the endless start up phase. Both kinds suffer from the same general manager; obnoxious, full of himself, know it all, throwing technical terms all over the place to boost his own ego, during my interview.
  7. Money laundering: after working with business development for another too years, I walked the streets of zamalek and found myself wondering how on earth “teeto lil khordawat” and “el nasr shoes” or “antiques for your house” had any kind of income to cover their mere expense of renting a store in zamalek. It is fascinating how many shops look like they belong to another lifetime, and have nothing at all to offer any consumer. Money laundering it is, it has to be, no one is that dumb or that rich.

Beloved Cairo; I’m on my way.


Juka said...

Welcome back to Cairo. Good luck with the job hunt. Oh and yeah.. this city never changes, its a mindframe of its own, no matter how far you go or for how long, the instant you are back, you are in Cairo mode.

Maxxed`ouT said...

I wasn't "doing it too" ... i was merely contemplating all the "beautiful people" around us ...
Beautiful people turn me on :D

If at first said...

Glad you've found much to preoccupy the mind. Cities have a wonderful way of doing just that.
Here's to new beginnings.

Maat said...


Forsoothsayer said...

7amdella 3al salama!
re: class conciousness - i get that way here, too. maybe it's because class means a lot here when it comes to modes of communication/topics of interest/manners! hell yeah, manners!

N said...

To all those welcoming me back, i'm in France for a few months still to try to disentangle myself from the french administrative web. Thanks anyway :)

If at first (its iffat too no?): i have MISSED living in a city, and i know this will come back and bite me in the ass :s

Kaf: seriously... i think you need to start facing that you have more issues than i do.. it's time.

Forsooth: i refuse to give in to it, no matter how ridiculously hard everyone in bodega tries :D

Maxxed`ouT said...

sssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !

Mumbo Jumbo said...

Brace yourself. A whole load of bloggable events coming up! :D

If at first said...

Oui...some smarties in the world of blogistan can't seem to stick to the 'if at first' ...tis I.
Cities rock my world, man. Despite the madness and drama, there is so much to smile about or take a photo of, in the least. :)

Seneferu said...

lol at the corporate boss at the interview. You must have made him feel very insecure:)

N said...

well i did manage to contain myself, i did however tell the HR woman to get herself sorted out and then give me a buzz... oops

Seneferu said...