A year ago yesterday, I arrived back in Cairo for my last three-month stint at my company's Cairo office (recently closed).
I wouldn't have noticed at all, but I'd just finished "Out of Egypt," a rich, atmospheric tale of growing up Jewish in Alexandria.
"I wonder if I could write something that beautiful, so much a valentine to Egypt," I thought. I started typing, looked back at my blog stories from a year ago, and noticed that it was the one-year anniversary of my last trip over.
I really like those blog stories. There was no shortage of material. I was inspired. I think I can do this.
My attempt at an Egypt valentine didn't end up sounding right last night. I was tired, having just gotten back from an art opening with Roberta, and from watching Swedish songwriter Anna Ternheim perform the night before.
But I'll try again.
- This morning, the haze of the city was nearly tangible. I've been in Cairo not quite a week, but I'm already accustomed to the view from my balcony. The legendary air pollution gives the skyline the look of a city bathed in a steam bath. But it isn't humidity. It's fumes from industrial operations, and leaded auto emissions. Carbon dioxide. Unspecificed "particulate matter." Taxi farts.
It's Friday--the weekend here. I dropped off my laundry and then waded through the air to get an iced coffee. There's a slight breeze but not enough to lift the haze. I hurried back to my room. It's a good day to use the hotel's air conditioning.