Sunday, July 22, 2007
A balmy breeze blows across my hotel room balcony. It isn't a windy night in Cairo, but my room overlooks the Nile with its eternal caress.
It's lovely. There are usually a few kites being flown from across the river. I see houseboats and restaurant boats both below me and across the river.
Tonight, the Xena: Warrior Princess battle cry wafts across the road and up to my window. What is going on? Is the Ethiopian choir in town, or is this also an Egyptian thing? Then the drums kick in along with a snake charmer horn. And some singing, or is it chanting? Add to this the horns of taxis and squeal of brakes and it's an utter cacophony outside my window. All I need now is for the mosque across the river to go off.
I open the balcony door and look down. There's a crowd on one of the restaurant boats but I can't see clearly to figure out what is happening. Spotlights across the river remind me that the circus is in town. But at least I can't hear it.
Men in robes, 30-year-old taxis, and partygoers crowd the streets. Three mosques with their green-lit minarets catch my eye. I'm absently rubbing the spot where a total stranger grabbed my bare arm earlier on the elevator. Gross. I won't be getting much sleep tonight with the party going on down below me on the Nile.
But I'm lucky. So many people have to stay home for their jobs. Me, I get to go to all kinds of interesting places.