Walk like an Egyptian
Have you ever tried to, walk like an Egyptian I mean? “Back in the day”……..my son says that when I refer to anything pre 21st century….yes back in the day I tried to. I remember it clearly, coming home from the students union with my then date for the night, and now current husband, I’m wondering if that’s where it all started?
Back then ” The Bangles” were in the charts (just checked that out on wikipedia 1986 sounds about right….God I’m old) and it was the perfect song for sozzled students on a night out. Egypt was a distant romantic place full of history “the cradle of civilization” and from then until we shipped out here I never really thought about Egypt again.
No, that’s not true, I went to a fortune teller once, as you do, waiting to hear my destiny. She was pretty good which freaked me out at the time, and one of her predictions was I would go to live in a country I’d never been to. Egypt did appear on that list of possibilities but I ruled it out in favor of more exotic locations……i think Barbados topped that list, and I did actively seek work on cruise ships to enhance my chances of this destiny being fulfilled…..But hey
Egyptians, and their walking technique, I’ve touched on this before, the aimless slow shufflers in the Wing Mirror Options post… but this week it dawned on me how this technique has evolved. It’s a bit of a long story but sure your not going anywhere. I went to the Khan el Khalili. Not on my normal mission of acquiring Azza Fahmy jewelry (copies of course) from the crack den up three flights of stairs, no, but to purchase trophies for the rugby club.
Yes I lead a very exciting and varied life. Anyway, I had got a contact through a friends of a friends, partners brother…….thats how it works here, and set off down the ring road. Just as we were driving under the Maadi flyover the truck in front ground to a halt, par for the course, but next thing the driver got out which did attract my attention.
He began his slow shuffle Egyptian style walk to the centre of the road and started to remove metal railings that were blocking his path, not at any great speed as you can imagine, and obviously we sat comfy in the car and watched. Why were there metal railings in the middle of the road? oh that’s easy because on the flyover above our heads an oil tanker had just crashed through the barrier and was hanging over the side. Not all of the tanker was hanging over, just the cab, the tanker part must have been heavy enough to hold the rest in place.
Job completed, and road cleared he sauntered back to his cab and drove under the hanging tanker to safety. Without a thought to possible consequences we did likewise, in fact on reflection I never even thought to avoid driving under this catastrophe, no I was too busy texting the hubby to tell him all about it. He did ring back immediately, not out of concern for my well being, just to enquire did I get a good photograph!
So on to the Khan. I met my “contact” who I’d had dinner with previously so he was easy to spot. Lets call him “Lee” to keep it anonymous, he’s a Londoner, but half Egyptian who’s family have a long history in the Khan, he does a bit of wheeling and dealing as they say, but don’t be picturing Del Boy ….he is much more Ali G……and simply delightful company…..”sweet innit” and of we headed. Now I’ve been to the Khan quite a few times, but I was lost within minutes. It didn’t matter though as “Lee” is a tall guy and combined with the fact that everyone knew him it made for a unique experience, no hassle whatsoever! None! Nada…I’m considering asking if he would provide a personal escort service….maybe I should rephrase that!
Down the back streets, through some seriously dodgy entries, upstairs, well some rickety steps, a cup of tea, a cigarette, a bit of bargaining, and on to the next place. I’m here an hour and I haven’t seen anything remotely resembling a trophy. Now it’s starting to dawn on me I’ve just had a near death experience, I’m drinking seriously strong tea and smoking Egyptian cigarettes and it’s getting harder to keep my balance as I maneuver around the piles of crap, the water dousers who sprinkle the pavements (does anyone know why they do that?) and the small army of cats on our tail. I am………. WALKING LIKE AN EGYPTIAN
PS…… I got the trophies in the second place, very reasonable too thanks “Lee” I got 40 Galebayas in the next place……cow print ones at that……don’t ask. …and drove AROUND the oil tanker on the way back……..yes it was still there 3 hours later, and no they hadn’t closed the road….