Sexual Healing

Ok, I think I’ve just about had it with Egypt. I have reached the stage where no amount of self medicating can dull the pain. I’ve tried the gin, the wine even the 5hour shots but Egypt is a chronic case. We all get bad Egypt days, when the car horns seem louder, when the suicidal drivers seem to have you in their sights, when the rubbish on the street is extra disgusting and the perverts seem to be out in force. But the news this morning has tipped me over the edge. This gentleman, General Sisi, the one who is actually running the country, contrary to what the international media may say, has called for mass protests on Friday and that’s just about the last straw.

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Look at him, just look at him, dark sunglasses probably fake, stay pressed form fitting uniform, multiple shiny medals, extra large highly peaked hat, all he is missing is one of those horsetail things you wave around and use to swat the flies off, ideally in a leopard print design. This guy is for real, he is not some Borat spoof in the style of “Dictator” he is the face of the continuing revolution, oh my. This country is obsessed with dates, we have places called 6th October, 15th May, 10th Ramadan, 26th July etc etc. We had the day off yesterday for 23rd July Revolution day. January 25th is also policemans day, or revolution day 2011, and I’m sure 30th June next year will be yet another revolution day 2013…

How about we have a real revolution day, you know try something different and call for everyone to go to work and actually do what they are paid to do for a full 8hours. How about the tea breaks, smoke breaks, ablutions breaks, prayer breaks, dinner breaks are all counted as time not working and deducted from their salaries. How about they don’t surf the Internet, call their mates, or blame the traffic for being late. I reckon they would need to turn up to work at 6am and stay until midnight to actually squeeze in an 8 hour working day, and even then it probably wouldn’t be productive.

What are they going to do on Friday, here’s what. They are going to walk ….then they are going to sit, cos they are really good at that, then they will eat Iftar and then the blood will flow once it’s dark. It will carry on through the night, each side will blame the other then your man above will step in and issue a state of emergency. Maybe not this weekend, but its coming, then we will have a curfew and even less work will get done, and repeat, and repeat…..

This is just my take but the pro Morsi sit-ins are really bugging Mr Sisi above there. They are getting lots of international coverage, I guess thats to counteract the complete blanket on coverage here and the MB PR team have really stepped up their game. They have told the protesters to lose their Al Qaeda flags and replaced them with brand spanking new ones in English, much more media friendly. They are meant to say Morsi is our president but “P” and “B” are interchangeable for Egyptians so quite a few say Morsi is our Bresident. They are not too hot on the spelling of Obama either

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I think there will be a massive turnout in support of General Sisi, apart from the fact that the vast majority of Egyptians think he is fabulous, his PR guy Ahmed Ali is hot. The females of the population are fawning over his good looks and creating Facebook appreciation pages. The whole country has a teenage mentality, hero worshipping this guy. Here he is, judge for yourself, personally I think his hair cannot possibly be that black, and there appears to be a severe lack of a monobrow which we all know is standard for all Egyptian males. I suspect tweezers or possibly some wax in his pocket…

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Maybe the real reason they want to break up the MB sit In is because they are jealous. Now why could they possibly be jealous? Well that’s easy peasy because the MB ladies have been asking if it’s time for Sexual Jihad yet? Basically the kindly ladies want to know if it’s time for supplying the males with sexual favours to “keep them motivated” in their quest against the infidels. Who dreamed up this crazy idea?

My guess is it was a bunch of goofy ugly blokes who thought they would put forward their dream scenarios cooked up down some side street under the influence of some rather special hashish and gauge the reaction. Obviously everyone else at the time was stoned and replied with a “hey bro I think you’re on to something there” and there we have it, let’s roll with this, it’s time for some sexual healing.

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Yes ok ok I know this is probably a load of crap, and No there are no tours offering this all inclusive package to lusty males but it has been in all the papers, everyday this week. Oh, and Angel Gabriel apparently appeared too, not sure if he was giving his blessing or having a coronary, but this is the mentality you are up against, there is no fecking hope for this country, none at all.

General Sisi has called for this protest, the MB have called for their guys to turn out too, This ain’t going to end well. I really don’t get the Sisi call out, he is in charge, what’s he trying to prove? He is like a Billy no mates shouting I’ve got more friends than you have……you need to picture that in an annoying sing song voice, no you don’t, yes i do, no you don’t………………….or, if I was rude, my dicks bigger than your dick, obviously I wouldn’t be that rude. That’s me I’m done, time to go, I’m outta here.

Masalama , Slainte

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Not Quite Right

This special posting is going out to all you mollycoddled evacuees who work for companies that actually give a shit, or alternatively American companies who are big chickens and run at the sound of a large firecracker. Am I glad we stayed? Hell yes. Am I jealous of you lot cavorting in proper shopping malls and enjoying unrestricted pork and alcohol access? Hell yes on that one too.

I have no intention of annoying or upsetting any evacuees, particularly as I know quite a lot of you didn’t want to go, but mainly because I shall be inundating you with special requests for those little luxuries absent in Cairo. I have attached a list at the bottom, feel free to purchase any item and I will reimburse you upon return. (Seriously)

What have we been up to the last couple of weeks since you lot cleared off? Lots and lots and lots, primarily because with the latest revolution/coup a full working day has been impossible. Oh, and with Ramadan now in the mix, then Eid, I don’t foresee a full working day until about mid August. Life sure is tough.

We have had to solider on and attend the quiz nights (came second last night, our best ever placing) and the Karaoke, which is not our forte but the hubby’s dancing goes down a treat. Once the crowd figure out that his swivelling hips are merely a distraction from the fact that his versions of Johnny Cash/Madness/TheSpecials bear no resemblance to the originals we will probably not be allowed to sing. For now though as punters are very depleted they humour us, sorry him, I do not sing but rather preside over proceedings telling everyone else what to do, yes I’m a bit bossy.

We have also been in attendance at the Pork BBQ, happy hours and committee meetings which are really just cover for drinking clubs. Unfortunately we missed the Bingo but will try and fit it into the schedule next week. Phew, thankfully Kimo now stock 5hour energy shots which we were previously only able to obtain through some very dubious Australian contacts.

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Just to let you know, not that I would be rubbing it in or anything, you have all missed out on significant deliveries since your departure. As with anything in Egypt they are just “not quite right” …..yes the stores are stocked and since there are very few of us around I shall be taking the opportunity to stock up on the weird and wonderful things now available. Easter eggs for instance, I am surrounded by Easter eggs….not really sure why? Perhaps they have been floating in a tanker off Alexandria since February sometime, but there you go they appear to have been given the all clear by the new regime. Definitely a bonus point in their favour.

Brussel sprouts, yes, brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce are now readily available. Again, just “not quite right” particularly mid August but obviously the new guys in charge have lifted all restrictions on expat comfort food. Still no sign of parsnips but things are changing at such a swift pace I have high expectations.

Another bonus we will be taking advantage of this weekend are all the special offers from hotels who are reaching out to us mere mortals now all the oil companies and Americans have pissed off. Ha, apparently Irish builders are now in the elite so we will milk it while we can. Yes the hubby will smuggle in his nestle bottle full of Alcohol whist I will be carrying my insulated coffee cup of wine. We are a class act. Even with their special offers there is no way we will be paying the ridiculous hotel prices.

Let’s see now, what else? Hmmm, pedigree chum, yip, pedigree chum seems to have landed big time. For all you dog lovers out there you will appreciate the magnitude of this little tit bit. There won’t be any left when you come back as I am on a mission to clear the shelves of this vital commodity. The tins are 18le which is a rip off by any standard but the love for my four legged friend means I will forego both my manicure/pedicure appointment and wash and blow dry this week to divert the funds for the nutritional benefit of Harry my dog. I may consider part exchange on the dog food for any kind souls who smuggle in the items on my list.

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Ok people here is the list. I have been working on this for a few days and have just realised it epitomises what a simple girl I am, or cheapskate if I’m really honest. Perhaps that’s why I like Egypt, no way will I be paying for designer stuff when the knock off will do, here you go.

1 Berrocca…yes the Superdrug or pound shop version is fine

2 Rimmel eyebrow pencil in the colour “fair” (you need to go to a basic chemist for this one Rimmel is not a brand stocked in the fancy duty free shops)

3 Rimmel sun shimmer powder colour “medium Matt” (same directions apply)

4 St Moritz false tan mousse. (yes I know I live in a sunny country but I can’t be bothered with that sunbathing lark) this one is about £3.99 and I DON’T want the expensive St Tropez one

5 Cider yeast sachets. This ones for the hubby, and remember delivery people you will increase your chance of sampling the Turbo Cider it is required for.

6 Sarsons brown malt vinegar, a necessity for homemade chips.

7 LIONS midget gems, only available from proper sweetie shops with big jars on display

8 Soda bread flour. I think only M&S in the UK do this one but you will receive a bacon and egg soda farl in return, if you bring the bacon…..

There you go now, that’s loads to be getting on with. I’m off now to strip the shelves of pedigree chum, Easter eggs and cranberry sauce. I forgot to mention that since your departure a life changing event occurred, the ACE club now has a generator. I know, I know simply fabulous, it’s “Not quite right” either as it’s not connected yet but this is a truly major event. I hope they have a launch night as that would give us yet another excuse to party, I will raise a glass of fine Egyptian “Beausoleil” to celebrate, yes that’s how you spell it, not Beaujolais cos that would be the real thing. I told you, we are in Egypt it’s “Not Quite Right”

Masalama, Slainte

The Troubles (Warning Graphic)

As my blog title suggests I’m Irish, from the north of the Island, yes thats the bit where Belfast is. I spent the first 30 years of my life being surrounded by politics, religion, armed struggle, terrorists, bombs, and quite frankly I have no appetite for what is unfolding in Egypt

We lost a whole generation because people could not sit down and talk, compromise, find common ground or even remotely empathise which each other. This period in our history was referred to as “The Troubles” a rather lightweight title for what was in fact a very dark period. When I look around me and speak with my Egyptian friends, all with differing religious and political affiliations, I am struck by their sectarian and paramilitary tone, and it scares me.

I guess years of conditioning at home has left me with a healthy disrespect for the media and politicians. Each side spewing their own propaganda was the norm, so I’m more than capable of reading between the lines and accepting the verbal garbage for what it is… their version of events, their take on things, all of which comes neatly packaged to suit their agenda.

Egyptians don’t have this background, a lot of them where never politically engaged pre Jan 25th, they didn’t vote, what was the point, Mubarak would win. They didn’t read the papers, what was the point 90% were state sponsored propaganda machines. So, with just 2 1/2 years of experience under their belts they are cannon fodder for those who wish to use and manipulate them towards their own ends, be they military dictators, Islamist extremists or idealogical youth.

Egyptians also have a “goldfish mentality” it’s only a year since the army (SCAF) left power and yet both my Coptic and Muslim friends are welcoming them with open arms. Have they forgotten Maspero, the virginity tests, Mohamed Mahmoud, Mina Daniels, and all the other victims of SCAF. Come on people at least show a healthy wariness regarding their intentions. A few flybys and air shows, a few free flags dropped on the crowds and Stockholm syndrome appears to have overtaken the country.

I’m not angry at Egyptians, I continue to make excuses for them, the education system here is abysmal, they see corruption not as something to be stamped out, but something to aspire to “if I work hard and get a good job I will get lots of bribes” they are each out for themselves, you can see it in how they drive. It’s a very strange mentality, one I can’t quite get my head around because they are also some of the kindest people I know. It’s just their logic link in their brain appears to be wired differently. No I’m not angry, I’m sad, very very sad for I foresee not just one generation but countless being lost before, and more importantly “IF” they are ever able to work together in a truly inclusive society.

I posted a warning at the start, the photograph below is why, these are just some of the bodies from yesterday at the Republican Guard HQ. I don’t care what political or religious affiliation these people are, they are all someone’s son, father or brother. Yesterday’s headline has passed but these bodies represent today’s reality for their families. Politicians would do well to remember they have just created 51+ more families who will seek justice if they are lucky, but in my humble opinion it will more likely be revenge.

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Coup Countdown

Just watched the BBC morning report on this crazy country I call home, what a load of codswallop. They are referring to the ongoing political stalemate as something along the lines of a three way Mexican standoff. The army, the president and the opposition. I’m not going to get into the political factions to be found within each of these groups as It would give both you and I a headache but suffice to say there are multiple sections all with their own agendas and with very little common ground other than the basic Morsi in or out, yes or no answer. For some reasoned analysis I will direct you to Jim Erickson, Cairo Rugby player, economic and political analyst, all round good guy, unfortunately he is American but we can’t have everything. Here is the link..

Egypt Update

We are supposed to be at home keeping our heads down but that’s not really my style so we have been out and about with the exception of Sunday when we were glued to the telly. That’s not to say the ongoing situation hasn’t impacted on our schedule. Friday was a case in point. Big Mo the club captain had posted on Facebook that he was going to kill a sheep at 1:30pm, now initially I was rather confused as the opponents of the Muslim brotherhood call their supporters sheep, and I was rather concerned that Mo was advertising the fact he was off to kill a brotherhood member at 1:30 local time. Turns out he was in fact referring to an actual sheep, phew.

Morsi made a speech a few days ago, not sure which day as I lost the will to live after the first 5 minutes. He managed to trundle on for almost three hours and said sweet FA. Egyptians, ever entrepreneurial had these on sale the next day down the Khan el Khalili.

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We were invited round for the BBQ of said sheep but even the best laid plans go awry in this climate. Due to the petrol shortages the delivery of the sheep proved to impossible. According to the government there is no shortage, guess these people are waiting for a drive in movie.

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I think Mo could have convinced the supplier had he wanted to, Mo is rather big and as such can be very convincing but the guy was using the shortages as an excuse to bump his price up so he cancelled the order, quite right too. As it turned out Mo managed to secure a leg of lamb so the BBQ went ahead and a fine night was had by all.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the amazing pictures coming out of Tahrir but I thought I would focus on the MB counter protest in Nasr city, their photographs are far more entertaining. Now bear in mind these supporters of Morsi are supposed to be more religious and you would therefore think more peaceful. Well judge for yourself. In their defence the following pictures depict them exercising their right to defend themselves from the opposition. Judging by the guy at the front of this one more “exercise” would seem to be the way to go.

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Ninja turtles seems to be the look that’s in for summer this year, although some of it seems to come from previous centuries with Braveheart springing to mind. No scratch that I’m guessing this is left over or pillaged from the times of the Roman occupation.

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The opposition have their share of armour plating too, though quite what this guy is expecting is anyone’s guess…….he appears to be smoking a cucumber, perhaps he has been smoking something else previously.

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The army have made their move and basically we are on countdown to a coup. Again the entrepreneurial Egyptians have blasted off the starting blocks and launched an app to countdown the time remaining. Here you go
Countdown Timer

The style of protesting this time round has definitely had a makeover. This simple red card says it all, they want Morsi to go

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On a more serious note, the 46 mob sexual assaults in Tahrir and counting need to be addressed. This picture called “circle of fear” by Salma El Tarzi is a powerful image that captures the fear that I can’t articulate.

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I’m going to leave you now with a photo of the army praying, there will be a lot of prayers said this week. Check out the hand of the solider holding the gun in the bottom right corner guarding the muslim soldiers as they pray. That’s a Coptic tattoo on the inside of his wrist……I pray that the unity shown here can be replicated, I hope you will join me. My prayers are with ALL of Egypt. Masalama

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UPDATE

Just got sent this amazing video by my son, stunning.
Tahrir