Dear Santa..

Having just spent a couple of weeks out of Egypt getting my head showered I’m now back in the land of crazy. My senses were exposed to stylish people, professional service, and lots of clean things, so I am now at a loss how to deal with my level of frustration with all things Egyptian.

It was not a good idea to travel and remind myself that there are people who actually do their bloody job. In the hope that a strong man will step in and deal with the mess that is Egypt, I’m writing this letter to someone whom I think has the ability to sort it out, no not General Sisi, Santa.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good girl all year please may I have,

(1) A Style makeover for the entire Egyptian population, (with the exception of Ahmed Harfoush and Kurt Galalah) To the taxi driver I had the other day you are a chronic case. Your leopard print earmuffs on top of your red wooly hat, combined with your navy fleecy gloves, brown climbing socks and checked slippers, yes slippers, is not going to cut it in the real world. And No, 10 degrees is not freezing. Get a life.

Side Note: I know I was pursuing a no taxi agenda in my last blog, but since I managed to get myself knocked down whist strolling back from road 9, i have reconsidered my options. I was ably assisted by two perverted policemen who helped themselves to a good grope whilst pretending to get me to my feet. I pass these two policemen almost every day, their cards are marked. If we ever leave here I will tazer them en-route to the airport.

(2) Shop assistants who leave me in peace to shop. I don’t want someone on my shoulder hovering constantly, I am not going to steal anything, I am not here for you to practice your English, and as a special mention to the shop assistant in the Grand Mall I am not here to help you with your homework. I know you want help with your pronunciation but asking an Irish lady is not going to get you good grades. And, I am most certainly not here to listen to your style tips, see point (1) above

(3) A high profile TV campaign called “Move your Arse” This may be fairly radical but how about instead of crouching around a fire in the street wrapped in blankets talking about how cold it is, you get up move around, do some exercise, ideally some street cleaning, or better still why don’t you just go home. There is absolutely no need for 6 policemen to sit at the end of my street scratching their manly parts and sleeping.

(4) Toilet attendants who do their job. I don’t need you to stand at the toilet entrance tearing off a few squares of paper from your toilet roll and expecting a tip. I need you to clean the bloody toilets, and not with those stupid squeegee things that just move water around the floor. How about a mop, some elbow grease and ideally some disinfectant.
(4b) Someone to invent an ablutions sink, ideally at floor level so the elderly ladies in their abayas can wash their feet without performing gymnastics at the sink next to me, creating puddles all over the floor, and soaking me in the process.

(5) A Ban on twiddly things. IKEA is here now so there is no excuse for shiny sparkly things and unnecessary adornment of furniture, light fittings or kitchenware, all praise IKEA.

(6) Female police officers. I know you have a couple on the ladies carriages on the metro but I’m talking proper, full time, armed with big eff off guns policewomen. To be put in charge of all things litter and pervert related initially. If you chuck your coke cans from your car, if you leave your takeaway at your arse, if you flash your bits at me, if you pee, or God forbid do your number 2s in public (yip I’ve seen them) you will be tazered, repeat offenders will be shot.

(7) Proper brushes, dustpans and bins for the roads sweepers. What is the bloody point of using a witches broom to brush crap into piles and leave it on the side of the road. And no, using a bit of cardboard to chuck it onto the verge doesn’t count either, it will blow back by tomorrow, put it in a bin and dump it.

(8) A big submachine gun or rocket launcher to mount on the bonnet of my car. Some James Bond style spikes that poke out from my car hubcaps, retractable obviously, and ideally diplomatic status or at the very least immunity from prosecution. Failing that, an invisibility cloak would be be awesome.

(9) A telephone network that actually works. Vodafone Egypt you are the pits. I don’t want my text messages three hours after they’ve been sent, I don’t want to hear the network is busy, certainly not at 7:30 am when 90% of the population is still in bed, nor do I wish to receive 20 messages a day from you, or put up with your mind numbing call centre staff carrying out surveys. Leave me in peace and concentrate on stopping every phone call cutting out mid sentence, ideally subcontract it all to India.

Santa, I really, really love Egypt but some days I just want to shoot the whole bloody lot of them. Can you magically transform their brains to think ahead? I know that’s a big ask but seriously, begad, can you just get them to understand that good service means I will come back, that ripping me off means I won’t. That turning up on time is polite, that being late is disrespectful. That Inshallah is a pathetic excuse, God has nothing whatsoever to do with getting your arse into gear, and finally, that if they actually do their jobs they should not expect a tip, praise, or a clap on the back. In most cases there are about 4 people doing the “work” of one.

Here is a little example, in the pharmacy beside me you go to the counter, ask one of the multiple staff behind it for what you want, they hand it over with a ticket. You take the ticket to another counter and get it stamped. You then take the stamped ticket to another cashier counter and pay. How the sweet banana can this country ever be productive? I guess it does explain the copious amount of prescription drugs consumed, you need them just to survive the trauma of purchasing them.

Masalama, Slainte, Bye.