Dr, Doctor

Phew, I’m knackered, I’ve been back and forward to Cairo and the Uk, our shipment arrived too, so with this and that and lots of exploring I’ve been “up to my eyes” as they say.

I’m starting to settle in, the kiosk guys on my street know me now giving me the opportunity to practice my very basic Hindi although the dog gets more greetings than I do. “Good morning Harry” then fits of giggles, I’m not sure if Harry is an inappropriate name for a dog here, or maybe just the fact he has a name is cause for the giggles. Either way it’s great to feel comfortable walking him again without fear of poison to be avoided. If he would just stop pooping at inappropriate times, like right in front of the mattress makers eating their dinner I’d be sorted.

This week was to be my official Week 1, all the distractions out of the way so time to settle down into a routine, yoga classes, Hindi classes and a bit of networking but sure things never go to plan. I’ve been plagued with a sore leg for months, nothing major just gradually getting worse and no amount of walking or yoga was making a difference, the four flights didn’t help either. I was putting it down to old age until I looked in the mirror after my shower (something to be avoided at all costs) and noticed I was an altogether very strange shape, distinctly lob sided and I couldn’t stand up straight without being in significant pain.

One of the downsides to being in a new place and not knowing anyone is you have no one to ask for recommendations for doctors, physiotherapists etc so google was my only option. I’m lazy so after a few minutes of searching I went for the one closest to the house. Joint Efforts Clinic I believe it was called, made an appointment and off I went. Now, we don’t really live in Delhi, we are on the east bank of the Yamuna river which is the dividing line between Delhi and Noida.

So we are in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which is officially known as the gun state and considered very rough. In fact waiters in restaurants have advised us it’s very dangerous and even they wouldn’t live there, even though thats where they come from. I know we are a great disappointment to our driver, (white uniform, epaulettes and all) as he is constantly trying to get us to move to Delhi proper. Maybe we will at some stage but the 5 minute commute to work is what sold it to us, and anyway after Cairo it’s awesome, everything is relative.

The clinic turned out to be in “the village” again much to the drivers dismay and he was rather reluctant to let me to go unescorted into the single story, steel doored, mud road fronted “clinic” undeterred in I went. It was a one room outfit, three treatment tables, a desk, a water dispenser cloaked in a floral table cloth (I’m guessing this was to hide the colour of the water as it looked distinctly green) and all in all about 12ft squared.

There were a couple of people in front of me and I was able to watch as he worked with a gorgeous little boy about 4 who was in callipers, just as the teenage boy who was next was able to watch him work with me once my turn came. Anyway, he said I needed scans etc and there was nothing he could do until then and he was rather insistent I’d been in a car accident. I hadn’t been but he felt vindicated once I said I’d been knocked down a couple of months previous to the onset of the pain.

He spent about 40 minutes with me and the charge was £2.50, not a great hourly rate. He asked if I could afford the top consultant in Delhi who charged £25.00 an hour and once I said yes he rang and made me an appointment for the next day. I’m really glad he did as there was no way I should be taking up his time on much more deserving cases for people who probably had to beg steal or borrow to find the £2.50

So the next day off I set to see the top “consultant” in Delhi, well, it was in New Delhi much to the drivers relief, although I’m still not exactly sure which discipline this guy was the top “consultant” in. We had a chat whilst he took copious notes in the most perfect handwriting I’ve ever seen, each individual letter was printed in capitals but in a tiny font size and it looked like a printer had spewed it out, fascinating.

He examined me and then it got weird. He stated that he didn’t need scans to see my back was a mess and went on to explain that an orchestra is at its best when all the instruments are playing in harmony…..and that whilst there is always room for an individual instruments solo piece, the solo only works against a back drop of harmony, or words to that effect. He was going to be the conductor and use all the instruments at his disposal to create harmony….ok says I and I was especially relieved when he said the first priority was to remove the pain and realign as much as he could.

So he started with Reiki, that’s healing hands to you uninitiated lot, they don’t actually touch you but he allowed his hands to hover above me until lots and lots of heat was generated, I don’t know how it works, I think you need a gift but it felt good. Next he did some acupuncture, then he applied some anaesthetic gel, (I’m guessing this was a modern instrument) then he gave me a massage and after that he used a massage machine, another modern one.

I’m already feeling better, if a little confused, but hey each to their own and this guy seemed open to all “instruments” I’d been in an hour so I thought it must be time to go but he hadn’t finished yet. Next came the chiropractic techniques were he clicked and adjusted my back and if that wasn’t enough he gave me some physio exercises to do at home. I had told him I’d been using yoga to help relieve some of the pain earlier so he added this into the mix too giving me some asanas (postures) on which I should concentrate. So after that little lot you can see why I’m not sure what type of consultant he was.

Anyway, i paid him his £25 quid, even though I’d been in for about an hour and a half, and set of back to the car, I can’t say I was walking on air it was more like someone had attached a football to the sole of my right foot. I was completely disorientated and felt like my leg was too long, I must have looked very strange as the driver was very concerned at my gait, I’m sure he thought I was drunk. I have to go back for two more sessions after which depending on the results he will decide if he will bother with a scan or not, I have one this afternoon, I can’t wait.

All in all I’m feeling rather lucky there are some not so lucky. The huge disparity between the type of treatments available to people, mostly dependant on where they live and the funds available to them is very disheartening, whether it be India, Egypt or even the UK. My journey back to the UK was to visit my son, he is the full time carer now for his girlfriend Charlotte who is suffering from leukaemia and, as a result of three unsuccessful rounds of chemotherapy, is paralysed and wheelchair bound.

It’s incredibly difficult to watch your 23 year old child tend to the very personal care of his 23 year old girlfriend who has been told all NHS Options have been exhausted, all they can do is concentrate on pain relief and quality of life for the time remaining. It’s also incredibly difficult to watch her parents and twin sister put on their positive fronts to the world when you know deep down that tears are just simmering below the surface.

If she lived in France or the USA she could get treatment that has an 80% success rate, maybe more considering her age. So her mum has started a Facebook page linked to a website to try and raise the funds to send her abroad, if it was your daughter or son, you would do the same. Please visit the page and link HERE and please do it today as time is not on Charlottes side.

On graduation day, big smiles, thinking they had the world at their feet…


Thankyou, and here is the website address in full http://gogetfunding.com/project/i-m-saving-charlotte in case my technical skills have let me down again

Bye, Masalama, Namaste, Slainte


Goodbye Cairo

Cairo, you have worked your way under my skin, I love you and hate you equally. I love the fact that in this sprawling quagmire of a city you can still randomly stick your hand out for a taxi and be greeted with ” Ah Miss Maria, el bayt?” (home?)

I hate the fact that even though you know the fare costs 2.50 you give 5le and the supposedly pious zebeeba adorned driver says its 10le…..the driver last night nearly lost his teeth and the hubby his hand, thieving chancer, needless to say he was lucky to get his 5le (that’s 50p to my non Egypt based readers)….yes it’s worth a row for 25p it’s the principle of the thing.

I love the fact that the plumber yesterday, here to fix my toilet just gave us his monkey wrench. We asked to borrow it to change the gas cylinder and he said no problem just keep it. Well, we think that’s what our broken Arabic translated it as….we still have it and he left with smiles, along with his 7 year old assistant Mohamed whom I hope was his son. His generosity was humbling, but I hate the fact that Mohamed was not at school where he should have been.

I love the fact that the kind policemen who found my dog returned the reward saying it was just their job. But I hate the fact that corruption, baksheesh and bribes is part of daily life.

It’s the juxtaposition of kindness and goodness and god damned outrageous exploitation that I still find fascinating, and if truth be told I will never figure it out. There is so much hope for this country, the people here are some of the kindest most generous I’ve met anywhere, but, but, but, there are an awful lot of bad apples. There appears to be two nations running in parallel, I just hope the shit doesn’t float to the top. (Apologies for the language but this will be my last post from Cairo and I really want to say it how it is)

We came under Mubarak, we’ve had a revolution, Morsi, a coup (touchy point) and now we will leave under Sisi. I can’t help thinking its come full circle, the only constant being the army. The excitement and enthusiasm for change after the Jan 25 revolution has dissipated, evaporated, the expectation of change was so high, ok maybe unrealistic, idealistic, but you could palpably feel it on the street. Morsi was not the man to deliver this change, his vision was skewed, backed by an agenda. I’m reminded of some old graffiti just as I say that, here you go, this was under Morsi


As from Sunday Sisi will be the new president, what change will he bring? The international media are focused on the very restrictive protest law, the crackdowns on freedom of assembly and expression and the trials of journalists for simply doing their job. The local media is full of pictures of adorning Sisi fans, parties to celebrate his victory. In true Egyptian style at one such party in Giza three people died from being hit accidentally by celebratory gunfire, go figure!

I truly hope Egypt grows and flourishes and once again becomes a country to be proud off, not with a nationalistic fervour, and flag waving, but as an example of what can be achieved by caring for its resources, its people, and perhaps most importantly steadfastly building decent education for all it’s inhabitants regardless of the thickness of their wallet or connections. But it’s a massive task ahead and although the graffiti above is from Morsi’s time, the people still need bread.

I hope change can come for the sake of the rude lawyer who jumped in front of me in the queue in Seoudi and ended up with my trolley up his backside and rolling on the floor. You were no more important than me or anyone else in the queue, I hope your money and wasta loses its leverage here.

I hope change can come for the little street kids outside the metro who pester me everyday with their tissues for sale. I know you don’t get to keep the money honey, I hope the cruel “madams” who run you end up in jail very soon.

I hope change can come for the spoilt little rich kids who will never amount to anything whilst they are pampered and cruise round Cairo like little kings, above the law, with their parents buying their way out of every problem.

I hope change can come for all the good, kind, honest hardworking Egyptians I have met. You all deserve better, may you get it soon.

Finally in the words of Vinny Jones, “it’s been emotional” Cairo you have provided a roller coaster ride for five years. Lots of highs and lows, but my overwhelming feeling of the journey is one of “what a ride”. I am so glad I came, I have no regrets, Egypt I wish you well, Goodbye “Irish eyes on Cairo”, Ma Salama. Hello “Irish eyes on Delhi” Namaste, what have you got in store for me?


Get Me Outta Here

Get me Outta here!

My mate Chris and I headed off to the Grand Mall today, or Manky Mall as we not so affectionately call it, in search of some bright sparkly shoes. It is thee place to go if you are in search of something along the lines of pole dancing attire, or hooker gear if you get my drift.

I’ve never been able to fathom why all the shops are full of such raunchy kit in such a conservative country. Where do they wear it? I never see anyone dressed in it and there is no way the pavements of Cairo would allow you to walk in those shoes without breaking an ankle.

As for the underwear…well I’m assuming the peep hole bras and undies are for married ladies only in the privacy of their home. That’s fine, it’s just there is sooo much of it on display, do ALL egyptian ladies wear it? The sheer volume of it on display would leave you to think so, or maybe it’s just eye candy for the male shoppers and employees to brighten up their day as they stroll around.

Anyway, the pole dancing shoes were for me as I decided a bit of bling would brighten up a rather plain dress I have for the fancy ball I’m off to on Friday. So Chris and I wound our way up the escalators to the top floor which has a whole row of shops given over to all things tacky. We spied a very fetching mint green evening gown with a price tag that appeared to say 213le or about £20 quid, so in we popped for a nosey. Yes we are easily distracted, I know we were meant to be looking for shoes. Then all hell broke loose…..

We could hear shouting and screaming outside but we couldn’t see out, so off course we headed to the door for another nosey. Our nosiness is going to get us into trouble some day. There were lots of guys some with iron bars all fighting with each other. Not the usual Egyptian fighting which involves three boys holding one back, but proper real adrenalin fuelled hatred type fighting.

We retreated back into the shop but kept an eye out. Once they had moved away a bit we made our escape, or so we thought. We nipped out to the right and made our way along a back route which would have gotten us clear except there was another group fighting at that end, we were effectively hemmed in. A kindly older lady saw us and brought us into what appeared to be the Mall management office.

She said they were drug addicts and mimed shooting up into her arm, and that it happens every day! Don’t worry she said it will be over in 5 minutes. Well, it wasn’t. We sat for a while around a very smart boardroom table until the glass wall behind me shook and I jumped out of my seat.

They were right outside now pushing up against the glass wall and quite frankly it was pretty scary. We moved to the other side of the room to a window which the kindly old lady said we could jump through if they managed to break through the wall. Considering we were about 5 floors up that wasn’t a great option.

She was on the phone with security or the police but there was no sign of them. Chris was pretty calm, I was giggling but not in a good way, more a nervous get me outta here way, and it was really really noisy. There must have been about forty very angry men outside.

Eventually they moved away a bit and a couple of guys came in to escort us out. They brought us to a lift but I couldn’t be bothered waiting on it so Chris and I hot footed past the crowds now watching and down the escalator.

You could still hear them five floors below, but that didn’t deter us stopping off to pick up some very sparkly ear rings to match the shoes which will surely turn my ears green by midnight on Friday.

No police to be seen, it was around a half an hour since it started and still going strong when we left, so much for her 5 minutes. So people, avoid the Grand Mall between 1pm and 2pm as she told us they were fighting because the Mall rules now say all shops must be cleaned and opened by 12:30 which is far too early for the shop keepers….. hence the hoards of screaming men and iron bars! Oh Egypt!

Masalama, Slainte, Bye.


Lessons Learnt

It’s coming up on five years since I arrived in Egypt so I thought I would reflect and jot down some lessons learnt. I’ll start with the obvious, here goes.

1 Bukra inshallah, (tomorrow, god willing) means no chance whatsoever, come back next week

2 Anything followed by inshallah means not a hope, God appears to have no interest in anything remotely connected to time.

3 No Egyptian will ever be heard saying “I don’t know”

4 Should you stop to ask for directions you will receive them, accompanied with multiple hand gestures but they will be wrong.

5 The address you are seeking will be called into question, the street number will be non-existent, in fact it will all be your fault, see number 3 above.

6 Expat females are all hoes, the fact you flaunt your hair, wrists and ankles proves it.

7 Sleeping is a national pastime. Police and bowabs appear to be the champions of this. Rifle barrels are an acceptable form of chin rests during sleeping sessions.

8 Workmen carry their tools in black plastic bags. Their tools consist of bent nails, one handled pliers, and a knife.

9 Telling lies is perfectly acceptable, it’s your fault for asking. It’s always your fault.

10 All foreigners are spies, either for Israel or the Americans. All Egyptians who don’t love Field Marshal Sisi are also spies, but they spy for Qatar, Al Jazeera or the Muslim brotherhood, who are essentially all viewed as being one in the same.

11 Everything made in China is viewed as rubbish. Everything made in Egypt is excellent. The fact that the Egyptian microbuses resemble wonka toys is irrelevant, you can add Mitsushit to the side to make it fancy.


12 Everyone is a drug addict. Antibiotics should be taken for everything, painkillers are only produced in the horse tablet size, steroids are the best way to “get fit” and look good, exercising is frowned upon, it counteracts Number 7 above.

13 Packing your own bags at the shop is illegal, parking your car yourself without a traffic assistant is illegal, tearing of your own toilet paper is illegal, carrying your bags to the car is illegal, making your own coffee at work is illegal. By breaking any of the above laws you are likely to cause a third revolution as you are not trained to do it and are stealing someone’s job.

14 You will never get all your change. Should the bill come to £17.21 you will get £2 back from your £20 Should you ask for the rest you will be chastised, laughed at and will still not get it.

15 Window stickers spelt incorrectly, furry dashboards and horns are compulsory car components. Wing mirrors, brakes and seat belts are not.

16 23 degrees Celsius is still freezing. Hats, scarves, and multiple layers are required and fires need to be lit particularly whilst drinking tea and sleeping.

17 Ridiculously tight skinny jeans and form fitting tee shirts are standard dress code, but only for men.

18 Axe Chocolate scented deodorant, marlboro, and brylcreme are compulsory accessories. Your phone and cigarettes go in the front pockets of your jeans to accentuate your package.

19 Cakes consist of 90% sugar, tea consists of 90% sugar, teeth are 90% black.

20 Boys are always right, girls only exist to tell boys they are clever, smart, handsome and always right.

21 Obama is Muslim brotherhood and his brother runs Al-Qaeda

22 Sisi in his hat and shades is a sex symbol. Sisi without his hat and shades is a Middle aged balding doppelgänger for Homer Simpson.

23 When Sisi becomes president the electricity cuts will stop, everyone will have a new job, a new apartment, more money and Egypt will rule the world.

24 No smoking signs are not mandatory, merely advisory, and don’t apply to Egyptian nationals.

25 “Please remain in your seat until the aircraft reaches the terminal building” also does not apply to Egyptian nationals

26 There are no homosexuals in Egypt.

27 Any homosexuals that have been arrested have been corrupted by foreigners.

28 Women who are assaulted or raped are a disgrace and bring shame on their families.

29 Virginity tests are completely acceptable.

30 You can amuse yourself endlessly by allowing your dog to bark at delivery men.

31 You don’t need a logical argument to win your point you just need to shout louder.

32 Puddles of water cause major traffic jams.

33 Shiny sparkley things, gold paint and flowery patterns need to be applied to every surface and crevice.

34 I don’t know if I could live anywhere that doesn’t have Otlob

Masalama, Slainte, Bye

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Sometimes things work out, sometimes not, but this week I’ve had the best and the worst week ever, all rolled into one. I have cried everyday, and until yesterday I hadn’t laughed for what seemed like forever. Why? Well I lost my dog.

He’s a rather special dog, I guess every dog owner will tell you that, but this one is 14 and has travelled with us from Ireland. When we brought him out he was 9, and the Irish climate had taken its toll, he was arthritic and slow, I wasn’t sure he would survive the flight. But he did and the fabulous Egyptian weather gave him a new lease of life.

Anyway, somehow last Friday he managed to get out of the garden and I went into meltdown mode. I spent the weekend trudging the streets covering more ground than you would in a marathon but no joy. I couldn’t sleep, I spent one night on the sofa outside with the gate open just in case he came back and couldn’t get in.

I posted on Facebook and twitter and hundreds of people shared his picture, (thank you) lots sent me pictures of dogs that had been found but none were him. As the days rolled by I tried to convince myself that he had just gone to find himself a quiet corner, as they do, somewhere away from the family where he could lay down for his last sleep.

Lots of very kind Egyptians, people i had never met, contacted me telling of some horrible horrible markets that sell animals on a Friday. They sent me some very scary photos of the dogs and other animals who are bred or stolen for profit, these people are sick. The condition of the animals was horrendous. I had psyched myself up to go with my driver today, he didn’t want me to go with him, I guess he knew I would be upset.

So, in a last ditch attempt to find him I had some posters printed with his photo and my phone number. The kindest guy in the printers Ahmed translated it into Arabic for me and didn’t even charge me one piaster to print them, again thank you. But that’s when the trouble started.

As soon as I and a very special lady Chris put them up (another thank you) the phone calls started. The dregs of society who were ringing to laugh at me, or, once they heard an expat lady voice just pestered me with nuisance calls. The odd one or two seemed genuine but it was really difficult to tell and my Arabic is just not good enough to route them out. I never ventured far from the security guy outside or the staff at the club who could translate.

On Wednesday I got a genuine one but he wanted to meet within the hour, the hubby was at work and I was warned not to go on my own. Another friend organised within minutes a BIG South African body guard (more thanks) and off we went, unfortunately it wasn’t him.

By Yesterday he had been gone 6 days and I was losing hope so when I got another phone call telling me to go to the same road as Wednesday I thought it would be the same dog I had seen. This caller was a girl with some English and I hurried home to get the security guy to translate. It turned out she was calling on behalf of a policeman with no English and that they had a dog but he couldn’t walk, he was very sick and they thought he was dying. I felt then that this might be him.

The security guy talked a policeman at the end of the road to go with me, it turned out they were only a few hundred metres from my house. I couldn’t search this area as its a military zone and basically waste ground. As I rounded the corner I saw my dog lying on the ground, I cannot describe how relieved I was, I thought I would collapse, I was shaking more than the dog. As soon as I got close he jumped up, I think they thought it was a miracle as they had him for two days and thought he couldn’t walk, he was perfectly fine just depressed I think. The barbed wire lead they had attached probably didn’t help.

We were home in minutes with him jumping up and down and running like crazy in the garden, but that wasn’t the end of it. I had given the policeman they pointed out who found him some money, rather a lot of money, but I had no idea what he had done. An hour or so later a Major General something or other in the police knocked on my door with the roll of money. In perfect English he told me that the boy had simply done his job and they could not accept the money, that it would be seen as a bribe and the police didn’t take bribes….well who knew, that’s a first.

He then told me what had happened. A few days ago they found the dog but he was down a very deep hole. They couldn’t get to him so for a couple of days they threw down food scraps but he wouldn’t eat. They had no way of getting any water to him so after a couple of days they sent this young skinny guy down the hole. By this stage the dog had been in the hole for four days. The young guy somehow managed to get him out. I have no idea how, I have seen the hole and it’s pretty scary, and they kept him for a couple of days until they saw my posters.

I negotiated with the major general something that it wasn’t the boys job to feed the dog and he needed to be recompensed for this. He agreed to that and returned 90% of my money. My dog is perfectly fine, he has been down the club and is enjoying lots of treats, alls well that ends well. My final thank you goes out to Little Lucy, who rounded up her teenage mates and walked miles, you are a star. X

Masalama, Slainte, Bye.


RPG Attack in Maadi?

I Woke up yesterday to twitter going crazy over “RPG” attack in Maadi. There had been a couple of loud blasts about 4:30 am which obviously I slept through, years of practice with the hubby’s snoring renders me immune to such trifles.

The loud blasts are fairly common, last weeks turned out to be a gas canister exploding in a florists, so you’ve got to take the twitter people with a pinch of salt. The much more scary headline, for me anyway, was “Egypt to Build Nuclear Power Station”

The fact that it’s possible to die here just by working in a florists, hardly the most dangerous career path, and taking into consideration Egyptians general apathy to all things health and safety related, means I am out of here the minute this Nuclear power plant hits the construction phase.

It took a couple of hours for the newspapers to pick up on the blasts, and even then it was Al Watan, who lets just say aren’t the most reliable source. Meanwhile twitter had variously accredited the blasts to an electrical explosion, tanks firing canons, (do tanks even have canons nowadays?) The tanks along the Suez road we saw over the weekend certainly do not.

That may however have something to do with the fact they are made out of cardboard. Yes really, ok maybe not cardboard but they are made from plywood at best, although I’m still not sure why, they may be remnants from the “ghost Army” deployed during the war. Fascinating stuff, here is the link………ghost army….nor am I sure why there is a giant helmet on display either, maybe it’s to confuse those sneaky Israelis taking aerial photographs.

Fake tank


More fake stuff on display at the citadel…..awesome stuff eh?


Back to the RPGs. One of the oil companies sent out a security notice to say the blasts were controlled explosions in a nearby quarry, and that’s when the alarm bells started ringing, for me anyway. This is their standard cover story, they accredited last years sonic boom to these mysterious blasts too, it’s what they send out when they haven’t a clue what’s going on. In fairness Its not the oil companies fault, they are being fed this line from their security sources.

But come on people waken up, these blasts went off during curfew, so no one should have been at work to start with, never mind the fact the quarry is in Helwan so unless there was some sort of time travel machine that captured the sound of the blasts from the quarry and deposited them in Maadi I’m not buying it.

UFOs were also a possibility floated as being responsible for the blasts. These proposals didn’t make their way to twitter, thankfully, they were merely voiced by my friends, which shows the quality of the company I keep. Their “proof” of UFOs was based on the fact the roundabout at Midan Victoria is displaying signs of crop circles. The proximity to the Ace Club of this roundabout may have something to do with their perception.

By mid afternoon the RPG story was generally accepted as true and Sky News, the BBC and Al Jazeera were running with it. The confirmation appeared to come from the military spokes person via ONTV, who I would place in a similar category as Al Watan. Details began to emerge that the target was the nile-sat satellite dish but they missed and hit the international phone satellite instead. There is no way of verifying this as no one I know has an international phone line to check. It never bloody works anyway so it won’t make any difference, thank goodness for Skype.

We are really none the wiser and I’ve been in Egypt too long to be sure of anything. The abundance of conspiracy theories and warped logic I’m surrounded by has totally screwed any deductive reasoning I may have had. It either happened, or it didn’t. If it did, someone wants us to believe it didn’t. If it didn’t someone wants us to believe it did, take your pick.

This “rocket” may be similar to the one used in the attack…….also on display at the citadel, scary stuff!!


UPDATE :YOU TUBE VIDEO OF THE ATTACK claimed by “Al-Furqan Brigades” I cannot testify to the authenticity of this.

For Video Click Here

The Special One

I was at a dinner party the other evening, a leaving party for yet another one of my friends, and it was rather posh. I don’t often get to swan about in Katamaya, but I went fully prepared. I put on my high heels, my newest skirt, and a little blouse, I even washed my hair and shaved my legs. I packed my fags into my Channel handbag (fake off course) and thought I looked the part.

The downside to this ensemble was that en-route to this party I had to stop off at the Ace Club in Maadi, make a speech in front of the assembled crowd and hope they would vote me on to the committee. I looked like a proper lady who lunches, and quite honestly I was crapping it. The hubby wasn’t even there to lend his support, he was off galavanting at the golf.

I did the speech stone cold sober as i had to walk up to the microphone and back again. I sidelined my usual tipple of fine Egyptian wine as the combination of it, and high heels turn me into Bambi. Anyway I did alright and managed to get on, waved my goodbyes and headed off to see the Katamaya crowd.

It was a lively evening but there was an underlying layer of sadness to be saying yet another good bye. I was the only smoker so I discreetly nipped away for a quick fag kindly accompanied by an ex smoker who wanted to hover near by and imbibe of some passive Marlboro light.

There is an underlying feeling of sadness in Egypt too. The buzz has gone. Egypt is tired, fed up, and depressed, We need an inspirational personality to step in and grab the bull by the horns and get things going again. I have the very boy in mind, Jose Mourinho.

Just picture Jose addressing the nation, suave, sophisticated, handsome, sexy and George Clooney-esque. That would be enough to give the economy the boost it needs straight away. Imagine the tourists flocking back just to catch a glimpse of those rugged good looks. But, Jose is not just a pretty face, he is a media darling with his sound bites of wisdom, and his obviously modest persona.

Little snippets from his speeches would go something like this:

“I am Jose Mourinho your President, I am the special one, Egyptian people you are my new team, I am zee boss”

“Men in Egypt play very good with balls….too much playing with balls not good, men in Egypt need to learn how to score…if you score no need to play with balls”

“I am a very stylish man, I am beautiful, Egyptian people should dress like me. Your clothes now very ugly, my team needs look cool. Crocs are banned”

“Egyptian people you cannot grow grass (except good gardeners in Katamaya) Astro Turf will replace all grass, save water, more to wash with, and stop stupid Bowab wet my feet with hose”

Oh, we can but dream, I hereby nominate Jose Mourinho for President, he can’t fuck it up anymore than the last one, or the latest crew.

Thats sorts Egypt out but I still have my underlying sadness at losing so many friends. Our book-club has been decimated. By Christmas only myself and one other member will remain from the original line up. I will no longer be able to regale you with tales of their gin sozzeled conversations, or their expat lady troubles. I need to find some new friends. Selection criteria will be based purely upon their comedic competencies, but in truth I can’t be arsed.

Slainte, Masalama, Bye.