Tuesday, February 21, 2006


today in my lower-middle-class neighborhood of Cairo, I saw:

*a girl, in her dark blue school uniform, rushing to the head of the line to wish me a Happy Valentine's Day

*a dappled gray mare (I'm not even kidding) standing on the sidewalk next to a pile of garbage, eating out of a bag attached to its head

*a man, barefoot, doing the afternoon prayers in the only green space in our neighborhood--a triangle aobut 20 square feet, with mostly mud under the "grass"

*an ice cream cart with a man scooping kid-size ice cream scoops onto sugar cones and topping them with bits of strawberry...right outside the gates of a school.

*the same ice cream man also selling cigarettes to the dads coming to pick up kids

*lots of popcorn carts

*a 7 year old wearing the veil...walking with her FULLY covered--eyes and everything--(in black) mother.

*an Iraqi flag in a window

*a teenager in a beautiful purple galabeya with a complementary purple headscarf.

*my favorite kusheri man, waving at me as I passed shop.

*a 10 year old boy, barefoot, leading a donkey cart laden with oranges down the middle of the street while taxis wait behind him, honking

*a kitten that looks very like Ollie, only playing in a garbage pile.

*a very beat up, very old car driven by a man, slow down as he approached a puddle in the street, so as to avoid splashing the people walking in the road.

*a very fancy, new, not-yet-dented car speed through and splash mud and nasty water on tens of people in the street, all of whom started shouting very angrily in Arabic at the expensive American car.

*a dead chicken, in the midst of the usual rotting vegetable cuttings in the garbage piles.

*loads of cats on said garbage pile. (more than usual)

*a man being chastised--by a woman--for drinking water from the public fountain during the hours people were told not to drink the water until the chlorine has a chance to take effect.

*two teenage girls, one veiled and one not (one Muslim and one Christian) walking arm-in-arm down a street in the middle of this primarily Muslim neighborhood.

Things I did not see today:

*live chickens
*anyone throw garbage on the ground
*teenage boys bicycling through the neighborhood with racks of bread on their heads
*any stalls open in my end of the suuk (which also has a poultry market)

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but since I can't take a photo without drawing lots of attention to my already attention-getting self, words you will have to have.

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