On a totally different note

Posted on November 6, 2006


On Friday night I set off for a friend’s birthday party downtown. I got into a taxi. Apropos of nothing, the taxi driver commented that the police force was working hard lately (shaddeen 7elhom). Thinking of the atrocities that took place over Eid, I denied this. He proceeded to relate to me several drug and prostitution busts that had recently taken place – “mana3o 3annenena kol el manafez,” he sighed. I began to feel that this was an inappropriate conversation for him to be having with me – I seem to attract these sorts of conversations. He went on to describe how he had recently taken a Gulfi customer “fe meshwar keda” (on a little errand, approx.) and when he saw the police trucks congregating around Fouad St. and picking up – “beyesh2oto” – prostitutes he took him back and told him he’d bring him back tomorrow. I was astonished – my dad would perish if he thought that “sha2ato” had been used in my presence, let alone that I understood it. I was so surprised that I asked him to repeat himself, and he did, without a shade of embarrassment. I had heard that my street was a great place to pick up prostitutes…perhaps he thought I was one? I quickly looked over my outfit – sure, I was looking good, but there wasn’t even a sliver of neck, leg or arm above the elbow visible. I asked him what was it he thought I did for a living.
“Lamo2akhza…we dee 7aga tokhoseni fe eh?” (Sorry…but how is this something that concerns me?)
“Bete7keeli da kollo leh ya3nee?” (Why are you telling me all this, then?)
He went into a massive spiral of mish asdees and lamo2akhzas and hadretiks. Either he was convinced of my purely non-professional status or he thought it politic to deny that he thought I was a hooker. We had a pleasant conversation for the rest of the way about economics and American imperialism.

I got to the bar, a good hour late, only to find that only two people out of some 40 had shown up. It seems that Egypt time has slowed down substantially since I last employed it. Two more people showed up a few minutes later, and I realized I was still the only drinker there. Looked like it was going to be a bummer, being in a bar with tons of non-drinkers. But I eventually had a kickass time when everyone else started showing. The band was good – Rai and some funky violin virtuosity, as well as hip hop in between. In no time, the dance floor was seething with so many people our bones were slotting together like a giant horizontal game of people Tetris. Hmmm…sounds salacious. Which reminds me – back when I was in Canada doing my undergrad my friends and I had this naked people game of Tetris called – you guessed it – Sextris. Naked men and women in weird poses (these folks were limber) would descend and you had to position them in a feasible sexual position. They’d do a bit of thrusting, complete with ah!s and ugggh!s, and disappear. Naturally we tried a lot of gay scenarios too (there’s no room for homophobia in winning), but it was a strictly Republican game. This was a computer game, by the way. Yes.

MA 3ALEINA. I met quite a few interesting people. First amongst them was a guy who replied, in response to me introducing myself,”I know.” It turned out he reads this blog AND knew what I looked like because he happened to be in the same place the night I met the Sandmonkey and blogged about it, and he knows what he looks like. On a side note…I heard on the grapevine that SM has signed up last minute as a delegate for the Model Arab League at the American University of Cairo…as Syria. Amass yourself in great numbers to view the spectacle. I sure as hell will be there, with a small field of snacks and a multitude of friends. Er, I won’t say what council to protect his privacy. Smirk.

So anyway I had nothing to say to the reader since clearly he already knew everything about me. I just drank some of his drink. It’s most disconcerting to meet people and hear “Oh, that’s right, you only poo once a week!” and stuff like that. Not that he said that.

I also was introduced to a guy who was in the terrorist attack in Dahab in April. Actually, the vast majority of the people at this party were there…bad weekend. This guy was injured. And get this… his ASS blew off! I’m sorry but…AHAHAHAHAHAHA. His ass! Apparently he was bent over when the bomb blew up behind him. Thank God, otherwise it would have been his head. But “introduced” is too strong a word. Actually, the meeting was effected by me walking up to him and saying “Hey, I heard your ass blew off?” and it wasn’t even him, it was the next guy, who I repeated the question to. He whipped out his cell phone and immediately showed me pictures of his ass where the bit blew off it, and the stitches and whatnot. It was great! I heard later that he got a fake ass bit put in! Who knew terrorism could be so HILARIOUS.

In addition, I managed to dissuade a chick from going to law school, or at least really bum her out about it. I try to do this at least once a day.

I ran into tons of people I hadn’t seen in a good five years, last spotted on the AUC campus. Sometimes I think Cairo never changes. One of them was a guy who had a big crush on me back then…he is this Clark Kent type, all glasses and nerdiness concealing rippling muscles and rock-hard abs. You know – as far as I recall. It has been kept up, is all I can say. Email me to be set up, fellow superficial chicks.

Quick note: does anyone know where I can buy a game of Trivial Pursuit? My friends and I already play poker and charades and stuff, but we need something nerdier that does not involve role playing and small guys in Korea hunched over their computers.