Posted on November 23, 2006


For the last few days, M has been entertaining a friend of his from Canada who is here for ten days. I had met this guy (M2) before, but I don’t think I noticed that he is, generally speaking, rather unusual, in much the same way as the German military is unusual. For example:

  • He only naps for 18 minutes, because apparently this is the exact time needed for refreshment. Alarm clock and everything.
  • Before coming here he seems to have studied the Egypt Lonely Planet guide with the kind of dedication normally reserved for flying manuals read in mid-air. He refers to it as the LP and specifically brought with him jeans with back pockets big enough for the LP to fit in comfortably.
  • He is picking up the pronunciation of Egyptian words super fast.
  • He goes to the gym every day even though he’s on vacation.

Basically, when he is around I hear military marches in my head – if anyone associated with the military were allowed to grow floppy blonde hair. He thinks it is a ‘hippy look’ – and he has timed its growth in accordance with his travel schedule – but I have assured him it is an Etonian look. He’s going off on some kind of long jaunt all around Egypt, by himself, and I have not the slightest fear of him coming to any harm or disadvantage. Although I did have to point out that maintaining eye-contact with beggars and other solicitors is not construed here a show of strength or firmness, but rather as a show of interest in purchasing unwanted items or disbursing hard-earned cash.