Posted on July 12, 2007

3


As a corollary to my sarcasm recognition disability, I also believe almost everything people say. It is usually inconceivable to me that they might be having me on. Obviously this is some fertile-ass ground for my friends to sow. I suspended my belief when I was doing that refugee law stint, but now my gullet is wide open again to receive those indigestible pellets of crap. Incidents like the following litter my life:

Spaz: You know, the Swiss have a great army.

Me: I guess…they did come up with the knives. Those look useful.

B (with uniquely eloquent look of disgust to Spaz): Are you kidding?!

Spaz: Shh…

B: The Swiss army?

Spaz: Dude, let me ashtaghalha schwaya! (Ishtighaal is basically pulling someone’s leg/winding them up. Favourite Egyptian pastime…or maybe that’s just my life).

B: But…you never ishtaghal anyone!

Spaz: Yes…but this is S. (Points) It’s so easy.

The Conquistador: Didn’t you see me gesturing for you to shut up?

B: Ah right…sorry.

Me: Hey! I would have realized! Eventually…

After we finished troughing into Indian food, Spaz and I made our way to a curious shisha place puzzlingly called Ibiza on a quiet Maadi side road. She is now a journalist the size of the world and was supposed to meet a photographer there to take pictures of The Yacoubian Building‘s assistant director. The place was a small room with faux rustic decor and an untended garden. It felt exactly like being in Dahab. There were only three walls, no A/C, and no chairs. The walls were decorated with art-deco paintings of girls, all of whom had upper lip moles (which pleased me, since I have one) and empty bottles of alcohol mounted at random intervals up on the walls. Cheered by this, we asked the staff if the place served alcohol, only to be surprised when he said no. What, I asked the owner – a young man around my age – was the point of the bottles? Was it to pain hopeful customers? Sort of, he said. His idea was to create the spirit of a bar but with shisha. This struck me as a stupendously asinine idea, as did the vast majority of his other remarks. He also had some pretty bad mouth odour, which I was able to determine quite accurately due to the thousands of legal questions he directed at me. I spent a long time talking to him while Spaz and the photographer draped camera film around the poor assistant director’s head in an effort to make him look kooky and playful and whatnot for the photos. He bore it with a fortitude that only enhanced his good looks, I think. He was also gracious enough to play scrabble with me and Spaz, two people who are lethally serious about words. He came second and everything (he had a nice crop of Qs and Xs). I guess I would recommend the place, should you locate it, and should you have access to a non-rotating fan aimed directly at your chest. The shisha’s pretty good, and they have a playstation. I am told they are getting carpet soon, as the cockroach that scurried past my bare foot almost blended into the concrete floor, and I think it would be best if we could see them clearly.

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