Jacinto in Cairo

27 July 2006

Around the house

This week marked the end of Bettina's summer session, full of final projects and final exams. I too brought my Faulkner reading to an end (has any other "great" author written so many awful books?!) and started writing the second chapter of my dissertation. The strange Cairo sleep patterns have returned, and I've been waking up randomly at 4.30am, unable to fall asleep for a couple hours. Last night I even turned on my computer and did some writing. This morning I finished the draft, so I'm very happy with myself.

Because we were such busy bees this week, I have no real adventures to report. Well, actually I do but I'm waiting for some pictures to show you. But pretend you don't know about that (it's what the Egyptian government does!). That was a clue...

Anyway, we have been steadily making our apartment feel like a home. We went to Ezbekiya to buy old movie posters to decorate our walls. As you'll learn if you click through that link, Ezbekiya's a pretty fascinating open-air used book, magazine, and poster market. You can find amazing stuff there, in all sorts of languages, and the quarter has a pretty salacious history.

Below you can see our newly remodelled living room (well, one of them):

This is a movie poster for al-Hub fawq hadbat el-haram (Love on the Pyramid Plateau). Based on a Naguib Mahfouz story, it is about the days after al-Infitah, or the Open Door Policy. This was part of Anwar Sadat and the ruling elite's program to sell out the Palestinians and the Egyptian masses with an emasculating peace deal and a "liberalized" economy. Things have gotten steadily worse for both the Palestinians and ordinary Egyptians since al-Infitah, but it serves the elite (and their American and Israeli bosses) pretty well.

Anyway, the story is about 'Ali and Raga', two young, educated government employees who fall in love, get married, and can't move in together because they don't have enough money. The hotels are sketchy, full of nasty looks, innuendo, and even police hassle. Exasperated and horny, inspiration stikes 'Ali. He takes Raga' and some blankets to the pyramid plateau. A police officer approaches them and says they can't do that there. 'Ali offers him 25 piastres, but the cop says it's not enough. So he gives him a pound, and they have the plateau to themselves... cheaper than any hotel.


At 8:16 PM, Blogger newloghere said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site. Keep working. Thank you.


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