Sunday, May 23, 2004

Naturally I'm tempted to write one big post about all the funny things that happened to me in Egypt and Jordan, but I guess I'll post things in dribs and drabs instead.

I found Cairo to be a lot like a baby -- a baby with 16 million people, that is. Do you remember the first time you held a baby? The baby immediately freaked out, because it sensed how nervous you were about holding a baby. Later, you relaxed and got into the idea of holding a baby, and then the baby was cool, too. Well, Cairo's sort of like that.

Probably the best "find" of my four days in Cairo: At the book market in Ezbekiyya Gardens on Sair Klut Bay (that's a street, not a body of water) -- across from the Sednaoui department store, which truly out-Kotvas Kotva -- jammed into one of many vertical stacks of old paperbacks, a long-neglected title I've had my eye out for: Edmund Wilson's Memoirs of Hecate County. The thing smells like it was sitting in that pile at least since the last Bush presidency. (And I'm totally kicking myself for not bargaining those two lurid Pan potboilers into the three-dollar deal. Argh!)


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