Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hello, I'm back in Cairo after trips to Prague and Kiev, with not much new to report except that I'm going to Dubai for four days for a job interview, and then for a splendid little two-day assignment at the port of Sharm el-Sheik in Sinai, and in the second half of April I'm going to South Africa for two weeks to write chapters in yes another annual country report in an emerging markets series.

Further to this (losing my non-existent notes) and this (losing and then finding my coat)...

The keys to my Cairo apartment had been a source of low-level anxiety for several days in Prague, because I'd left the keys at my friends' place during my first swing through Prague on my way to Kiev earlier in February.

Turns out my friends had nicely packed all the stuff I'd left in their apartment into my backpack. I worried the keys might have been misplaced in the shuffle - a potential problem because the flight lands at 3 a.m. and I didn't have the number either of the landlord or the maid, the only two people with copies of the keys.

Luckily, we found the keys in the bad, and drank tea and relaxed and chatted and played with my friends' baby. I boarded the plane that evening, and about halfway through the flight, realized I didn't have the keys. It turns out I'd left them on the table at my friends' place whilst playing with baby.

Waiting at baggage claim at 3 a.m., scratching my head, I decided to send a text message to a friend in Cairo who often stays up late working. I don't have many close friends here, mind you, but this guy is often up till the wee hours working on his stuff. Immedaitely, he gave me a phone call back and said sure, I could crash on his sofa. Whew.

Next day, after much investigation, it turned out my neighbor had the phone number of the maid, who had a copy of the key. After a long, tired, and unwashed wait during which I bonded with Mohamed the doorman, finally, the afternoon after I'd arrived, Nadia, the maid showed up, I entered my long lost Cairo apartment, and it was a blessed thing. Elizabeth Bishop says to accept the fluster of lost door keys. I did, and it wasn't a disaster.


Anonymous jrmy said...

Dubai, eh? Looking for a job in port security, or custom-made luxury islands? After hearing so much about this "decadent wonderland" and whatnot on the radio, I'd be interested in hearing what Dubai is like...

3:27 PM  

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