Let’s begin with Port Said
I’ve always been a bit of a drama queen – anyone who knows me personally will testify to the fact that I can be a little dramatic at times (and emotional too, but that’s another post entirely!). I’ve always thought I should have done drama when I was at school, but I’ve been told otherwise. Whatever! *raises hand to screen*
I’ve got a lot to say, and I really should have started this blog from the moment I landed in the Land of the Pharoahs (as Egypt likes to be called), but procrastination slowly became my companion and I only just managed to show it the door. Here I am. I’ll be quite incoherent at times, which doesn’t reflect on my teaching skills (OK?!) and I will jump back and forth in time, so this will be far from a clear chronological account. But since I’m an expert rambler (ask my students!) it’ll be as though we are just having a leisurely chat on the phone: I do all the talking!
I’d like to start with Port Said, a small little town on the coast, a little over 2.5 hours away from Cairo. It’s where myself, Naj and Sahar (great work colleagues) spent the entire ‘eid day and some of the night. As always I didn’t have any expectations about the town, but when I was told we were going to the beach, I didn’t expect my shoes to be almost instantaneously filled with sand the moment we stepped off the coach; and the beach was about 10 mins away from the coach station!
It was picturesque, and the minute we touched down, I knew that I’d love it there – I was breathing clean air afterall! There wasn’t the incessant honking one hears in Cairo and believe it or not, we could cross the road without fear of being knocked out! We even spotted a cat strolling across the road! Never in Cairo – I kid you not.
The population of Port Said had obviously been deprived of a black face, ‘cos I got stares left, right and centre. Or maybe it was my nose stud. I haven’t a clue, but while lounging on the beach for 6 hours, every single soul who passed where we sat, stared. I was paranoid to the extent that I had to ask whether I had something dodgy going on with the headscarf or a blip on my nose. But it was nice… not the staring, the lounging. I soaked the sun and nubianed up (which really just means I got darker and shinier!).
Port Said will hold many memories for me, especially since it was the place that I had my very first horse-ride and saw my very first by-the-sea sunset. *sniff sniff* I’m such a blinking romantic! Sahar – the photographer in the making – had her swanky camera to take snaps with and I resorted to taking photos with my BlackBerry, which wasn’t too bad. I’ll leave you with some shots. As soon as I get hold of Sahar’s pics I’ll post them – they are superb!
– The Londoner