Past the Glass…
Today I had a session of people-watching in Starbucks in City Stars, one of Cairo’s largest malls – a westerner’s dream… or nightmare when the hiked prices slaps one’s face!
After some retail therapy in H&M (they had a sale on; the African in me couldn’t let that slide!) and flicking through books in Shorouk Bookstore, there was no better reward than a vanilla-laced mocha after so much work. *grin*
I loved sitting in their comfy armchair, sipping on my creamy hot beverage with my mind simmering with thoughts of nothing in particular as my eyes scanned people as they idly strolled past the glass…
… a Sudenese couple, arms interlocked in a knot of romance (say “ahhh!”), the woman tall and slender with thick black henna patterns stained on the sole of her feet that were slipped into high thin-heeled sandals that I would never have dared to attempt to walk in. They are married – this couple – her hennaed feet a sure sign that she was not available.
… a niqabi, elegantly adorned with her face covering, and a shield of black from head to toe. Despite only being able to see her eyes and her hands, beauty radiated from her and her measured steps alongside who I presumed to be her husband – a man who had a light patch of hair on his chin – not quite a beard, but not a goatee either. My guess is that he was Indonesian or possibly Malay; his distinct eyes gave it away.
… a group of what I call ‘rich kids’, who have parents who have more money than they know how to dispose of. Kids all kitted in gear that cost no less than 100LE a garment; carefree as they giggle, skip past and constantly tap away on their Blackberries.
City Stars dictates the sort of people I’d see there today; the vast majority of Cairo’s inhabitants can’t afford the luxury of purchasing goods from such ‘high-end’ stores, and it’s certainly not somewhere they’d choose to splash their cash. Yet, as I reached the sad end of my mocha, I wondered if – despite the money that can buy almost everything their heart desires materially – whether any of the people I saw today are truly happy.
– The Londoner