Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Clothes

Cairo is starting to heat up again. The dusty scent of dry heat is making itself cozy in my nostrils and my pants are adhering to my legs again, making me feel both appreciative of the western world of skirts and hot pants and, simultaneously, obese. I’d trade humidity for dry heat any day (humidity does a number on my hair), but how can you enjoy heat when you’re living in a place where you have to cover up?

But alas, spring break is upon us, and we’re off to places where the heat is humid, rain is possible, and shorts are permitted. And I can’t emphasize how glorious that sounds. My poor legs have been feeling vampiric and seriously miss the light of day.

Yesterday, we left work early and headed out to a new mall by the airport called Sun City (not this anti-apartheid ’80s Sun City) to watch The Hunger Games in its equally new movie theater. After the movie (which was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I’ve seen and included French and Arabic subtitles and a ten minute intermission), we sat sweltering in the back of a cab that reeked of exhaust and grease. Summer is back.

I know there are scores of events that occurred this week, such as a sampling of Korean food, a trip to the local Mexican joint, and countless other dining experiences, but I can’t bring myself to write about them. My thoughts are too focused on our trip.

“Have you ever been to the far east?” my boss asked us yesterday. “It’s really wonderful.”

“The far east” itself connotes an unexplored world replete with mystery, silk roads, and Edward Said’s Orientalism. I am not sure what to expect there, but I will be sure to take copious amounts of notes and photos and to avoid consuming any dairy product so I can experience the trip in full.

I will leave you with that promise and a photograph that sums up the week.

just some of the contents of my purse on embassy day. note the number of whiteboard markers, binder clips, and usb sticks.


Categories: Egypt

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