Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cairo in the Rain

I've lived with rain all my life... being Scottish. In Cairo however, the rain is more like liquid pollution, leaving black marks on your face and clothes. Since it is a relatively rare sight, the streets are not designed for it, and with no drains the roads become muddy rivers.

Tonight Cairo's rivers are flowing, making the normally prolific number of empty taxi's available to hire disappear. Not a night to be walking in the street.

I feel for those in tahrir, setting up to sleep the night in the rain in preperation for tomorrows celebration/ protest/ commemorate of a year since the revolution started. It's a cold wet start to an event that many of us have been dreading. There is a fear in the air about what might happen tomorrow. If there will be trouble, or not. Its a public holiday and shops and offices are all closed.

My work has even decided to close for the day. It seems nobody wants to cruise on the Nile on this auspicious day. Fair enough, if it was my business i would close too, but its hard on everyone how little work there is in Egypt if you are involved tourism at all. Thankfully the last 2 days i have had lots of chinese tourists come to see my show... i guess to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Sharia Haram (Pyramid road) is closed for the next 2 nights.... avoiding giving troublemakers any cause to repeat the burning and looting of the clubs there that happened a year ago.

Egypt is progressing. On monday we saw the 1st ever voted in paliment meeting, watched all around the country on tv. Today the head of the army announced he was going 'to end the state of emergancy'. Perhaps I'll be sitting here tomorrow night saying that all is the same as usual........ but i have learned in my 6 years of living in Egypt, and over the last year of it in particular, the difference a day can make. I am, like everyone else i know, making plans for life as normal , the day after tomorrow, but being careful to add the 'inshallah' or hopefully' at the end of each sentence!

'Inshallah' 25th january will be a peaceful one this year, unlike last year. We don't want more fires needing put out, even if this rain could do a good job of it!

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