Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Bridge

For those unfortunates who can't afford the above places in the evening there is always the bridge. Its hard to imagine living in a hot country if you never have, and what you do to try to escape the heat….but one of the most bizarre and romantic ideas I've come across is the bridge- any bridge, over the Nile. At anytime of night, from just before sunset to, well all night actually, you will see people on the bridge, parking their car on the bridge, taking out seats, stools, blankets, food, bbq's etc they picnic on the bridge each night, while others fish (at 3 am) and children play, and popcorn/corn on the cob/and juice stands all rake in the customers- not to mention all the young boys and girls selling red roses. 'Lovers' – or more accurately perhaps, 'courting couples' gaze lovingly into each others eyes, often with a 3rd party (sister, brother, cousin etc) standing off to the side, acting as chaperone. In fact these couples make up the vast majority of any public area at night- the corniche, gardens, or juice/sweets kiosks ( the equivalent to the chip shops or bus shelters at home I guess!!!) The Egyptians are known across the Arab world as the romantic nation (a bit like Italy is in Europe) and it's easy to see why when you walk about around 8pm at night! If they aren't already part of a couple they hang about in small groups of guys or girls, trying to catch the eye of the one they like walking by! An entertaining hour or two can be had just watching all of this!

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