I chose last night, of all nights to go do some shopping in Khan el Khalili. The traffic there was worse than usual...... why? because today is a holiday- 'the prophets birthday'. All the sweet shops have streams of 'christmas' lights outside and huge boxes filled with sweets and dolls with massive sugary sweet dresses of white, yellow, pink etc.... Thursday night and Cairo is out to celebrate- many people out in their 'sunday best'.
I had a couple of errands to run first- buying kiddies bellydance costumes for a start followed by walking around getting ideas to beautify my new flat! I know its not a permenant base or anything- but I love being in nice surroundings!
After a while, with feet throbbing from walking around.. I took refuge in my usual CD shop, where they gave me (as a regular customer) numerous cups of tea and a place to recover from the efforts of the Khan. Not once did they even show me anything to buy.... very kind of them (but then I guess they have made plently out of me over the years!!!) Was interesting to see them go to work- putting on some Koran, followed by some Hakim....... anything to try and draw in some shoppers. When my friend joined me, she bought 6 CD's and 2 DVD's.... so I guess that did make it worth their while to have entertained me for the nearly 2 hours preceeding that!
Then Kaydee and I headed down to Yasser's cstume shops- where we spent another 2 hours, trying on costumes. I was very good. I didn't buy one for myself (although I did fall in love with a goldy/orangy one!) Kaydee chose a deep rose pink which looks stunning on her. Then we went back to El Fishawy to rest.
We ended up staying in Fishawy for nearly 2 hours! Both of us were surprised that its was after 3am! We'd been sitting drinking 'Sahaleb' ( a hot milky drink made with semolina, coconut, raisens and nuts and a wonderful winter warmer!) whilst we listened to all the various musicians who were going round the tables entertaining the people there. Groups of young guys up dancing in the street, Young children being put up on tables to dance in front of their proud parents, everyone singing and clapping along. An amazing party atmoshere! We even had a old guy- violinist sit with us singing and playing 'Enta Omri' just before we had to leave.
It was an amazing night- and I am really glad I went (even though I didn't get back to back til 4am!) I felt I was really part of the Cairo I love, enjoying the holiday with everyone else, enjoying just sitting with a friend, loving the music and the atmosphere! So happy I am here in Cairo!
'Kol Sena Wentu Tayyib' (may every year be good!)