Last week Ellie and I were invited along to the Sofitel gezirah hotel pool to join some friends who were over visiting from Italy for a wedding. They have a lovely pool there, which is almost an infinity pool... swimming along watching the Nile is a wonderful experience! It’s a lovely pool too... with a jacuzzi and Turkish baths and all sorts included in the spa area. A real treat. We did have a laugh at the menu though- the pizza named ‘vegan’ which was covered in mozzarella, very vegan... and the tiramisu which according to the menu ‘can be translated to wake-you up’!
It was interesting to hear all about the wedding too. An Italian girl marrying a Coptic Egyptian man. Seemingly the overwhelming numbers of photographers were actually pushing themselves between the priest and the couple during the ceremony!!! The ceremony was all in Coptic language and Arabic, with a smattering of English words. Thankfully the bride had had the foresight to have the vows translated into English on handouts for her guests. They still have in the vows that the wife must obey her husband... and at no point did the bride have to give her consent to the wedding in the ceremony either- no ‘I do’. Seems a shame, but then in Egypt- it is only VERY recently that the woman’s signature even had to be on the marriage papers at all... as long as her father signs for her, that was always enough. Thank god there has been some progression!
And then onto the not so nice stuff....
For the last 2-3 weeks I have had a very unsettled stomach... to put it politely. I put it down to a bug, or too many party nights, or irregular eating i.e. my own fault. However, these past 4 days have been horrible. I won’t go through the symptoms... but let’s just say I couldn’t leave the house, in fact, i could hardly leave the bed. When it got to the point that I had to cancel work I realised that I couldn’t put off going to the doctor any longer. The antinal I’d been taken (an antibiotic which is usually fabulous at clearing up tummy bugs) just wasn’t doing its job.
Going to the doctors in Cairo is very different than in UK. You don’t have to be registered anywhere... and there aren’t really GP’s. What you do is you go to one of the many privately run hospitals in the city. I have a very nice, new, modern one a short walk from my house- which is good, since that is all I could manage, not having had any fuel in me for 3 days. Then you ask for the type of consultant you wish to see.... and wait. Depending on which hospital the wait can be very long, or very short. Thankfully we didn’t have long before the Doctor came to the front desk to collect us himself (I have a feeling this was not the normal etiquette, rather it was something to impress the foreign girls!). Turns out the Dr Ahmed has spent 2 years in London studying and working there, and was very happy to discuss his time there with us. He gave me a quick examination and diagnosed a spastic colon (aka IBS) and gave me a prescription and that was it. Of course, there is no NHS in Egypt.... so I asked who we should pay, and bless him... he said no fee... this one is on me! There are defiantly some perks to being a foreigner in this city!
So no work for a few days... rest and drugs and hopefully I’ll be all better very soon. I better be- I have workshops to plan for my upcoming UK tour!!!