Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
I was out riding with some friends one afternoon and the brisk winds had blown away every shred of Cairo's pollution. Clear days like these used to be the norm here in winter but thanks to the diesel engine, no more. We rode by a modern village graveyard with its little domes and when we looked back could see quite clearly the Great Pyramid at Giza overshadowing them. You may need to click on the picture to enlarge it.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
It's too cold for sandals now and the shoe stores are displaying more seasonal shoes. Rather than simply displaying them in the window, this imaginative shopkeeper has hung them all over the front of his shop with bright lights for evening shoppers to take their pick.
Friday, December 26, 2008
One of the endearing traits of Cairenes is their ability to make themselves comfortable almost anywhere. A corner, a sunny spot in an alley, a shady spot under a tree.....any of these places can be converted into a workspace with a table, chair and maybe a water pipe.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Living around Cairo, one spends a lot of time in the car. I'm constantly amazed at the odd things that I see simply crossing the Nile on the Moneeb Bridge. On this lovely clear crisp day a group of men sat, stood, and worked on top of an immense advertisement for Vodafone. I'm not entirely sure what they were doing there, but I was glad that it was them and not me.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Like someone from an enigmatic movie, an elderly man in a galabeya walks across the desert sand. Probably a rather routine explanation for his travels is that he is working as a watchman at the antiquities site on the hill behind and to his left, where the archaeologists have identified the ruins as being the tomb of a pharoanic queen.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Cairenes often think of the canals of the countryside with disdain. They are, indeed, the repositories of much debris, although most of it is vegetation that will decompose and simply make the canal water liquid fertiliser to help produce our marvelous vegetables. With prices soaring, farmers are even more reliant on the natural sources of fertilisers. I think of the canals as the Nile Valley's circulatory system on a mechanical end and as the windows of its soul on a day such as this.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In traditional architecture handrails (if they are found) are put against the wall leaving the outside of a staircase open to the air and everything else. While this would probably put the insurance companies in the US right over the edge, visually it is very pleasing.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Cars in Cairo are an endless source of entertainment if you can avoid being totally terrified by the traffic. This ancient VW bus runs around Giza with it's engine open to the air, apparently to improve the cooling.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
There is something about water that I can't resist. The canals in the Nile Valley are, in my opinion, totally under-appreciated. True, they end up with entirely too much plastic and trash in them, but perhaps if people had a better appreciation for their possible beauty they would care more for them. As it is, they are the circulatory system of Egypt, for better or worse.