Its Day 2 here in Cairo and the experience has been highly enriching.
Let me offload the first thing that’s coming to my mind. Yesterday – the first day while I was walking back to the Hotel after buying a sim-card ………………..an elderly lady who was walking on the street suddenly fell down. It was in the night and we didn’t know what to do. We tried to help – but were not sure wether to touch or not. Later a crowd gathered around and tried to take her someplace safe and get her some medical attention. She was holding her heart and looked like she had a heart attack. It was shocking. Later another lady came by with her kids and was continuously repeating ‘Bismillah ur rehman ur rahim’ (God be merciful). The expression on the elderly lady who fell down …………..was certainly very moving.
Egypt is a crowded beautiful and ugly country. Just like India is a nation of contradictions …………here you have some very beautiful buildings and some very very ugly unaesthetic buildings. There are many apartments here and they are truly ugly. The apartments dont look painted in many many years. There is no sense of front elevation and the building looks ugly with a/cs sticking out and the terrace uglyly littered with dish antennae. They have a lot of dust. Some of the a/cs are not even attached to the windows …………..and are installed with an ugly hole in the wall.
The mosques and government buildings look very beautiful. Each mosque is very well built with a great sense of aesthetics. The university where we are working is a very old one and some of the departments date back to 175 years. Its a very big university and the buildings are equally beautiful from the outsides. However the interiors are dirty and not that great. Egypt certainly hasn’t been a culture ‘shock’ to me so far.
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