A morning tea with two interesting older ladies, sat in a sumptuous Zamalek residence with the most beautiful classic furniture in woods such as yew, walnut and oak - shipped from England many years ago, a portrait of a time when men wore suits and women wore hats and gloves and people sent letters by post. An apartment offering many gifts to those sipping their drinks, handing them a stunning view of the Nile in all her grandeur and uplifting spirit, the green life of trees and the wild climbing roses abounding the balcony. Eating delicate orange scented morsels hand made by a graceful Japanese girl and drinking the most fecund mango juice in the world proudly created by Mr Ahmed at the juice bar and brought to us by the maid.
A walk through streets of cats, dirt and cars and a meeting with a vegetarian friend new to this carnivorous place– we go to the roof bar and our eyes drink the river whilst we peruse the Chinese menu and are served by the waiter that looks like Gael García Berna and has changed from a shy and quiet young man looking at the floor in April to one who is proudly speaking in English and doing everything to serve us as well as he can in October. We share our stories, eat our noodles and muse on the opportunities of life then part for other compass points.
The taxi home drives past a street lady who once danced by the Dokki metro, an old lady then in a flimsy dress, swaying to an inner music. A precious bird with a brave yet beating heart. Today she is wearing a bright galabeya and an exotically wrapped head dress. And she is laughing, thank god she is laughing. The young taxi driver is speaking to his girlfriend and by his talking I can deduce that she is asking him how much money he has made and where he is and where he is going and I wonder if he is telling her the truth but then I drift off and start to look up at the leaves of the tree against the sky and how fragile they look, how graceful, how beautiful, how unpart of the this mess of a city they are, this glorious insane mess, this Cairo.