So far, the defining experience of our time in Cairo has been the traffic jam. No longer.
Over the past three days, while I have been in Boston for some events surrounding Sulayman Al-Bassam’s Arab Shakespeare Trilogy (on which the other blog should have more to say soon – it all went great), my husband has quickly and good-naturedly relocated our kids and all our stuff to a different apartment, in Dokki rather than the Za(ح)malek. Friends have taken over out old lease. Now we are walking distance to the kids’ school.
I do hope to write something soon on the commuting thing. What I’ve been claiming to do over the past month is research for a new book on a century of Arab-Russian literary and cultural ties, but what I’ve been doing in fact, for at least an hour a day and more like two, is picking up the kids from school, i.e., conducting Socratic dialogues about Egyptian politics with taxi drivers. No, not trying to be Khaled Al-Khamissi, let alone Tom Friedman; just curious what happens when you draw people out and see what they say, where and why they contradict themselves. For obvious reasons I have never recorded these, though I believe they could be interesting.
Should be a pretty smooth trip back from the airport though; I get back on Sunday at 4:15 am.