It’s Easter morning. I know streets would be heaven. The only time I enjoy Cairo is during vacations where the morning streets are a bliss. Summer is approaching with a frightening speed. Flowers would fall off very soon, too soon L The best time of my career was when I worked for a few months in Maadi where the morning and evening drives were a source of positive energy for the stress in between. I came to know then that flowers blossom during March and fall by end of April. So, I do not have much time to waste if I want to capture the last smells of spring before the sticky season hits for long months. I got the gear on; comfy shoes, my camera and a bottle of water.
I park my car close to Ovio (great coffee there!) and then hit the roads aimlessly. I assure the child within that panics at the idea of getting lost that I have my mobile on my and GPS (God bless it!) can guide us back to the starting point. The long trees undermine the sun that shines too strongly for 8:30 AM! Architecture in Maadi is not as sophisticated as it is in Heliopolis but it remains my favourite. Greenery is unbeatable in Maadi as well. Maybe this is why it is my favourite spot in Cairo.
I start the walk with a smile. The weather is still nice in this early hour of the morning. Security men idly sit in front of their buildings checking their mobile phones. I keep strolling with my eyes clinging to every colour I notice… and believe me, I notice almost every colour in the street even that red shoes in the balcony caught my attention J I do not mind that I might stumble down and fall because am not keeping my eyes on the ground and I barely looked right and left at crossroads that I was about to be hit by a car twice (I had my earphones on). I like this neighbourhood more and more every time I linger in its streets. There is this embracing intimacy in its quasi-narrow streets. The hanging branches of blossoms and happiness. The short villas with simple, yet elegant architecture with no boastful vulgarity as that can be found in some of the rich neighbourhoods in Cairo. I prefer this simplicity of nature and architecture to the sophistication of other areas like Downtown and Heliopolis (both I heartily admire). Maybe that’s why when I visited Aswan and Luxor long years ago, the grand temples there did not steal my breath as much as the stunning Nile and its marvellous tore formations did. I take my hat off for the human creativity and mastery in building temples and complex buildings but nothing puts me in awe and peace at the same time as nature does.
I continue with the walk with some joggers passing by me. I feel grateful for the colourful surprises I find around the corners.
I come across that specific flower – I do not know its name but it puts me in a nostalgic mood instantly. My school yard was full of it. We used to pick them and have the petals fall off our small hands. What precious treasures wasted!
Imagine having this as your house. Entrances of joy JIf I lived in these houses I think I’d hang a sign saying:
فلتصحبك البهجة أينما حللت
I end the hour walk with coffee and breakfast at Ovio. I playfully dodge the reminder that I should eat diet-friendly food. It is a good day. Let all be good and light J