Ruffled Raccoon

A day of obedient puppet posing while wondering at the world. Nefertiti’s crossed arms, pyramids lifted up by fingertips, and Asian peace signs. The horse’s sashaying steps force me to sensually, emphatically swing my hips. Left. Swish. Right. Swish. Finishing school on the move.

An-Noor, the Salafist political party, campaigns on a loudspeaker driving by the Sphinx. It’s rather small. The illusion is magnificent. Tourism police, a guide, and another guide get into a fight. Ya basha. Our guide, who we will make a good arrangement for later, goes over to mediate. Sits down, smokes a few cigarettes.

Egyptian hospitality. Coffee, tea, Egyptian whiskey? The duktuura of aromatherapy at the Lotus “Museum” pounces on our hesitation. It’s free. Egyptian hospitality. Do you want to see sandalwood, lotus, or Cleopatra with 25 different flowers? Mush galee. A line of glass bottles. Which one do you want?

Camels and horses loiter on the streets, nibble on some greens. A man tugs at a docile donkey. Tzzz, tzzz, tzzz.

Hungry Nedra suggests Pizza Hut. We’ll save Yemeni for another day. Too much traffic. Adele’s “Turn Rain into Fire” blasts through the speakers. A silent mother encapsulated in a red hijab stuffs pizza bites into a raccoon faced child’s reluctantly open mouth. All kohl eyes, without the kohl. He pauses, considers, and spits everything out in solid form. Process repeats. The also silent father grabs his little fist, stuffs it in his mouth, and slams it on the table. Bawling ensues. No one speaks.

Chocolate Santas and Christmas trees at Le Poire. We’re not Lebanese, nor are they.

Boutiques of Forever 21 blast the Quran at Giza Mall. Ruffled miniskirts, homecoming gowns, and modestly shaped denim dresses cinched stylishly with a belt. A kiosk jams out to 50 cent. No size 37 Converses in black.

Roasted corn, popcorn, and trinkets await outside. Teenage boys huddled around an old peddler lady scruff up a wailing boy of eight, digging through his jingling pockets. As he sobs, saliva spiderwebs trap only smog. No flies today.

A weary Don Quixote, passes by. Haraam. The jested jester in this unintentional prank of modernity.

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