Moving in Cairo
As I said before, I was stuck in Cairo due to my broken coccyx and the need of daily physiotherapy. Once I had decided, I would not go back to Dahab and start over in Cairo again, I had to find an apartment for myself.
First of all, thanks to Karina, who put up with me the first two months after the accident, lying on her couch watching the whole Bartlet Years-Season of The West Wing on DVD between physiotherapy sessions. Also thanks to Sarah and Janine, who gave me shelter later on.
Mid March, I finally found a room in a shared appartment in Mohandesseen (one of the nicer areas in Cairo). My flatmates were British and Canadian. It was a nice big flat, directly on Gamaat El Dowal El Arabia Street, one of the biggest and busiest streets in Cairo. This ment constantly having the impression to have a 100 cars driving and honking through our living room.... the impression did not fade during night either. After two unsuccessful attempts to buy earplugs (Egyptians seem to just have much bigger ears than me - impossible to get the plug even a millimeter into my ear), I surrendered to my fate and had frequent dreams of playing frogger.
Looks like someone had "mercy" with me though, and more or less made me move out a month later. Our landlord suddently came up with new very interesting rules like, we were not allowed to have male vistors at all, not even at day time! And this after my flat mates had had their boyfriends over for months without any problems. The reason he gave us was that he "could not lose himself (religiously)" and allow "bad things" to happen in his flat. When we tried to confront him with the fact that he had not objected anything before, he pretended he had such a critical heart condition he could not discuss this matter any further. His heart condition was not bad enough though, that he could not have announced that he was going to charge us about triple of the phone bill in advance, as security, in case we would run off before paying the bill!
We started to tell him, that these were conditions we did not sign for in our contract. His reply: this is my flat, I can change the rules whenever I like and if you are not pleased you can move out.
Needless to say that we were gone the next month...
Later on we got to know that our landlord's sudden "moral concerns" were less motivated by religion but rather by the upcoming rental of the flat to Saudis. Every year in summer Saudis and other "Arabs" (Egyptians don't consider themselves as Arabs, as they value their pharaonic origins) invade Egypt for their vacation. They are not only known for exeeding ALL limits (very strict in their own countries), but also to pay up to 5 times more for a flat. So for our landlord it is much more morally acceptable to rent a flat for 15000 Pounds per month and have Saudis getting drunk and having prostitutes than renting it for 3000 Pounds to three girls, who have male friends coming over for dinner.
Praise the Lord!