On the one hand, I don't really mind. This place looks like just another muslim country with arabic script and dust everywhere.
On the other hand it's Africa- palm trees and deserts and summer days in March.
And it's Egypt, -I think as I sit in my bed and write on- pyramids and funny taxis and the Nile. Magnificent architecture covered in dust.
Larger-than-life billboards everywhere, western slogans next to arabic letters and commercially smiling Egyptian youngsters.
Tonight we went to a Lebanese restaurant -the designated cuisine in Egypt- and the food was undoubtedly good but it was only after the second glass of wine that I was able to get over the murky atmosphere and the dim lights.
We left the place and took the fresh summer air in and had coffee and dessert at the Grand Hyatt -which was grand in all senses of the word- by the river Nile.
And then again, it felt weirdly nice to be driven through Zamalek, between palaces d'orient, magnolia and el dor trees, over the river in the late afternoon sun.
It feels most like a movie except when I'm in meetings with lawyers and accountants but it was just so normal and everyday to buy fruits at an open-door shop and carry the paper bags to the car.
Dark men with big bellies and moustaches that are ready to grin at any given time and say yes to everything. The "yes culture".
The Cilantro cafe that felt like oasis after all the driving around and the crazy traffic.
Oversized buildings that look sadly dirty and empty. There is a clinging dust in the air and you see buildings with exteriors covered in years and years of desert storms and draught.
All in all, Cairo looks like it needs a long, hard rain.