24 Jun 2005


Early morning ambiance and weather are awesome, even in the summer. Zamalek in particular is just gorgeous at 5 a.m. Little noise. No cars. Cool weather. This morning was a little cooler than other days, and less swaming, more lethargic because everyone is just snoozing.

I walked to cousins place. They are going on a diving trip for a week. Something they has been looking forward to since last year. It is an annual trip, different than his bi-weekly fishing trips. Is there any difference. Oooh yeah. Big difference. To everyone maybe, but to me they are all the same. A boat. Middle of the red Sea. Fish eating. Relaxing. I actually enjoy the fishing trips more. Could be because the group is nicer. Closer, more fun and M. just makes the best fresh sushi.

Anyways, we passed by E. and then off we went to the airport. We didn't go straight to the airport, we stopped by Cilantro Korba and sat there for an hour to have breakfast. Never knew that this Cilantro is so big. Bigger than the one in Zamalek, at least 5 times bigger. The waiters seemed to be too lazy to do any service. Well, we didn't care, we were just as sleepy as they were. Finsihed breakfast, and hopped to the airport just in time only to find out that the flight was delatyed for 2 hours. No biggy. Nothing new. Both Z. and E. expected it. 'Local flights.' Who cares. We laughed because Z.'s secretary booked them a business class seats. Hilarious. Business class on a charter. Crazy. What was she thinking!!!

On my way back, I passed again by Cilanto, this time a different Cilantro. It is the smaller one, still bigger and nicer than Zamalek, on Mirghany street. Actually I like this one more than Korba. It is quiter. I chose to sit next to a window ovelooking a small garden. Really nice and relaxing except of the coffee maching that kept roaring everytime there is an order. I sat there for like an hour staring through the glass window. I was just gawking to the clientele. The people of heliopolis look really nice.

There was this veiled woman with her, maybe, 30 years old son, speaking next to me in french. One word arabic, 2 words french, 3 arabic. I think this lady and her sons own a business or something. She was speaking in an authoritarian tone about this guy they just fired. She looked kinda kind for this tone actually. Her son seemed a little like a snob. To make his order he kept changing his mind like 5 times until he finally decided: spicy chicken wrapped. Oh No wrap. cold. oh, heat it. No don't. I mumbled to myself 'matotloub ay haga wee khalassna...koloaha firakh madrouba ya falhous enta.'

10 minutes later a lebanese looking guy, he turned out to be Egyptian, entered. He looked like a broker. He had FT with him, and was followed by a big guy. They sat just next to me. I overheard them speaking about politics 'this dual citizen restriction is a blow to Jimmy.' I am not sure: is Jimmy a Brit? They drank espresso, double shot, and left. Later came 3 girls, one of them with a laptop. I think I knew her from somewhere, but was to lazy to fetch in my memory. I just burried my face in al-ahram newspaper which I didnt read. I don't read egyptian newspapers actually in general.

They sat close to me and this girl started writing an email. I think it was for her boyfriend, or for someone whom she liked. Her friends were telling her what to say. 'Take it easy. Don't push it. Let him do the first move.' They had a little fight with the waiter. They asked for a regular capucciano and they got a flavoured one. The manager tried to convince them it was not flavoured going into talks about the coffee taste and what not. Well, man just change the cup for them and get done with the business. The girls were insisting and he defending. I think the manager was just bored and wanted a little chit-chat.

On the other corner, a lady was talking loudly on her cellular. She was sharply talking to 'lateef': 'efham ya lateef. Ba'oulak eih. Esma3nee. La' la'. Moush deeih el hekaya.' Why did she have to fight over the phone, wait until she goes home.

I changed my place as the sun started hitting the glass window. I went inside to the comfy tables. Dark corner a little hidden. There sat a veiled girl with a guy. They were talking loud enough for me to follow their conversation. I think the guy is a T.A. at her university and she is his student. She was smoking a cigarette after the other. Talking, actually gossping on some couple. I think she was just jealous of the couple. The guy, T.A., sounds like he is in-like with this veiled girl. He listened to her gossips one story after the other. He finally said, 'ana te3gebnee tari'it tafkerik....' and continued with his flirting or whatever he was trying to say. Obviously the girl doesn't like him. She just ignored what he said and kept talking. 30 minutes later, they left. Finally, some quiet time.

I stayed for a while and then decided to leave. It was getting hot, but still not crowded. Heliopolis is really huge compared to Zamalek. I drove Z.'s car back. The car was super clean actually. How does he manage to keep it like this. I put on Buddha-bar CD and headed to Zamalek. I stopped by A. and O. and went up to see them. It has been almost 3 weeks since I last saw them. They were having breakfast in the balcony. I just threw myself on their coach and slept. I guess I was so tired. They woke me up later after they finished breakfast. I washed my face; ate this weird fruit and we went again to Cilantro.

No more coffee. The more coffee I drink the more sleepy I become. I sat there for 10 minutes and then had to leave. Was dead tired. Went home. Turned on T.V. and found this Hala stupid show. She was hosting Hendi, this comedian who makes me cry from his silly jokes. He was doing this weird woman's character in a new movie. Not sure what it was. Didn't get it. It was ridiculous actually. Never understood how this guy is a comedian, an actor in the first place. Zero charisma. Hala Sarhan is just too loud. I slept on the coach and watched the whole show. Not really getting the jokes. There is a gap between their sense of humour and mine.
BORING. BORING. Just like my post!


Blogger LouLou said...


Well I agree with you about Hala Sarhan. She is too loud, too aggressive, too fake & she wears too much makeup.
This kind of behavior might be forgiven in an illiterate or half-educated woman but in a woman with a phD?

6/24/2005 10:55:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

I hate her hairdo. Can't she pay extra 200 pounds and get a decent coupe and decent brushing.

What about Henidi. Can't understand what is funny about a man wearing woman's cloths. What can possibly be funny about that. Fake boobs!!Is this the funny thing about this whole deal!?? Really don't get it and it irritates me.

6/24/2005 11:12:00 pm  
Blogger LouLou said...

I haven't actually seen Henidi in action but I agree that cross-gender dressing is a tired old cliche & not funny.
You know I don't like Egyptian comedy as a rule. They all try too hard. Which is weird because Egyptians when you meet them are so incredibly funny.

6/25/2005 08:40:00 am  
Blogger MoonLightShadow said...

Cilantro Korba is big?! I wonder how small is Zamalek's one then.. I heard that the Korba one is big.. but when I went there, I felt that it's too small.. or may be it was my idea about big that was a little bit different.

Actually that was my second time in Cilantro, the first was Carrefour's one.. it was small but nicer.

The moment I entered that Korba one, I don't kow why you crossed my mind.. I thought, umm.. one of these ladies around might be Haal.

Anyways, can't agree more about what you are saying about Hala Sarhan. She is too loud.

6/25/2005 09:41:00 am  
Blogger Mohamed said...

You're all so delicate ladies. We need more of y'all and less of Hala Sarhan.

I like the part of the post were you describe the people in Cilantro Haal. I used to like to observe people walking by when I was abroad. Two favorite places for doing that, one in that street cafe in the coolest street there, and the other on a beach bench. Two different styles of people passing by in each place. Not into that now here though. Nothing interesting to watch.

6/25/2005 12:14:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Cute, Moon! Glad that I crossed your mind. I like that. When did you go? If it was friday then maybe I was sitting there. The korba one is 3 sitting areas. It is big but not professional. The mirghany one is super professional actually. The manager is so dynamic, make them brush the brass connectors of the door.

Watching people is the best thing you can do when sitting alone or bored. Just watching someone watching you is funnier. And yes, street cafes are the best place to watch people. I could sit there for hours actually. Beach seat, not really my style. I just sleep on the beach or swim. Watching people, maybeit is a guy's thing.

6/25/2005 12:36:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

'Nothing interesting to watch.'

Are you kidding me Mo? Here in egypt? Well, here is the best premiere, salle complete show anywhere you go. People are fond of fighting and getting their flesh out in public. they are no experts in hiding their fights, especially the couples. Plus, you could spot all the contradictory behaviour.... and how their unconscious double standards. Just Hypo.

6/25/2005 12:50:00 pm  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Yes Haal, everone looks the same here. Not that interesting, especially those walking by. Abit different when they're sitting next to you and you're listening to their fights or chats or whatever I guess.

Well, that beach bench was not really on a typical beach. Infront of you is this long pedestrian walkway, were people are jogging and walking and skating infront of you. Lots of fun. Those are more casual people, and in the street cafe more stylish people. You basically watch all walks of earth, and all extremes. Could sit there for hours.

6/25/2005 05:40:00 pm  
Blogger TARFAH said...

Nothing beats watching people. My favourite is when being joined by a friend of mine, who notices exactly the same things. We exchange looks and crack.

6/25/2005 08:39:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Welcome to blogging TAO. Cool name. Cm'on, do your own blog.

6/25/2005 11:36:00 pm  
Blogger MoonLightShadow said...

No Haal it wasn't Friday.. Yes Korba has three sitting areas, but still I felt it's small, may be coz it was very crowded and we sat in the garden in the hot weather :S

Watching people is one of my favourite things to do.. but I don't like commenting about them.. I just watch.

6/26/2005 12:30:00 am  
Anonymous rahmanium said...

.. hi all,talking cilantro i've been to the three mentioned ones, i like zamalek most, although it is the smallest, i always enjoy going there on my way to my office/clinic in the after noon ,unfortunatlly i can't enjoy watching people there..it's too small (too close). but still a joy going there..

6/26/2005 10:53:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

Zamalek is nice. Early mornings it is great, friday after prayer is a a social hangout. I only like the main lobby downstairs. It is fun and if you go late at night, you will always find actor and actress sitting there.

6/26/2005 11:05:00 am  
Anonymous rahmanium said...

i never tried upstairs..only the main lobby, nice place i wish we have more of these.i used to enjoy the same feeling at starbucks ,i wish we have it here some day.

6/26/2005 02:12:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Starbucks has the best setting. Although I never liked the coffee but I used go there study or just chillout with friends. Cilantro mirghany is the closest one to Starbucks in my opinion.

6/26/2005 02:52:00 pm  
Blogger Alina said...

I can say nothing of Cilantro, yet! I have to first go to Egypt and stuff! :))
But about watching people! It is quite fun until your journalism homework sounds like "non-participating observation". That is just a huge fun-killer!

6/27/2005 11:02:00 am  
Anonymous DNA said...

Jeez - with the number of social peeping toms in here, better tell my friends to watch out what they say at Cilantro's :)

6/28/2005 11:39:00 am  

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