Cairo AirportJanuary 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
When I arrived in Cairo Airport last September I was rushed quickly through its arrival hall into the arms of ravenous taxi drivers. Since then I’ve spent several hours napping in the terminals before my flight to Lebanon, and presently I’m beginning a more than 24-hour marathon with the airport that is far too involved to be considered merely a one-night stand. How could I have known all those months ago that this fleeting harlot was to become the wrinkled hag wife whose toenail clippings I pick out of my pillow? Allow me to expound.
I arrived at Terminal 2 departure hall with Cam around 9pm, Sunday, January 10th, 2010. We camped out, I read Snow Crash for a while. The plan was this: Cam breaches the security line at 3:30am on the 11th to catch a 4:55 plane to Rome. After we part ways I go to sleep, with my fair lady Cairo Airport, until around noon on the 11th, at which point a new student is arriving. I meet her hopefully not too groggily or hungover or whatever the word is for that Satanic not-feeling that leeches your soul after sleeping across three metal seats with armrests.
After two hours and change of becoming acquainted we’ll meet SF and Jade who are arriving on Swissair. This is a nice optimistic change, because this airline is Swiss. This airline is therefore punctual and clean and SF and Jade should be well-rested and prepared to tolerate Zombie Abe as he attempts to help them navigate Egypt. The four of us will take a taxi to the hotel where I was planning on falling into a bed and sleeping until 11:00am on 1/12/10 at which point we must depart for the train station to catch the noon train to Alexandria. During my recharging hibernation a fifth student will land and find her way to the hotel.
But there’s a twist, because Cairo Airport refuses to release me so relatively painlessly. Her appetite is not sated. Several minutes ago I received a call instructing me to return to the vixen’s lair to meet – rescue – another student arriving at 11:40pm. That is a little under 24 hours from now. If all goes to plan I should reach the hotel before 1:00am 1/12/2010 when I can crash for no more than 10 hours before we must depart for the train station to catch the noon train to Alexandria.
Seriously, though, it’s all sort of funny. The only thing I’m cosmically sacrificing is sleeping in a bed, and if I can pull out my old Egypt survival mantra, “If I wanted to sleep in a bed I wouldn’t have left Hyder Street!” It doesn’t really work here, but the principle of balls-to-the-wall-ha!-you-think-a-comfort-zone-exists? is still applicable. Mostly seeing old friends and meeting new ones too is exciting enough to make the whole affair worthwhile, so I really don’t have any problem with it. I will probably have a headache, though.
All told I will have been [chained to the bed] with Cairo Airport from 9pm 1/10/2010 until midnight 1/12/2010 with a brief [shower/cigarette] break the evening of the 11th.
In other bright news I seem to have stayed under my expected budget for WINTER BREAK 2009-2010!!! This is due in part to the discovery of the Cairo-Cairo Airport bus for LE 2 rather than the pain-in-the-ass taxi method that costs LE 50-75. Also Middlebury may or may not be paying for my (half night) hostel stay tomorrow night and also my train ticket to Alex, depending on whether or not that’s public information… Right…