My parents disagreed on that thought, and so did apparently most of the other passengers. A man seated to my right clutched his arm rests tightly, muttering words of self-comfort (much like the rest)
while I on the other hand loved it.
Any thoughts on our descent were soon tossed aside as the next half hour went by in a blur. From hurrying out the plane, through immigration and collecting our bags at the luggage ring – we kept ourselves occupied.
All through out, my gaze was fixed on the view outside the glass. I could hear the honking of cars in the distance, and the bustle of city life that awaited in the heart of the city. Visually, I could make out thick layers of what I mistook to be condensation but it wasn’t until we stepped out did I realize it was something entirely different. What I had initially perceived to be mist was toxic air. The city was polluted and the thick odour of smoke and dust that begun to cloud my sense of smell was proof of that.
Now, I know what you guys are thinking. Upon reading my lovely description, you must have been like this:
But come on – what city isn’t polluted nowadays? Not that I want to turn this post into an environmental analysis of what our Earth has come to but let’s face it: the air ain’t 100% oxygen anywhere. Cairo just displays that in a more obvious fashion (and as a writer, I also tend to add a bit of dramatic flair to everything).
All the way to the hotel, I was very aware of what I was inhaling (and also very aware of how fast the driver was going). Living in England had spoiled me, even if it was for just a year and a half. It was a relief when we arrived at the hotel in one piece, and when I fell asleep that night the moment my head hit the pillow.
The interesting part comes next.
An observation on my part: everyone here is wearing sweaters. The sun is up, and yes, it does get a bit windy at night but it’s above 20-flipping-degrees. And yet…everyone is donning themselves with winter clothing. I would be too if I had never moved to England and bore witness to the colder, harsher and more dreadful winter that Europe has to offer. It’s December and the locals here find it quite chilly but me? I’ve got the A/C cranked up in my room, and one step out into the balcony has me perspiring. Exposure to colder climates has made me somewhat immune to the winter that Egypt has to offer.
My sentiments exactly – I can’t seem to make up my mind what type of weather I actually enjoy.
The next morning, I’d opened up the curtains and this was the view I’d been greeted with:
Disappointed? A little bit, yes. I’d been hoping for clearer skies and less smog-action. Cairo made up for it this weekend.
With less pollution clouding up the skies, we were finally given the beautiful view we’d been promised by the hotel receptionist. Firstly, of the Nile.
Secondly, the Saqqara pyramids on the left.
The pyramids of Giza on the right.
I don’t have the world’s best camera to do the view justice but it was a good sight to wake up to and one I won’t be quick to forget.
Something about looking over this great, vast city strengthened me. It changed my perspective; or more accurately, gave me perspective. Not knowing how to feel about life doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It could just be a cooling-off period, before embarking upon something magnificent. After all, isn’t that what life is about?
It’s about discovering yourself and what you want to make of what you’re given…what you can make of it. Every second is a second worth living. I shouldn’t think of my stay in Egypt as a pointless pit-stop. I could but that’s not what I want to do anymore. It’s another opportunity given to me. To accomplish what exactly? I don’t know. But as my eyes settled on the skyline, I knew I didn’t want to limit my answer to just one thing.
I could do anything and everything. I’ve got the time and energy, I’ve got the support from two loving parents that I need, and I’m in an awe-inspiring country. I’m my only obstacle.
The infinite possibilities that stared back at me caused excitement to ripple through. Which infinity will I choose?