All / Originally Posted on Skirt

Cairo Rain

It’s raining.  It’s raining!  It’s raining here in Cairo!

A more unexpected shower I’ve never seen.  The air is cooler now and suddenly the view looks clean with the pollution all tamped down by the rain.  Now I can see what it should really look like without all the soot. 

Rain, rain, rain…lazy rainy weekend day.  (Being a Muslim country, the work week is Sunday through Thursday.)

This morning my roommates and I woke late.  I was the first out of bed at 11 AM and when the others struggled sleepily out of their rooms I cajoled Eva into following through on her offer from the previous evening to make pancakes. 

As we didn’t have any pancake ingredients in the house, the girls went to the store.  Around 1 PM we finally got started, using a pot for our mixing bowl and a pyrex teacup to measure. 

Eva dropped the batter in two neat circles in a frying pan on our gas stove and we discovered the pan is warped as the batter slid into a big puddle in the center.  Oh well. 

Lucy went out to get some extra pancake toppings as I set the table.  We made tea, chopped bananas, hauled out the peanut butter, nutella, jam and cinnamon, then sat down to our first batch of piping hot pancakes! 

In the background we’d tuned Lucy’s radio to the local Umm Kalthoum station so a classical Egyptian song (in Arabic, about love, approximately 30 minutes long with many repeating verses on the heartfelt angst of lovers kept separated from one another) floated over the proceedings.

Eva and I decided on a second batch.  Lucy disappeared to her room as we mixed and pan-fried.  As we sat down to eat again, we remarked on the odd clouds we’d seen that morning – odd because Cairo so rarely has clouds, apart from the giant smog cloud that hangs over the whole city.  Then we heard the wind kick up in the trees and the shutters start to rattle.  Eva went to the window.

“Close the windows!  Close the windows!”

“Dust storm?”

“Dust storm!!”

At this we both raced to the windows to look out, then to get our cameras since we’d failed to capture the billowing dust last time this happened.  We braved lung degeneration to stand on the balconies taking photos of the billows blowing through the city.  Then we closed the windows tight and watched the darkness advance towards us.

We did the dishes, cleaning up our pancake feast.  An hour or so passed, the clouds seemed to thin a bit.  Then about 20 minutes later while I sat in the living room by my computer the sky darkened again and I looked out to see the rain. 

The rain has stopped now, but it is still overcast.  The storm spent itself in about ten minutes, which I suppose is all the water you can expect to squeeze from a desert country. 

The cloud and rain makes it a little chilly, almost like a proper fall day.  The kind of day for pyjamas, curling up with a good book, and pancake breakfasts in the afternoon.