The storm before the calm


October 6, 2017 – breakfast at Zomba in Gouna

Today is Friday; day of rest in the Arab world.

I woke up around 7am, as usual.  As expected, ze Hunzenjammer lackeys started up around 11:00pm last night. This time round, around midnight, the deejay at Club Dogshit kicked off with something I had yet to hear: the sound of incessant car alarms, played at top volume. In the middle  of this extended aural assault, he would periodically launch the thunderous bass line loop that I have heard for several weeks now during the weekends from hell in Abu Tig, the bass track  obviously designed to evoke the rhythms of coital insistence, combined with the urgency of an approaching freight train.

I looked out the balcony window, and there were huge searchlights pointing beams of blue at the inky night sky. The usual dusty cars and motorcycles were parked all around the area in front of my balcony, and a woman, with a passing resemblance to Shahira Fahmy, walked alone towards the club entrance, which has a weapons detector frame thingie that patrons are expected to walk through. She had a sleek allure about her, and quickly disappeared out of my field of vision.

Earlier in the evening, I had met a friend from the Zamalek days. We had agreed to meet at the Fish Restaurant at 7PM. I was early, so I popped into Zomba’s, emailed my wife, and uploaded yesterday’s post.

I was done around 6:30, and was shutting down my comp, when my former band mate burst into the restaurant.

Where were you?

The last time I saw him was 4 years ago, also here in Gouna,

He had arrived in 1 or 2 days ago from a different time zone, and had been waiting for 20 minutes at the Fish place — mistakenly thinking it was already 7ish.

We sorted it out and had a very pleasant dinner.

On Saturday, we are likely to go to a hotel in Gouna where amateur musicians, twice a month, are allowed to bring their own instruments and get on stage for a song or two and jam.

But now I was back in my apartment in Abu Tig marina; this marina is divided into two large basins; I am in the South one.

At some point Cub Dogshit flooded the entire street with intense white light, like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, so I had to draw the heavy curtains in the living room and bedroom to neutralize the light, not to mention the dowsha.

I was tired now.

How was I going to sleep?

When I was a kid growing up in the Gezira Sporting Cub, there was a judo instruction center right behind what was then called the new pool, between the steps in the back area of the pool complex and the ancient Banyan trees that have now been cut down. The place was run by a black belt teacher named Mamdouh, who learned Judo in Japan and later committed suicide.

Before doing so, however, and I am by no means making light of his unfortunate passing, but which I think were due to the Nasserite-induced bouts of depression from which he suffered intensely, Mamdouh tried to teach me about using a larger aggressor’s power against himself in order to defend oneself in a rumble.

Poor Mamdouh. I was a very bad judo pupil — I was far more interested in playing spin the bottle at the time –, but at least I remembered that particular lesson, which I applied last night when Club Dogshit started going La Gaga with the volume level of its groovebeats from hell.

Instead of envisioning picking up a baseball bat and going into the venue with the notion of smashing their speakers to smithereens, I tried to make the sound from the club float away from me. I was able to do this gradually, deflecting the waves of sound so I was no longer resisting them, but letting them pass by me into the oblivion of ataraxic neutrality.

Soon the sound of the Club Dogshit became an irrelevancy, much like the endless noise emanating from the orange clown, who has become an increasingly distant and peripheral figure in my consciousness, since I’ve come to Gouna.

As planned.

I woke up refreshed, and — miracle of miracles! — the searing pain in my upper spine from the crap bed had attenuated to the degree when I no longer winced when lifting something as light as the Chromebook Plus on which I write these posts.

As the weather cools more I shall be venturing on foot to North Mangroovy beach.

Tomorrow I may take the Gouna bus (or walking to) to Abydos Marina and the Phase 3 villas area, which might be a place where I could find a desirable rental by mid Nov.

These moronic problems I was having with Club Dogshit were nothing more than the storm before the calm.

If you want to, you can make anything or anyone drift into harmless irrelevance.

Too bad Mamdouh did not remember that lesson himself.


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