When I was a kid growing up in Egypt, I saw a movie called the Prisoner of Zenda, starring Stewart Granger.
There are seven days left before I leave my rental in Abu Tig marina in El Gouna, Egypt.
I look forward to finally moving my stuff to my villa next Friday on the other side of town, far away from the obnoxiously loud music that turns Abu Tig marina — this tiny apartment having become my personal Zenda — into hell every Thursday thru Sunday night.
Inside Aurora — the most egregious noise factory in Abu Tig marina –looks like this.
I shall also not miss the relentless stream of vehicular and pedestrian traffic outside my apartment. Or the unacceptably prolonged Overton window of discourse that takes place daily outside my balcony by young asmaranis with mobiles who seem obsessed with the sidewalk in front of my building. It is a wonder I have been able to hold it together here for three months, without suffering a meltdown. Well, it’s almost over.
Last night was pretty cold. This is what I can expect (in Fahrenheit) in terms of temperature between now and mid April, when my Egyptian visa expires.
As you can see it gets fairly brisk at night, and there is usually a strong breeze around here, which adds a wind chill factor. We are talking sweaters and heavy blankets by night, though it is quite pleasant while the sun is up. The sun now sets around 5PM, so it is not a particularly long day. But let me be honest here: it so fucking bone cold dry here at night in winter, I have to boil water in the kitchen to keep the soles of my feet from peeling off.
My weight loss this month is finally becoming noticeable. My wife bought me in Nice (France) three months ago a white golf shirt that I couldn’t fit into at all (even though it was size XX).
Now I can, the end result of limiting myself to a single (usually vegetarian) meal a day, and sometimes even skipping meals entirely.
But the basketball stomach issue persists, even though my food consumption bears no resemblance to the anxiety-produced binges of ice cream, meatball hoagies, and what have you in the States this year.
It is going to take some serious exercising — good thing I can now go for long walks, now that my back problems have gone away, thanks to sleeping like a monk on a cold stone floor every night — to get that in order, but I keep getting held back with knee problems, which is of course a function of all that extra weight that’s coming off, yes, but very slowly.
Much to my relief, I am happy to report that the extremely embarrassing manboob issue is starting to fade away, thanks to my routine of daily balcony push-ups on the bannister.
It is frustrating not to have a normal metabolism due to the thyroidectomy I had to have a few years ago, but I am determined to lose the weight despite this challenge, as I promised myself I would gradually return to my normal self, and cease looking like the fat Florida geezer I had turned into. Okay, enough of this old man reciting his ailments talk.
Speaking of, er, satanic America, I am long past bored with the daily Trumpian shenanigans and it’s no-daylight support of the Zionist colonial project. My guess is that half the population of that benighted country is in a state of numb shock and trauma that is typically experienced by abused children at the hands of serial rapists — given the daily assault on hapless liberals, and, more importantly, the poor and defenseless, who are stuck in a country where all the odds are stacked against them. But the longer I am away from there, the less I feel any residual nostalgia for anything American, except for the memory of a chimerical Manhattan, pre Herr Giuliani, where I lived for decades, although of course I deeply miss my family by being away.
I am not sure when I am going to return to Florida. The US is about to elect a Senator who believes Muslims should not serve in Congress. The Supreme Court has allowed the Muslim travel ban. And the orange pig has just eviscerated any remaining hope by the Palestinian people for a two-state solution. How long before one of those viperous Tea Party Senators puts forward a bill to create a national Muslim registry in America? How long before it becomes open season on Arab-Americans? How long before they set up internment camps? Being an Arab-American in today’s United States is akin to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany in the mid 30s: if you’re smart, you get out while you can.
I look forward to restarting my life in a country where I am not, and never will be, a second class citizen, one who is looked upon with suspicion and perhaps even contempt simply because he has a Muslim name. All I can say is that I should count my good fortune at having the option of living far away from sexually-perverted America’s daily diet of destructive, nationalistic, identarian, ultra right-wing, avaricious, war-mongering Evangelical bullshit.
I want no part of it in my life.
This must the place.