cairo airport
Watching the shasha listing Erin’s flight to NY, with tears rolling down my eyes

Yesterday, Erin and I woke up at 2AM and took a nice Budget limo at 3:30am  from El Gouna to Hurghada airport.

We arrived there just before 4am, and stood in line to get past the first security check point (there were 2 of them: one to get in Terminal 2, the other to get to the boarding area.)

As we waited in line, several Egyptian passengers just ignored the line of affrangi tourists waiting patiently and politely and sauntered right to the security gate. Amazingly, airport security let them through, no problem. This happened at both security check points. These flouters were not airport personnel, or business class goombas; these were regular economy-class Egyptian passengers.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa is an Egyptian slang expression that means “excuse me, but… .” It’s used when you contradict someone, or say something mildly controversial, but without wishing to offend. That is not how I am going to use it here:  I will use the term in the most offensive sense possible.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, you Egyptians who blithely walked past the security line at Hurghada airport:  I hope Homeland Security in the US  or passport control in Europe give you a really hard time, and delay you for hours looking through your stinking mounds of luggage.  I hope some of you will be sent back to CAIR, in as humiliating way as possible.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I hope the guy who banged his knees for 12 hours on the back of my wife’s seat on the flight back to JFK gets kneecapped by goons back in Little Egypt, Queens.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I hope the hayawan (Arabic for animal) who tried to take my seat on the flight back to Hurghada at 11Pm (I told him to move) has his arm broken one day; after all, he saw nothing wrong, after we changed seats, and I sat by the window, of sticking his hand in front on my face to take pictures with his smartphone.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, too, for my grabbing that hayawan‘s arm, and rudely shoving it back to his space, saying, loudly: what are you doing?

cairo airport
El Gouna’s Minister of Loneliness

Maybe it’s that I was tired from lack of sleep. Maybe it was being upset at Erin leaving, as I morphed into the desolate Minister of Loneliness of Gouna.

Fear not:  I have plans. Suddenly, my basketball stomach is becoming rather flat.  I like that, real lots. The jowls are starting to disappear, as  globules of retained lard evaporate from my face from all the walking.  I love that, as I want to look like me again — the not-bad-looking dude — as opposed to some unattractively fat, Dr. Repulso Florida geezer — which is what I had become, when I arrived in El Gouna in mid September.

The other day, a friend came up to me at 7th Star, as I was having breakfast with Erin, and said:  I almost didn’t recognize you!  You’ve lost so much weight!

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I was beaming at the compliment, even though for a moment I took it as if it were Tom Waits riffing on Letterman about his New Car Smell deodorant.

And so I’ve resolved to spend all the self-involved time I have remaining in Gouna (the North Golf mid March to mid April rental seems to be falling though) admiring my progress in the mirror, walking to Abydos marina and back every day, eating modestly (Gounaman feta cheese and avocado sammies are my new thing, and I’m considering doing a Yul Brynner), drinking lots of  water and fresh orange juice,  and occasionally dining on lentil soup, bamia (okra, prepared Egyptian style), and stuffed grape leaves at Kan Zaman.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I no longer care much about things that do not concern me.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, I’m not in the least bit interested in the US government shutting down.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I’m unmoved by Peter Falk and Paul Bocuse’s deaths.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I could give a rat’s ass if the orange perv drops dead tomorrow from cheeseburgers or malignant ego mania.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I choose not to make use of US right wing, low-brow etymology in normal parlance, or in anything I happen to write.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I don’t care if the US stock market is going though the roof, or tanking like a Ruskie slut dropping to her knees in some shady back alley in Budapest.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I don’t give a shit what Brit and German tourists think of real estate prices in Gouna or how lovely it is in their lovely homes on the Costa del Sol in their ethnocentric compound bubbles.

gouna cat
Sandy on the couch, sleeping

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but I could give two craps if the recent resto change in restaurant ownership in Abu Tig marina was allegedly obtained — yes the nasty rumor mills work overtime in Gouna too! —  via relentless ambition powered by unmentionable personal compromises.

La-Moo-Akh-Zaa, but all I care about is getting thin, getting cardio fit, getting a 6-pack flat stomach and ridding myself of those soul-destroying Old Man moobs, maybe taking a stab at writing inconsequential fiction, reading  David Byrne’s journal (too bad his American Utopia 2018 tour does not include a stop in Gouna), as well as keepin up with the LRB  and NRB, and literary articles like this fascinating Philip Roth one in the NYT, and of course going through the novels on my Kindle, as I sit with Sandy the cat by my pool in the warm afternoon sun with the desert mountains in the distance.

Call me superannuated, call me an overprivileged ahole, but, la-Moo-Akh-Zaa, do me a favor, and never, NEVER, think of me of someone who is ever going to be fooled again by The Big Lie. Now excuse me, while I admire the cat who adopted me catch some snoozies.

leaving america


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