The Problem With el-Iskandereeya

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Alex the myth

After a couple of weeks of readjusting, hot weather, Orange fever and a lost World Cup, I am trying to get back into to groove in Lowlands Country.

I have been in MaSr for almost 10 months. At the very end of that period I hopped across the border into- seemingly- more western territory to explore and to acclimatise to a culture that is a bit more familiar. Then after 10 months I’d left Alex by taxi without any sentiments to drive across Cairo, where I’m always filled with a feeling of homecoming, to arrive at a brand new looking terminal to board my flight to civilisation. Moina, who lives in Cairo quite close to the airport was so kind to come and wave me aufwiedersehen. It felt I had been there for years and yet time went by very quickly. I prefer to leave a place with a combined feeling of not wanting to leave and being pleased to be returning home or moving on. When it comes to my stay in this country I have been wanting to go home for weeks. I am very grateful for the fantastic people I have met in Alex and across the country. As I mentioned before there are many places I like within Egypt and Alex is not one of them. I’ve would have gone anywhere to go and meet up with newly made friends; Cairo, the far fetched corner of Siwa and the Great Sand Sea, the depths of Upper Egypt, the stunning in-between-land of the Sinai. Anywhere along the North Coast, anywhere but Alex. Alex is a shit hole, an absolute embarrassment to its glorious past. I came with an open mind, ready to love my new city of residence. That was pretty hard work. I kind of gave up, became indifferent and used places and occasions like Cairo or gatherings with friends as pleasant escapes. Alexandrians love their city like probably every inhabitant of a legendary city would. If any Iskanderany is reading this, sorry to be dissing your city, but it has to be done. With its run-down streets and buildings even in more affluent areas, its dirt and dust, its very average beaches and its population of which 90 percent is either backwards or horrible pretentious or – absolutely deadly- both. With its rubbish food, lack of funky establishments, sense of chill and vibrant cultural life. After 10 months I am still not sure to feel deeply, deeply sorry for the city or whether to wipe my figurative ass on it. I guess feeling sorry and being grateful is deemed more appropriate. Grateful for meeting those people part of the 10% that made my stay enjoyable and worth while. Sorry for those people that Alex is not the place they would like it to be. Keep the faith and see you all again, insha allah.

immortalcities.com

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About Lemba

Non-conformist Writing Soul and Language Geek from the Lowlands with a South London accent, currently living a nomadic, location- independent lifestyle. While executing the Big Fat Writing Plan I’m invading cyberspace with my views on 'expat living', travel and other lifestyle choices, current affairs and other randomness. Welcome to the Dark Fairy Zone.

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