Cairo can be graceful and beautiful, suprisingly friendly at some times and strikingly ornery at others. But boy is it ugly when it gets wet! Okay, this is a ridiculous metaphor, but whatever. Last night and this morning, there was some crazy weather here in Cairo: high winds, thunder and lightning and a pretty substantial amount of rain, particularly for the desert. I was pretty excited, actually. I’ve loved watching thunderstorms since I was a kid in Ohio. That and fireflies were the two things I missed most when my family moved to California. Plus, I actually like riding my bike in the rain, too, as long as I’m not working and it doesn’t rain for weeks at a time (messengering in Seattle in late fall sucked).
Speaking of cats, though, Syphilis (Sy for short), Adrienne’s cat, was not so fond of the thunderstorms. She hid in a corner in the kitchen and pissed herself…several times over. Adrienne gave her a bath, and she calmed down for a while, but then went and hid in her litter box, which is of course a wonderful place for a damp cat to go hang out for a while.
Cairo’s streets were like a wet Sy in a litter box. I was all excited to go bike out in the rain, but I quickly discovered how disgusting it was. I could tell all the stuff splashing up on my shins was not just water, but a year’s accumated desert sand, diesel dust, partially decomposed trash and who knows what else. I avoided looking down to find out just how bad it was. The picture above doesn’t really do it justice, but I was more filthy after seven minutes of riding in the rain in Cairo than I was after working all day in the rain in San Francisco. Gross.