Egypt is a predominantly dry country, but for the past couple of years the climate has changed a great deal. My theory is that the climate of the whole world will change after the tsunami that hit Japan some time ago and tilted the world axis around 10 degrees. I might be way off, but that is what I think.
Over the past few years, after the tsunami, the climate in Egypt had started to gradually change. For the first time in living history Cairo saw snow. We used to get hail, but never snow. Also summers have become drastically hot. But the new and very disruptive phenomenon is the rain. Previously we used to get something like five days per year of intermittent, light drizzles. Now we are getting a deluge.
Naturally the infrastructure is not built for that kind of weather. The result was the flooding of many different cities all over Egypt. It started with Alexandria, continued with several other cities in the delta, reached Cairo and extended to the eastern coast. In other words it is becoming a phenomenon.
The first reactions were shock and disbelief, anger and frustration at the local governments and municipalities, but finally it turned into a typically Egyptian recovery, acceptance, enjoyment and innovation.
The number of jokes now are legion, but more than the jokes, the actual attitude of the people is typical.
Some have become entrepreneurs and have taken the inconvenience of flooded streets as an opportunity for gainful employment by rendering the service of carrying people across the street from one pavement to the other … for a fee.
Others have become pragmatic and adapted to the new circumstances like the gentleman in the picture below who took off his trousers, shoes and socks, stepped out of his car, locked it, then, confidently waded through the water to his destination in his boxers. Chapeau.
and even a fashionable pair of feminine pumps were advertised.
Those who have other interests have also been able to enjoy their hobbies, despite the flooding. One street in Alexandria took it a step further and turned the obligatory day off into a community day of fun and games. They bought some live fish which they let loose in the flooded street and set up a challenge as to who could catch the largest number.
while others who are addicted to backgammon would never let a little water stop their game.
While the people were having their fun and games, the different engineering units of the army were working very hard to get life back to normal, putting in unbelievable hours and effort to open the clogged drains and pump away all the excess water.
The army is the one and only Egyptian entity that has a system in place and that is always coming to the rescue of its people. Those laid-back Egyptians, who adapt miraculously, to the most bizarre situations, are most appreciative of the army’s efforts.
This symbiotic relationship between the people and their army is not at all understood by anyone who is not Egyptian and therefore any attempt at turning the people against their army would invariably fail.
5 November 2015