Walk Like An Egyptian

by F H Erba



blistering heat

so dry it suffocates.

Covering up is cooler than

baring all and it prevents hot tempers

when you’re holding hands with a whiter than white man.



is tolerant

of the Western tourists

wearing sleeveless t-shirts and shorts,

but I dress conservatively unless

I want the dagger-looks stabbed in my direction.



fiercely hot days,

we walk from one hotel

to the next, to stop heat zapping

the energy needed, to place, one foot

in front, of the other. Walk. Slow. Like. E-gyp-tians.



sweet, dark, mazboot

whilst playing their towla

smoking apple scented shisha -

the only woman in the coffee shop.

The locals become curious, perplexed, impressed.



dual language

for locals and tourists,

charging Westerners ten times more.

Of course, if you read Arabic numbers

you can impress yet confuse, making them wonder.



local cuisine

tastes of home not abroad.

Their lack of attention to time

has been with me since birth due to my dad.

Pale, pink skin and blue eyes betray my origin.