We are sometimes asked, "How far is your place from the airport?" We often answer, "About thirty miles and several centuries."
On our side of town, the donkey cart is still frequently seen transporting gas canisters, vegetables or trash. When we took our friend, Engin, back to the airport on Monday morning and returned home, traffic was badly stalled on the frontage road near our place. The donkeys were easily keeping up with the newer vehicles. The one you see here would walk right up to the van ahead of him and put his head against it. That way, as the van moved, the donkey knew to start pulling his cart and maintain position.
Today we went over to the east side of town, just below the Citadel. We were planning to take pictures of minarets for one blog post and Linda wanted to begin collecting pictures for a "Colors of Cairo" post too. We found some very nice minarets, but the post will have to wait for a bit. I just wanted to share a few of the other things we saw.
We only walked about a mile and a half in total from beneath the Citadel down to Bab Zuweila. The first interesting distraction was a small iron foundry. This three-man operation was casting bits, stirrups and parts for horse and donkey harnesses.
They were likely using the same technology as in 1880 except for the
use of propane fuel instead of charcoal. It was fascinating to watch
the molten iron being poured into the sand molds.
Beyond the tiny foundry, we turned a corner and I spotted a mechanic showing the finer points of valve grinding to his son as they worked on this overhead valve 4-cylinder engine ("4 slenders" is how it usually sounds in discussions with Egyptians).
Next up was a carpenter (or possibly a do-it-yourselfer) pausing his motorcycle to steady his load of trim. Notice the left-over St Valentine's day merchandise in the nearby store.
Here are two copy centers. It is easy to find a place to make copies here. Just look for the copy machine out on the sidewalk. (Although in our neighborhood you will find them behind the counter of the convenience store.)
Sometimes there is so much going on in a picture, you just have to pause and enjoy it. This one is going into Linda's Colors of Cairo collection, I think. Love the shirt on the lady on the left. We often wonder if the people wearing such clothing understand what is written on their clothes. We've seen some pretty amusing wording, English words but no meaning in English.