When planning our departure for Egypt, Brandon and I wrangled over many details of packing. We were told that we shouldn’t expect our UAB (air shipment) for at least 2 months, if not more, because of slow bureaucratic processes compounded by Ramadan, the month where no work gets done and everybody expects to be paid double for it (I’m not kidding – traditional is a bonus of one month’s salary).
One of our biggest wrangles was over strollers. Strollers, unfortunately, are a part of one’s life when it involves two small children, one of which refuses to walk. We don’t have a car and don’t intend to have a car, and so walking is a part of my life. After the Stroller Purge (4 of the 6 gone), we had two options: the plane-friendly fold-up Joovy Caboose and our gargantuan double Baby Jogger.
Living to make my husband’s life difficult, I insisted that instead of the small, compact Joovy that folds easily we had to bring the Baby Jogger on the plane. I had to go running, I insisted. I couldn’t just not run for three whole months until I got back to the states by which time I couldn’t run anyway because I’d be out of condition and 34 months pregnant. No, I couldn’t run by myself in the morning. And no, I didn’t want to go to the gym – who would watch the girls? So, the Baby Jogger, collapsed as much as possible and shoved into its very own Baby Jogger bag, joined our luggage mountain at Dulles Airport.
So this morning, after almost two weeks of lazing around, the girls and I went out for a run. I planned my route carefully to avoid all busy streets because if sidewalks do make a pretense of existing, they usually have 18” curbs (I’m not kidding; I think it’s so the cars don’t use them as extra passing lanes) and bushes growing over them. I also avoided the Three Deadly Midans where cars whiz around at high speed and make erratic turns without turn signals so as to scare the daylights out of any foolhardy pedestrians that might think of crossing the 6 or 7 streets that feed into the midans.
Other than those streets, however, the rest of the roads proved to be deserted. Deserted of cars, that is. I had an ample audience of bemused Egyptians, politely responding to my out of breath ‘masaa il kheer,’ and staring at that crazy white lady running down the road. This being Maadi, they’re mostly used to it.