My gorgeous shiny cousin Gombaaz is back from the States to grace us with a brief sojourn in Egypt before she makes her escape to do her masters abroad, somewhere in the Western hemisphere, and apparently preferably in a country with a permanent seat on the Security Council. She is applying to study Kinesiology, which as I understand it means aerobics.
Gombaaz, while Egybtian through and through, has been corrupted by her six years in that cradle of sin which is the US. She now lives a Paris Hilton type lifestyle which she occasionally interrupts to pass by our house, looking gorgeous, in order to regale us, the open-mouthed Hillbillies, with descriptions of her exploits in Cairo’s various nightspots, with assorted moneyed shiny persons. Needless to say she planned and executed her new year’s celebrations with the kind of concentrated dedication that I reserve for writing my CV, or working out how many pairs of knickers I will need to take with me on a trip. Her new year in Gouna was a whirlwind of men and women in tight shirts, shoulder rubbing with tob international suber model Naomi Campbell and private parties on patios overlooking the Red Sea. She can now also legitimately combine the words “yacht,” “I went on a” and “big” in one sentence without being a preposterous liar – an ability to do so is something I have aspired to since I first saw the “Careless Whisper” video with that bird sitting on the helm of George Michael’s big vessel in a tip-ex bathing suit.
Gouna was apparently filled with Cairo’s beautiful people, the kind whose Amr Diab - garnished Grand Hyatt weddings appear in the back of magazines. The way Gombaaz described it, Gouna seems to be a wannabe Riviera enclave of Gucci handbags which has very little to do with Egypt – perhaps like a giant open-air Cilantro? In any case I am super excited to check it out, but am wondering whether people who pack their beach stuff in Seoudi Supermarket plastic bags are allowed in.
We celebrated Gombaaz’s return yesterday with some medium to heavy beverages chez moi while she explained the concept of writing on people’s walls in Facebook to me. I was duped into making an account in Facebook (which seems to be the preserve of 20 years olds with a mania for joining groups) and now find that people with nothing better to do write on my ‘wall’ and that in order to reply, I in turn must go to their Facebook page and write on their ‘wall’. The result is a series of totally disjointed, demented statements floating around in space. Not that communicating with others hasn’t always had this quality for me, but it is somewhat alarming to see it in a visual form. Facebook seems a stupendous waste of time (says the woman who writes a blog) as most of the messages written on these sodding walls consist of “see you tomorrow!” and “it was great seeing you today!” i.e. it is used by people who are in actual physical contact in real life and therefore should know better.
Gombaaz trawled through the 3 million odd people on her Facebook page with me explaining who is engaged to which billionaire. Needless to say all seemed to have photographs taken in mansions or in Miami beach homes, and all without exception were born in or after the year 1982. Looking at their nubile young images made me feel like an internet paedo pervert, and I was glad when the whole torrid process was interrupted when Gombaaz decided that she simply had to go out and ‘party,’ which is American for going down the pub. After a few phone calls she had found someone going to an establishment called 35 who would let her and me in for free. I would not usually set foot in such a place, because I am distinctly unshiny and generally a killjoy, but the fresh new year sap is still flowing abundantly causing me to undertake foolhardy endeavours where general moroseness and a vague sense of doom would ordinarily act as a check. I was also somewhat pissed at the time I agreed to go, which must account for why I invited along Bald but Deliberately So, someone I have never met, who is cousin Mildred’s colleague and who I have spoken to once or twice on MSN.
I was initially pleased to discover that 35 is apparently so-named because this appeared to be the average age of its clientele. Gombaaz – who is 21 - assured me that this is not usually the case. She was horrified by the specimens on display, many of whom did seem slightly advanced in age, if not menopausal. She later explained that all the trendy sexy people were still travelling, and that the place had been taken over by Gulfies during the Eid - like aliens landing from space as I understood it. From our vantage point at the small bedside table used to demarcate the metre squared allotted to us in lieu of a proper table, I could nevertheless discern a certain level of glamour and key-to-expensive-car ownership which I personally only witness on Nip/Tuck. At one point a couple so gorgeous walked in the whole joint lit up with the radiance of their beauty, and I wondered whether if I touched the hem of her haute couture jacket, I would be granted six foot long legs as well.
After an hour and a half of people watching, continuous standing and listening to a man discuss the car buying habits of the Libyans, I threw in the towel. On the way back someone rang me on my mobile. Seeing a strange number, I immediately thought that it must be my pal the stalker, and answered, but without saying anything, leaving a man’s voice to say “hello? Hellooooo?” into the ether before I hung up. He rang again, and I made the Pig answer on the basis that in the paper-scissors-stone strength test a male voice is the stone to stalker’s scissors. But inevitably it wasn’t the stalker. It was poor old Bald but Deliberately So who I had forgotten about entirely and who resorted to sending a timid text explaining who exactly he was. I look forward to the awkward moment when we meet via Mildred, and I have to explain that the Pig is not in fact my pimp, that I don’t usually have men answering my phone for me, and he in turn can explain why it is that when questioned by the Pig he said that wa7ed sa7boo, a friend, gave him my number. Bonkers!