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ageing in Egypt

Things seem to have their own way of ageing in Egypt.

On a rational level it likely has to do with the climate and natural sand-blasting, year in, year out, but in this land where history has its own time-scale it all takes a different meaning.

Take cars for instance.

After Saqqara and my pit-stop at Fishawy, I began to walk in so-called "Islamic Cairo", in this case up and down Musky and Muizz streets (they run perpendicularly and bisect near Fishawy).

I happened upon (but didn't photograph) a car, just one of many you'd see wandering the streets of Cairo. It looked, on account of its evident age, like it no longer ran - though I wouldn't necessarily have placed a large bet on it in this particular country. Its paint had gone of course, dust ingrained deeply into the metal; its windows had almost become dust; its interior looked like an untouched tomb; Its shape was only soft curves, such as might have been left by centuries of erosion.

What make, I thought ?

That had gone too - not only litterally it struck me, but also figuratively. The passage of time had, slowly but unrelentingly, bereft this car of anything that might have previously set it apart from other cars. All cars would eventually become something like this, resolved to the essence of a car, to the simplest representation of the idea of a car.

Did it matter that it possibly no longer ran ? It wasn't going to go from point A to point B anymore, but such an errand hardly seemed relevant when this car was now going though time.

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