Written by Alaa A. Rahman

I yawn, stretch out (I know it’s weird when you’re in public but watch me not give a damn!) and decide to take a stroll down Road 9 before calling it a day. The evening was starting off cool and breezy so why miss the chance to stretch out my imagination a bit? Taking a right down Road 9 is probably one of the best decisions one could make when in Maadi. After passing the brouhaha of microbuses and taxi cabs, you find yourself enclosed in a bubble of calm and freshness.

Well, I am exaggerating a bit. But truth be told; that part of Road 9 is definitely one of the best places in Maadi. After you exit the Metro station, you take a right past Al-Salam Mosque, as prayer is called, and Al-Tabei Al-Domyiaty for Falafel and Kocher and find yourself in the “it” part of Road 9.

Silverware shops, cafes, more fruit and vegetable vendors (not the ones on carts, but in a stand with already set prices and a simple and friendly attitude), bookshops, pastry shops, restaurants of different cuisines; every taste and orientation imaginable is covered in Road 9. The latter extends under an array of intertwining trees and buildings. Foreigners and Egyptians blend in together, enjoying the quiet and European-esque atmosphere of Maadi. Flocks upon flocks of couples, friends and families walk down the Road, sharing the same pavements, checking out the different places they could eat or hang out in. Cars slow down, in the narrow road, trying to find a good parking spot (if any) with “suyas” coming out of nowhere to “help them out”. 

Take two of 10 of the most useless jobs in the world: A parking helper!

One by one, street lamps light up the scenery, adding a sophisticated glamour to the Road.

Walking down that part of Road 9 means diving into a different world within a world, a calmer Egypt within the loud, chaotic one we all know and recognize, a different set of unorthodox culture coexisting with the wild, random yet warm culture of nationals; a different dimension one could say.

Everything I need is in place for a much needed and perfect relaxing walk! Life could never be grander…

However, instead of plotting and painting my Realms of Beyond, I find my mind wander to earlier today when that girl, Salma signed up for an interview. Something about her just spoke to me although no actual conversation beyond the hellos and goodbyes took place. What was remarkable about her was the strength with which her beauty of spirit shined. Her dark eyes gleamed with fire, defiance and potential, although she looked a bit subdued. 

WOW! Calm yourself!

And her smile! Although it represented a sadness I never encountered, it gave me a certain insight as to how happy that girl could be, how her goal is to find that elusive mistress Happiness and claim her as her own for life.

"One by one, streetlamps light up the scenery, adding a sophisticated glamour to the Road."
“One by one, streetlamps light up the scenery, adding a sophisticated glamour to the Road.”

Going Shakespearian on a girl we hardly know now, are we?

And her hair!

I’m going to have to stop you right here and there! What is up with you?

Yeah… right… It’s just. It’s weird feeling like that. I mean, I know I don’t really know her but something inside me just connected… you know? Like her spirit was calling out to me. You know how we’ve been searching for The Bond, right? That unbreakable, sort of special type of bond that supersedes every known and unknown barrier of the physical and metaphysical world, to the point where two people could think and feel the same things at the same time without prior knowledge of what the other is thinking and feeling?

How can I not know? That’s all you’ve been thinking about every time you’re alone!

EXACTLY! So imagine my glee when I find out that my theory about its existence is actually true! This is unbelievable!

Yeah but… how is her hair involved in this?

I don’t know… I just liked her hair…


Anyhow, I have to know that girl, I have to be friends with her and who knows? Maybe I’ll finally break out of the friend zone for once!

Desperate alert right there!

I mean, she’s just phenomenal!

Sigh… How did I ever become your subconscious?

And out of the blue, my phone’s vibration dissolves the conversation as I read the caller’s name on the screen.

Mourad Al-Sharek

“Hey, Mo!”

“Hey, dumbass! Where you at? I’m at your place. We’re going for a ride.”