Mountains of Snot

A "felucca" pilot plying his craft on the Nile at sunset in Luxor. Photo taken on my trusty Treo 680.

Let’s recap:

-bad back
-no sleep in 24 hours or so
-jet lagged
-new item: head cold
-middle seat (groaaaan)

Fold all of that into a 20 hour travel stint from Cairo to Ottawa and you have my Tuesday, Jan 8, 2008.

My last minutes in Egypt were spent trying to get rid of all my Egyptian money. Remarkably, when you need them, there are no touts around to bilk you. So I did a tour of all the bathrooms in the airport and tipped all the bathroom attendants. Mind you, I couldn’t find any male attendants anywhere, so I had to skulk around the womens’ toilets waiting for the female attendant to emerge so I could pour cash into her hands.

Okay, that sounded way more creepy than I’d intended.

I hate the idea of restroom attendants. I get performance anxiety when I know there’s someone skulking outside the stall with no other task but to monitor by excretions and, um, service my sanitary needs. Can there be a more demeaning job? So while I detest the service, I nonetheless feel for the servicepeople. And given that the airport was filled with European backpacker ingrates, I doubt that anyone else had been tipping these folks. Judging from the delight in their eyes when I rained sweet currency into their hands, I think I was correct.

That’s me: the Santa Claus of toilet generosity. Okay, that too sounded way more creepy than I’d intended. Change of subject in 3, 2, 1….

To say I am relieved to be home would be accurate, though a tad underexpressed. I was further relieved to find my lone houseplant still clinging to life, and none of my “valuables” looted by curious neighbours. I’ve yet to venture down to the mail room, though, to check on my stack of junk mail.

What I have found, though, is that my piece of crap Dell Inspiron has once again crashed on me, and I cannot restart it. I am soooo through with Dell. Remarkably, for once in my life I had done something genuinely smart. Hours before I left for Egypt, I backed up EVERYTHING onto an external hard drive, so I’m sittin’ pretty. And snotty.

Speaking of which, I’m also sucking back mountains of Neo Citran and sipping canned chicken broth (yummy, I know) in hopes that I will be well enough in a few hours to slouch to the office. I also hope I’ll be well enough to attend this: a film about the mining exploitation of Guyana, to be screened at the National Archives later this evening. For free. So come. Once again, the link is

That is all for today. See ya.