Some of the things I will miss:

  • Walking everywhere at anytime without having one of my hands pat a can of pepper spray
  • Halaal everything
  • Egyptian halwayat (a key contributor towards the development and nurturing of my third chin)
  • Late night shopping
  • Interesting shopping
  • The kindest, massive-hearted, deep-souled people: Dina, Mae, Dana and their families, Bibi and her buddies
  • The cool old and the cool new; the different textures of Cairo
  • Getting around on the Metro
  • Fresh juice (my favourites are sugarcane and watermelon) at LE1 a pop from the shop around the corner
  • The flat breads
  • Cheap nutella
  • Decent taxi drivers
  • City living
  • The photo ops
  • The stories I could pluck out of the air


Some things I’ll be glad to give a miss:

  • The tap water
  • Leaky plumbing
  • The dust
  • The smog
  • The litter (these people need a massive zap-it-in-the-zibi campaign)
  • The crazy driving
  • Playing chicken everytime we need to cross a road
  • Dodgy taxi drivers


Will add to this as stuff occurs to me. It’s been a wowsome four months. Our Arabic tongues aren’t quite as fluid as we’d like but this made for a great start.

Published by


I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

2 thoughts on “Illilliqa”

Leave a Reply