A minor mystery solved

Posted on Tuesday 5 August 2008

I have noticed, on several occasions a scene on the streets of Cairo, for which I had no explanation.

[Well, ok. There are MANY scenes on the streets of Cairo for which I have no explanation. I am going to talk about just this one, for right now]

The scene involves a man on bicycle.

This man is usually, but not always, dressed in coverall, usually green. Well under the grime and muck, it looks like it might have, at one time, been green.

And the grime and muck on this man is of epic proportions. One, if one cares to look, will see much grime and muck in Cairo. On the streets. On the cars. On some people.

There is a background level of muck and grime one expects to see everyday, and it becomes the everyday norm.

This muck, this grime….

It is truly a sight to behold. Enough that makes one cross the street to the other side when you see this guy pedaling your way.

In addition to this grime and muck, there are strapped to his bicycle a dozen or so, 2 meter long rods. With knobbly bits on the end.

At first I thought they were welding rods. But that did not explain the knobbly bits. Nor the level of grime involved.

Today, while walking the mean streets of Dahab, I saw this man in action.

He is the ROTO ROUTER man!

Those rods fit together to form a somewhat flexible “snake”.

I was walking down an alley and all the sewer covers were off and several guys were laying out these rods in anticipation of giving the sewers a good old snaking.

I stopped for a second to watch them assemble the tools of their craft. And then I realized

“Um. In a minute or two all that grime and muck I usually see on the bicycle rider is going to be right there in front of me, nice and fresh like. Time to move on”

So I hastily left the scene happy in the knowledge of another mystery of life in Egypt solved.

I celebrated with a milk shake on the beach.

And tried REALLY REALLY hard to not think of the muck-man on his bicycle.

1 Comment for 'A minor mystery solved'

    August 8, 2008 | 9:09 pm

    Reminds me of some jobs I’ve held in the past, metaphorically speaking.

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