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Day 374: Globe Alone

Again I woke up at 6am with every intention of visiting the pyramids, and again I looked to Mandy for moral support on this desire, and once again it was not forthcoming, not because she fell asleep again, but because she wasn’t there. Deeply saddened by this revelation, I fell back asleep. It was one of those days during which, I just couldn’t be bothered – not with The Odyssey, not with writing up my blog, not with those damn YouTube videos that the powers that be might just let you all watch sometime this decade.

Well, then I wasted the day away in the Sara Hotel. There I met Veronica, a girl from Canada who had toured throughout the Middle East and had a ton of wisdom to dispense about Iran – she actually made me look forward to going there. Once I sort out the bloody visa…

A few weeks ago when I put my mobile number up on the site, I received a text from a rather lovely Canadian girl named Jesse, who was living in Cairo. I had promised to drop in if I was here, and Saturday night seemed like a good a time as ever. But she had recently returned to Canada and so, put me in touch with a friend of hers from Boston who was living up in Heliopolis in the north-east of Cairo’s urban sprawl. Jesse said that she’d be up for a big night out. Her name was Kendra.

So I got in touch with our American cousin and made plans to go and grab some drinkies. I invited a German guy named Martin, who was also staying at the Sara Inn (from Konstanz – the same place as Patricia, whom I met in Halifax) to tag along and later, we were all in the Stella bar around the corner enjoying some much-needed beers.

Kendra was hilarious – your typical cynical-as-hell east coast type, as aware as anybody about Egypt’s shortcomings, but in love with the place anyway (as am I). Later on as the bar shut up for the night, we were lumbered with an impossibly drunk Russian woman who had been sitting across the room from us. All but passed out, wee’d and pukey, we felt obliged to take her back to her hotel. What a bloody moron – imagine getting that hammered out on your own in a foreign bar.

And before you say it – I’m not a girl – and even if I’m so drunk that I can’t see, I can always find my way home!

Kendra was ace – she got the mad devotchka to bed (after having to fish through the Russian woman’s wee-soaked handbag to find the room key) and then we set off for a little Odyssey around the streets of Cairo.

One of the ace things about Cairo is that it’s truly a 24-hour city – so much so that you can order KFC or McDonalds to your door, any time of the night or day. There’s always a bar open all night or a kushari joint there for your gastronomic pleasure in the wee small hours. Cairo is also a remarkably safe city – you’re more likely to get mugged on Sesame Street.

So we set off for a stroll along the banks of the River Nile – the lifeblood of this entire country, without which all would be nothing but desert (it hardly ever rains) and I found out that Kendra is just as much of a sad Star Wars geek as I am – yes she was one of the happy few who camped outside Mann’s Chinese Theatre in LA for three weeks for the opening of The Great Disappointment, or to give it its proper title Star Wars Episode I. Yeah, the film was crap, but the experience was awesome, she said – I feel the same way (I blew my student loan flying to New York to see it).

By the time we had done a lap of downtown and stopped in a pizza place to stuff our faces, it was almost 6am. I had to get some shut-eye…I had to be at the Sudanese Embassy for nine.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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  1. Jesse

    Yeah! I haven’t been on skype at the same time as you recently, but I talked to Kendra and she said that you guys had a pretty weird time, I wish I had been there! I have actually been the the Stella bar before, so i will just put myself there in my imagination.

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