Now, the day my mother left, I realised how shit life is to me... Oh no, not because she left and I was sad about it, but because I had a “domestic accident” on the very same night she had just gone, and God knows I could have done with someone being there with me. Here’s what happened: on the day she left, my friend Marianne called and asked if I fancied going downtown for a drink in the evening. You bet I did, I had just spent a whole week playing good son, and I was ready for some fun – well, as much fun as you can get in Cairo anyway... ok, just a drink then! So that night, we went to one of the few bars where you can buy alcohol – I know, we are wild, right? – and we drank quite a few beers. At around one o’clock in the morning, I went back home – it might sound early to party animals out there, but there’s been a curfew in Egypt since the Revolution and after two o’clock, finding a taxi is a nightmare! Anyway, I went straight to bed and at around three in the morning I woke up as I was desperate for the toilet. I’m not really sure about what happened just then, but it was pitch dark when I got up and I seem to have tripped and hit my head on the corner of my bedside table. All I can remember is a flash of lightening and a massive pain as I banged my head. When I woke up – I’m not sure how long I stayed unconscious! – there was blood everywhere on the floor and I could feel dry blood all over my face. I looked in the mirror and saw a bleeding gash above my left eye. Great! Now, for people who know me, there won’t be any surprise if I tell you that my first thought was to clean the floor! Yes, I couldn’t stand this mess, I had to clean it! Once my bedroom was tidy again, I had to think about my wound... It was three o’clock in the morning, the curfew meant that I wasn’t likely to find a taxi outside, and even if I did, there would be a lot of police checkpoints to go through, and I didn’t know any hospital around... Ok, maybe I should have gone out and tried to get some stitches anyway – as I clearly needed some! – but I was so tired and I couldn’t be bothered with the whole curfew business, that I took a towel, wrapped it around my forehead and I went back to bed.


The next morning, I got up, got dressed and went straight away to my GP to have my wound checked – no worries, I had removed the towel, I didn’t want to look stupid! Unfortunately, as I had feared, the GP said it was too late for stitches, as the healing process had started and my wound was too dry, which meant I had to leave it until it was completely healed... except that, without stitches, it wasn’t going to look good. And indeed, it doesn’t! A month and a bit later, I now have a beautiful one inch long red scar above my left eye... It’s ugly, but I’m not that bothered about the way it looks, what really pisses me off is the fact that every time I’ll see it in the mirror, it will remind me of my year in Egypt, and it’s far from being the best year of my life! That’s shit!