I was recently reminiscing about those old Ball Park hot dog commercials that used to air in the nineties. Every year, around May or June, I'd get so excited the first time I saw one because that meant that summer was right around the corner. Whether its summer or devouring a fuul sandwich, I enjoy the anticipation of something almost as much as the actual experience. So, as I anxiously await the arrival of summer, here are a few signs that it's fast approaching in Egypt.
The (in)famous Egypt smell
That familiar scent that greets/assaults you when you first arrive in Cairo seems to be much more potent during the summer. It's that blend of dust, pollution, and the occasional burning incense. I won't lie; for some strange reason, I love it.
The empty streets of Cairo
Did I say "empty"? That's correct. As the weather begins to heat up, all the vacations spots along the North Coast or Red Sea that have become ghost towns during the winter come back to life. Cairenes who either can't or don't care to leave just yet get to enjoy the city as it was meant to be. Traffic is lighter, lines are shorter, and parking is a lot less frustrating. My sister says Cairo should take advantage of this mass exodus and "lock the doors" and whoever is out is out...forever. We can dream I guess...
The first lizard of the season
Even though I'm used to seeing lizards back in California, something about the ones here in Egypt makes me jump every time. The unsettling sight of a tiny lizard scurrying up my building, making its way up to my house, has made me the door/window Nazi. No one wants to see the chaos that ensues if I hear that someone has left a window or door open in the house.
The great uniform switch
This is one of my favorites. After a winter of gray weather and black police gear, you wake up one spring morning to find that the entire police force has swapped out its winter wardrobe for crisp, white, scorching-Cairo-heat-friendly uniforms. I wonder how they synchronize that. I wonder if one guy ever got confused, or didn't get the memo and came out wearing his black winter uniform and got laughed off the street. Anyway, aside from the obvious practical reasons, the white uniform reminds me to get my summer wardrobe out too! (This year the change is particularly welcome, as all the incriminating images of the police during the revolution feature them in their black uniforms.)
That mysterious trail of ants
One day soon you will likely fall victim to the following scenario: Oh, there's an ant on the remote control...That's random. [Insert your method of bug-killing here.] Oh, there's another one on the vase. Hmm, weird. Wait, there are, like, five on the coffee table. You finally catch sight of the ashtray and realize you've left an empty candy wrapper in it and are now under invasion by about 36,84793 ants and their closest relatives. I can't count how many cans of Raid I've wasted because I can't seem to remember that when the weather starts to warm up, just talking about sweets will bring an army of ants right to my doorstep.
There you have it. There are probably many more, but I'm gonna go take advantage of the empty streets, right after I secure my doors and windows...