I remember those little details of our first meeting
The way he stood over our little group, a mix of
misfit travellers and local Egyptians. I remember first taking in
his tall, lean body, long, wild hair and straight, perfectly white
teeth and thinking he was the most beautiful human I had ever
That first night we spoke little, but the facts I
learnt through the group conversation remained important details I
He was a dentist. Graduating at only 23, he was the
youngest in his class by multiple years. His English was perfect
with only a hint of an Egyptian accent and the occasional
wallah thrown into his sentences giving his nationality
away. He split his time between Dahab, the magical hippie Egyptian
town I was currently in, and Cairo, the capital, where his family
lived. And he was leaving back to Cario in two days, as was I.
We can go together, I said when I found out this
last fact, my assertiveness probably helped by the three beers I
had just consumed and my poor alcohol tolerance.
Sure, he said, smiling and again displaying those
I ran into him the next afternoon. Having just
bought a new shirt, I showed him and asked what he thought.
I like it, he told me, but its missing something. It
needs an Egyptian touch.
Fix it then, I said. Add an Egyptian touch.
So he came with paints and a toothbrush (Walla, what
dentist doesnt carry a spare toothbrush?) and, using the end of the
brush, painted my name in Arabic on my back. With his arm lightly
resting on my lower back, he made slow and delicate strokes as we
discussed everything from our personal lives to religion, politics
and our thoughts and differences on our respective home
The painting session sealed our bond and we spent
the next 24 hours inseparable. A casual observer would assume we
were already a well-defined couple, despite only having met the
night before. As we boarded the night bus to Cairo together, he
asked me if I would like to spend my last day in Cairo with him and
his family. I accepted immediately.
An uneventful 10-hour night bus later, we arrived
dirty and tired at his parents doorstep. Despite receiving no prior
warning from him of our arrival and the language barrier between
us, they e...