I am under curfew, banished from the streets after 4 pm.
There’s still no Internet, which evokes mild withdrawal symptoms. Cellphone service is back after a day, when dusted-off landlines proved their worth.
Mona, who lives in the apartment upstairs, shows me the walking stick she’ll use to fight the thugs when they arrive. Her mother, Nourdar, laughs and warns her it could be used to hurt her. We debate security measures: plug-in night light or chandeliers ablaze? Kitchen knife or cane? Fight or surrender? The three of us end up laughing hysterically.
Mona, a lifelong Cairene, says if she doesn’t laugh she will cry. Army tanks dot the perimeter around my home of four years which is in a pretty suburb called Maadi (Santa Monica without the beach, as one expat described it).