While fun in the sun can hardly be considered a bad thing, Egypt's summers can be equally brutal.
After several months of schizo weather, a lot of uncertainty about whether summer was rearing its ugly head again or whether winter would prevail and keep us in a state of cool, we can now decisively say that that season of blistering, festering heat is officially upon us. And we are not happy about it. Though many praise the summer months (Sahel! Travelling! Beach!) we don’t take too kindly to the various offenses this sweat-filled season takes against us.
1. The heat that hits our country permeates everything and can only be compared to the fires of the inner circle of hell. Every time you exit your home, rivulets, nay, waterfalls of sweat start snaking down your body. And then your anti-perspirant deodorant betrays you and you discover upon looking in a mirror that large stains have popped up on your top, in a show of sweaty rebellion. Not good.
2. Just getting into a car is a nightmare in and of itself. You can feel your ass getting a subtle first degree burn the minute you attempt to sit down and the steering wheel only cools off when you absorb the flaming heat into your own palms. Should you encounter the misfortune/stupidity of allowing a sliver of flesh to come into contact with the metal bit of the seatbelt, you'll experience a searing pain akin to what we imagine cattle must feel when they get branded. The alternative is standing outside your car like a retard while you let the AC do its thing until you can enter that den of fiery heat.
3. The second you cross the imaginary border that demarcates Cairo from Sahel, your hair begins the inevitable transformation. Your hair does not agree with the spike in humidity levels and has no qualms about displaying its displeasure. What was, in Cairo, a head of normal, soft, tame waves, essentially metamorphosises into some sort of mutant hybrid lovechild between Diana Ross and Simba that then proceeded to get electrocuted. It’s the Frankenstein's monster of the hair world and it’s on a rampage and no amount of de-frizzers or heat treatments can control it.
4. The Sahel sea is stunning. All turquoise, and screensaver-esque, waves washing on the shore… Having said that, it's a bitch of a body of water; a grand illusion. That deceptive little shit. It tricks you, luring you in with its beauty and then proceeding to aqua rape you the second you step in. It looks so pretty and inviting and you think, hey, it's time for a refreshing swim! And then you proceed to do battle with the waves in a showdown of man vs nature; the final faceoff. The water crashes down on you, raining watery Fight-Club-esque punches on your body, and the tide sucks the ground from under you and you say your final prayers, thinking that, yes, God has decided that I will now drown. And it will be without my bikini top, which has just decided to abandon me. I'll wash up on the shore half naked. Estaghfarallah.
5. The yearly phenomenon that is formet el Sa7el. That unrelenting pressure to get your body into beach-ready shape so you can wear a bikini without looking like the villagers threw bits of cloth onto a beached whale. Beachgoers across the city start hitting the gym with a vengeance and you're either with them or against them. Either you'll be one of the chosen few who rock a beach body along the coast in the pretentious beauty pageant that is Hacienda, or, if you’re like us, you'll just keep on keepin' on; continuing to feel guilt and remorse for not being a member of a gym or eating a box of cookies the weight of a small child and a Molto for breakfast.
6. Peeling. You can run (and moisturise) but you can't hide; the dreaded two-toned skin will hunt you down and find you and haunt your skin with blotches. You might think oh hey, I can handle the sun, I'm African, I'm just gonna rock a killer tan after this whole day in the sea where I refused to apply sunscreen because that might hinder my bronzing quest/tanning capabilities. You can't. You're wrong. Every time you think you’ve conquered tanning and you want to give yourself a high five, you discover that you’ve done nothing of the sort, your skin is the sun's bitch and the sun always wins. Little bits of dead skin will begin to wither and fall away, à la shedding snake, making you take on the appearance of one whose been diagnosed with a rare skin disease. Wear sunscreen, kids.
7. Power cuts. This is an anticipatory hatred. Based on the several hours a day without electricity we’ve been experiencing as of late, thrown into darkness for a time frame we can never predict, these will continue in the summer months except this time, they will take our precious AC with them. We may or may not be left in the dark, but the more important matter at hand is that we will be left without our cooling devices, left at the mercy of our country's mutant heat. We are not looking forward to this.