Saturday, August 07, 2004

More Marriage Trivia and Bridge Parks

When we were living in Toronto there was a beautiful park not far from our house. Almost any weekend during spring, summer or fall if we went off to the park for a walk there was very likely to be at least one wedding party having pictures taken there. The background was stunning and I could completely understand the wish. When we moved to Egypt, we were in cities that didn't really have nice parks for these photo sessions and sometimes the wedding pictures were taken in some rather unusual spots.

In Alexandria, pictures with the sea as a background were hands-down favourites. On a blustery day a slight miscalculation could and did lead to a rather soggy bride and groom. In Cairo, I've seen people posing for photos near the statue of Ramses in the median of Salah Salem Street, the main thoroughfare from downtown to the airport. The same median is often wall to wall families on summer nights.

One of my vicariously favourite wedding photo shots is on the various bridges across the Nile. A couple of cars park at the side (This is either on a highway or an impossibly busy road!) and people pile out, fuss over the bride's hair and then take pictures with either the city as a backdrop or the islands and farms to the south as a backdrop. On summer nights these bridges turn into promenades, in the cases of the city bridges such as Kasr el Nil or Malek Saleh, or a park in the case of the new Moneeb bridge between Maadi and Giza. At first it would just be cars parking along the side with people sitting around enjoying the breeze or fishing. After a while an enterprising fellow or two figured out that there was a good market for plastic chairs, cold drinks, nuts and so on. Now from dusk to about 3 am the Moneeb is solid with fishermen, stargazers and overheated families.

Bridge Astronomy

Caught in traffic under summer stars,
I can’t see the Milky Way for the lights of Cairo.
On the sidewalks of the city, all along the river,
Young couples and families come
To breathe
To plan
To dream of what might be.
Binary planets whisper together,
Hopes leaning over the bridge rail,
Penny chances fall – some to sink into the mud.
Small galaxies of desires pushing off the orbits of despair
While comets with children on shoulders stride a separate path in this narrow universe.

Have the astronomers found Kasr el Nil Bridge yet?


Li Sa Tristesse said...

Oh my, it's nice reading your blogs,I really want to visit egypt for further studies later on..your descriptions are so fluid,it's like getting an insight from the inside.. and i love the pictures you post too. Nice!Oh by the way,do visit my blog for some of my poems..thanks!

a.jalali said...

very nice blog
I have a persian bog

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