Friday, July 03, 2009

The Right Car

The other day I was asked by a recently engaged friend coming from Dubai to hang out with him and a few friends in a place called Katameya Heights Club. I took one wrong turn somewhere and ended up going in circles to find the proper entrance.

After visiting a few incorrect entrances and being told to go around in other kinds of circles, I imagined I found the right one. I parked my car outside the entrance next to a few others and made my way to the gate in order to make sure.

I approached the security guy and asked him, "Is this the gate to the club?"

He answered,"Be7'soos aih?" (What's this about?)

I said, "My friends are in there and I was making sure."

He said, "You need booking in order to get in."

"Sure," I said, "my friend has already booked."

He hesitated for a while, and I wondered what was going on with him, I suspected it, but it was a little far fetched.

"Where is the club exactly?" I asked.

"It's right there," he said, pointing to a place that seemed like a minute's walk.

He then asked, "Did you come by car?"

"Yes," I answered, expecting him to tell me instructions on how to park there or something of that sort. But then he said the improbable.

"What kind of car is it?" he asked.

"What kind of car?" I asked in disbelief, "I don't see how it's any of your business."

I'm not one to get annoyed too quickly, otherwise I would have really burst at him, but I was actually marveling at the question.

"You want to know if I'm of the right class, right?"

"No," he said, "you look like you're of the right class, but I think you should just take your car and drive inside, there's a parking in there."

It was almost unbelievable really. By then I had decided not to take the car. As I walked towards the club, it appeared he was still having doubts and asked me to call my friend before going in. He wasn't worth my breath apparently and I told him he can take his comments and shove them somewhere.

Have we come to that, a car brand being part of entry criteria? The place wasn't even crowded, it was silent, and the last order was at 10 pm, and the service was abysmal and yet they care about the type of car?

Egypt is falling victim to an ever growing divide, and the irony is that the gatekeeper is of the kind that he won't personally allow to get in. Later on in the evening, we were discussing that Egypt is more than just one country, it's countries within a country, at least Cairo seems to be that way.

In the words of Batman, “It’s the car, chicks love the car.”


insomniac said...

i am fighting the temptation of stealing your thunder by talking about how i get discriminated against as a veiled female...

Leaves said...


ain't that old news?
I maintain.. the worst is yet to come ~

Anonymous said...

Question: How much did you pay?? Was it affordable for the average Egyptian human being? I ask because I havent lived in Egypt and I hear conflicting stories... Is that why they wont let in someone who drives a FIAT? Cuz they probably wouldnt afford it? I knows its a silly question BUT. Also.. Not that Im a poker whiz, but I was surprised to hear that Egyptians are not allowed in gambling casinos in Egypt. I dont like casinos at all but if you cant walk around to take a look cuz you're Egyptian... Are you sure you're IN egypt??

Wael Eskandar said...

Anonymous, I paid around 50 or 60 L.E, but that brings us to the definition of an average egyptian. I think it's affordable by someone who drives a Fiat, I used to drive one when I was learning btw. The problem perhaps isn't money, it's class, it's a classist society that has reshaped classes and alienated them from one another. But these days money determines everything.

As for casinos, they're not the only things Egyptians aren't allowed to do while foreigners are. I was about to blog about the multitude of things that holders of a foreign passport can do when Egyptians can't. One of which is visiting a place on the high dam.

I'm pretty sure we're in Egypt because not much has changed and what you describe is characteristic of the country, Egypt belongs more to outsiders than it does to Egyptians.