Sitting in an open Land Rover, the New York lawyer in front of me surveys the scene. Thirty feet away, three lions are gorging on a warthog. Jackals and hyenas skulk among nearby trees. Vultures circle overhead. “I didn’t need to come to Africa for this,” he says brusquely. “It’s like a regular day at the office.”
At the restaurant, a woman in our group asks to be seated in the no-smoking section. The proprietor points to a chair nailed to the ceiling. Welcome to Cairo, where everything is just a little twisted. When you visit Egypt’s capital and Africa’s largest city, you soon realize that you are not in Kansas anymore — not by a long shot. Cairo is a shrug, a wink, a tongue in the cheek. This city of 16 million gets right up in your face — but always with a benevolent if desert-dry sense of humor.