[ilds] cecil

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Sat Jun 2 10:59:27 PDT 2007

On 6/2/2007 1:38 PM, Marc Piel wrote:

>The roof garden is alive and active and very 
>popular despite the smell of petrol from the 
>continuous streem of 20 to 30 year old cars all 
>day and all night along the corniche.
Welcome news.  In 1996 the roof garden was very seedy.  Bar boarded up.  
Flowerbeds gone to dying weeds.  But a good protected place to put on 
swimsuits and even bikinis and escape the hothouse world of conference 
sessions and the noisy stress of the street.

William Burroughs compared the incessant weaving and dodging and honking 
of the Mexico City taxis to bats with their echo-location.  That 
certainly is also true of Cairo.  No collisions.  Amazing

I came back to the Cecil from a stroll one evening and witnessed the 
most vivid celebration.  A horse ridden by a veiled bride clomping up 
the front steps into the lobby while all amount of tambourines and 
ululation echoed about.  The hotel staff had put out carpets, so she 
rode right in and dismounted in front of the lift.  Imagine all of this 
refracted in the mirrors on the stairs and you will have an idea of the 

A wedding party evidently.   Is that common in Alex?  For the longest 
time I thought I dreamed this, but in Victoria I met with another 
Durrellian who said, o yes, she was there too.


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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