We arrived in alexandria as evening fell, and decided to scout round our area. Quite literally every street had lambs being, or about to be, slaughtered. Cattle down, throat slit. I realised the puddles on the streets were blood. It was only after i was back in singapore and recounting these scenes to my friends, that i realised the ‘festival’ was hari raya haji, or eid–only one of the most important holy days in the muslim calendar (and of course the marker date around which i’d planned for the trip). Duh.. At that time however, i was caught in the the visceral scenes, trying to make sense of the invisible. So much death and life mingled so easily in the streets. The only clues were the careful crowds, and the prayers muttered over the carcass.
Amoun hotel, where we stayed, sits squaring a small round-about. Our window opened out to the street hubbub and a quiet corner where men knelt in neat rows to pray. By night, the streetlife kept us awake into the wee hours, like a live radio you can’t quite understand. We chattered too, talking economics and life after death. Which opened up more questions, but better ones at least.
The next day, everything was quiet, but different.
The morning after: