I felt an incredible overwhelming of the senses as the taxi flew through the (far too) long underground traffic tunnel taking me to downtown Cairo ... the driver completely ignoring the 50km speed limit, then calmly settling down to wait, windows open, as we were caught in the middle of the tunnel’s 3km length with carbon monoxide choking us.
I noticed that Cairo drivers talk to each other via their car horns ... a gentle reminder they are there, that they want to change lanes and anything else that needs discussing out there on the road.
I hadn’t known what to expect ... perhaps Istanbul but the only similarity to Istanbul was only that it was so different to most of my everyday life.
Later, I read that Cairo has some 17 million people in the metropolitan area and is the sixteenth most populous metropolitan areas in the world ... a busy city indeed.
It was full of people and pollution and when I looked round, from my 6th floor balcony, I could see this layer of rubble and dust on rooftops.
The first 48 hours was challenging in almost every way.
Challenging but it was oh so excellent to be out again.