Scotsabroad's Weblog

March 23, 2011

Revolting Sells

Filed under: Merchandise — scotsabroad @ 5:37 pm

The date January 25th and the Egyptian colours are being displayed everywhere. Stickers that look like actual car number plates are proudly stuck on vehicles, flags of all sizes fly from homes, bicycles, micro-buses and army tanks. The milk bottle in our fridge displays national unity as does our local supermarket’s carrier bags. Red, white and black stripes are painted on lamposts and tree trunks.

My favourite We Love Egypt promotion at the moment is from the toiletries company Fa. They proudly include a free revolutionary mug (displaying flag and significant date) in a twin pack of deodorant. Also the rather wonderful slogan is written on the mug, We Stand Together. His and hers scent option.

So, no excuses while queuing at the polling centre or when the next demonstration happens and you get all hot and sweaty. Genius.

March 21, 2011

Still Running

Filed under: Running — scotsabroad @ 5:31 pm

It has been quite a remarkable few months here in Egypt. Throughout them all we have been able to keep running.

The overthrow of the president kicked-off as a few of us were in Luxor for the marathon back in January. We still talk about these moments,  the post-run beers we shared until the very sobering realisation that getting back to Cairo and to our families might prove difficult. These were the moments when mobile phone connection and the internet were deliberately severed by the government and we had no way of contacting folk in Cairo.The beers stopped when they pulled al-Jazeera tv coverage. Sergio and I did get our scheduled, if somewhat delayed,  flight out of Luxor in the early hours of the Saturday morning. We arrived to find Cairo airport stuffed with people trying to leave not enter. We also found ourselves locked-down in Cairo airport overnight until the curfew was lifted at 7am. I was just relieved to be in walking distance (if necessary) of Shona and the boys. The marathon itself was uneventful. Bizarrely, not one picture to share among us of the run itself.

As all the tension began to subside a few of us decided to run the Sharm El-Sheikh half marathon on the 11th March. Again, this proved to be uneventful. The wind was very strong and always against us. Not the most enjoyable half marathon but a good weekend with running friends.

It was the school’s Tankspotting Run on the 18th March. A large group of staff, parents and friends of NCBIS took part in the school’s run in Alexandria last September. Many of us were blown to far corners of the world over the last few months or stayed in Cairo to witness the changes. To celebrate the school reopening and the optimism that seems to be everywhere, we decided to organise a run starting and finishing at NCBIS – as an excuse to catch up with our news as well as our running. The 10K and 10 mile routes were meant to give runners the opportunity to pass a few tanks and armoured vehicles. Eventually 55 runners and a few cyclists and walkers took part in the event last Friday. The run started at 8am and some of us were still on the roads as a beautiful morning turned very warm. Shona came out of retirement to run the 10K. There followed an excellent brunch at the local Dusit Thani Hotel.

The only negative? The tanks were withdrawn from the streets on the day before the run!


March 19, 2011

Referendum Day

Filed under: politics — scotsabroad @ 10:35 am

March 4, 2011

Tankspotting Recce

Filed under: Cairo,Running — scotsabroad @ 6:21 pm

We have become used to seeing tanks and armoured vehicles on the streets around 5th Settlement. However, it still comes as a surprise when we stop and speak to the soldiers assigned to the tanks, to be met with perfect English from many of these charming young men. Locals and foreigners alike are taking the opportunity to be photographed beside this heavy security. This morning Lucas and I cycled around our area mapping out a 10K route for a school run on Friday 18th March. The idea for Tankspotting is to start and finish at NCBIS following a route that gives runners the opportunity to pass a few tanks and armoured vehicles. Lucas was a great help,  especially when you think about what I was doing… noting down locations of tanks using GPS in a notebook and taking photographs.  I am only now beginning to think of the consequences of being stopped and questioned.  43 runners have signed up to run either a 10K or 10 mile route. The T-shirts are proving most popular too. Yeah, that is Lucas on top of the armoured car having climbed up himself.

Create a free website or blog at