Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sanitary Practice

Being the father of 2 girls I am, like it or not, the athority on all things male. The physical part of this has always come natural to me. By physical I mean being there to open up all sorts of things, reaching those things placed out of my dauthers reach (I'm 6'1"), providing shelter from an unexpectedly large Pacific Ocean wave. I'm there. Now, when they ask questions things can become a bit trickier. Most of the times I have answers for their questions or will at least do my best job of pretending I know an answer. Then there are the un-answerable kinds of questions:

"Why do men have nipples?"

I guess I should know the answer to this but, I don't.

"Why don't you wipe after you go pee-pee?"

Ok, I think I got this. So, I go into the standard, or at least I thought it was standard, you shake it a bit and you're good. This is what all boys do I tell them.

While I didn't seem like the most sanitary practice to them, they seemed to accept that this was as universal as I had claimed.

My most memorable days during my 5 years with the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de Guanajuato, OSUG, were spent on tour in Egypt back in 2009. We spent most of our time in Cairo although we did travel to Alexandria for a performance in a beautiful hall and a wonderful lunch over looking the Mediterranean Sea. Back to Cairo. Michael Severens, a cellist with the OSUG, had a cousin who worked in Cairo and he had offered to take Michael out and show him a little bit of the town. Michael was nice enough to invite me and off we went. We had a blast. Over the course of the evening we went to:

A super cool club in an old victorian building that had a very cool very old elevator that took you up to the 2nd floor and that was all there was, no 3, no basment, an elevator for 1 level. Old school craziness.

A very nice restaurant on the banks of the Nile river. Yummy Egyptian food in a lovely outdoor setting. Very posh. More on this place in a minute.

An undergroud pub. Maybe my favorite spot of this wonderful evening. Drinking alcohol in an Arab counrty is a bit different. Besides, I have always been a fan of underground drinking.

We also stopped by the Cairo Jazz Club so I would know where it was. As it turned out Michael's cousin had a co-worker who sang in a blues/jazz group that would be playing at the club the following evening after our concert. So the next night once returning to the hotel after our concert, I crossed the street in front of our hotel, made my way accross the Nile and the few short blocks returning to the Cairo Jazz Club. The band invited me to sit in and we all had a blast. The trumpet opens so many doors. That was another fun night in Cairo.

Ok, back to the evening at the very poosh restaurant. I go to the restroom. As I enter I notice the attendant, I smile and make my way to the urinal. As I am relieving myself, out of the corner of my eye I notice the attendant is approaching me. This seems a little odd to me, but I'm not from around here so I remain relaxed.
He places a small neatly folded short lenght of toilet paper on top of the urinal dividers.

I didin't know what to do. My head was spinning. All I thought I knew of the post pee process was now in question. Until this point in my life I had thought of myself as fairly civilized. And then in this bathroom half way around the world this happens. I didn't have a runny nose. I left the toilet paper where it was. Did the "standard" shake, put it away, zipped up and quickly washed my hands and headed back to my friends at the table.

My girls loved hearing this tale upon my return. They still love hearing it.

Amazing to see these in person.
This place was next door to our hotel. Michael and another
cellist from Toluca took me here. We ordered grape and apple flavor
taobaco. 1 tasted good the other not so much.
I could have walked forever in the bazar.
My eyes have never been so stimulated.
The view from our hotel . We were right on the Nile.

I didn't have much time in Egypt but I think I made the most of it.

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