Sunday, February 14: This morning, Ahmed goes to work again and drops me at one of the big hotels to use the internet. After checking my emails, I take a taxi at 10:30 to Mohsen’s office at #6, Road 214, Digla Office: Progress 2 in Maadi. It’s been 2 1/2 years since I last saw Mohsen in Cairo and I want to say hello to him while I’m here.
He’s quite busy at work, so we just have a cup of tea and chat for a bit, after which time he must go out for a meeting. It really is nice to see him again after 2 1/2 years, even if only briefly.
I remember one of my favorite things to do when I was here in 2007 was to take a ride on a felucca on the Nile. I rent the boat by myself to go out on the river. It would have been quite peaceful, but another Egyptian named Khaled, whom I had also met on Facebook, calls me and wants to meet me while I’m here. I’m free during the days, but in the evenings I have committed to spending time with Ahmed. That is the whole reason I came to Egypt after all. I tell Khaled I have time to meet him this afternoon, but he has determined he wants to take me out for Valentine’s Day. I tell him I’m seeing Ahmed, who I’ve already told him I came here to see, tonight for Valentine’s Day. He won’t let it go and keeps me on the phone during almost the entire hour I’m on the felucca, arguing with me about how I should spend Valentine’s Day with him rather than Ahmed. The whole thing is so ridiculous since he’s known the story from the start. Finally, I tell him I have to go, that he could easily meet me anytime this afternoon or tomorrow, but he insists he wants it his way or no way. I finally just hang up on him, infuriated by his inflexibility.
Ahmed picks me up around 3:00 and we head to the Carrefour. We wander around the Carrefour buying food so he can cook me dinner tonight for Valentine’s Day. I am a little disappointed because I was hoping we’d go out. But it turns out to be quite a lovely dinner in the flat and I’m impressed by Ahmed’s cooking abilities, despite the kitchen being quite disgusting.