At Haddayek el Maadi...
The streets we walk down are lined with tall apartment buildings, parked cars, and other pedestrians. We talk to each other over our shoulders, walking single file to avoid the traffic squeezing through the middle of it all. Most of the other people out walking are men, although the occasional veiled woman walks past as well.
There are shops on both sides of the street selling everything from rugs and mattresses to live chickens and pigeons. We smell and see the local fast food - falafel, ayesh (flat bread), lots of fried things. We're still full from ice cream and lunch.
As we get towards the end of this street we see the fruit and vegetable market, full of color - red and green, orange and yellow. Women in black smile and offer us their wares. We buy some ayesh from one stall. "Wahead bikam?" How much for one? "Arba." Four. This seems a little unreasonable. Then we understand - four ayesh for one Egyptian pound! One of these goes to a beggar woman sitting near the metro stairs, the others we will eat later with carrot tahina at home.
Once in the metro station, the girls separate from the boys to take the women's car. Today there is a man demonstrating a vegetable corer for the women to buy - he guts a zuchini and an eggplant during our brief ride. We think its not a bad idea - it would make it easier for the women to make mashi, stuffed vegetables.
Once we get out of the metro at our own stop, we take a deep breath and relax. Although our section of Maadi seemed pretty busy and bustling this morning, it's a walk in the park compared to Haddayek!