Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Where there's no smoke detector, there's no fire.

Drove out to the boonies with Marie and Craig last night to try out the "world's best hamburger". Took us a while. Our driver Mohyi, a sweet guy, was completely directionless... and perhaps a little intimidated, since Marie's his boss' boss.

The burgers at Lucille's were good. No question. Maybe even the best I've had in the last little while. But I know I've had better.

Next, it's on to Carrefour, a "hypermarket" further out in the boonies. Marie needs to buy smoke detectors for her new office so she could insure the place.

Trouble is, no one here knows what the hell a smoke detector is. And why should they? Everyone smokes like a fiend. Everywhere. Smoke detectors would be an absolute nuisance.

It's 10pm by the time we get to Carrefour, and the place is jumping. It reminds me of Mecca during hajj season.

Craig and Marie decide to soldier on, and after some time, we find a clerk who doesn't understand what we want. I point to a smoke detector on the ceiling. Marie makes beeping noises.

In my broken Arabic, ask if he has any. No. The only place we might get them is somewhere called Bavaria in downtown Cairo.

But there's a Radio Shack right outside, so we try them. And what we think is a smoke detector, turns out to be a spy camera. They do have a real one on display. We tell them we need four. About 20 minutes of frantic searching ensues. But it turns out to be the last smoke detector "in the whole company." For the record, here's a picture of the last smoke detector in Radio Shack's entire Egyptian inventory.

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