Assalam Alaikom (May Peace Be Upon You)
So they did. And I said first of all it’s not 65 Km you dumb good friends, it’s 54. It even says so on the sign at the highway. Not that it mattered anyway, because they, ignorant as they were, started betting I would take the first car back home. Well I didn’t. I also won some 250 pounds, which was an added bonus. What the hell am I talking about ? I noticed you were puzzled. I mean the distance between Alexandria and Damanhur of course, silly. It’s a major controversy that one. You will never get an accurate number on it. Well, except from me anyway.
Still puzzled ? Perhaps I should start the story in the conventional manner. From the beginning to the end. I always wondered if I could travel from Alex to Damanhur, which is a city located 54 Km east of Alex, on foot. I usually travel by bus or train, but they are so crowded sometimes that I thought even walking wouldn’t be as bad as this, would it ?!
It was just before the start of this year that I decided now is the time. I put on some comfortable shoes, some snacks for the road, a bottle of water and some money and set off. I read somewhere that a man walks 6 km an hour, so I figured it would take me nigh 6 hours in walking. Say 2 more in resting so a total of 8 hours would be a reasonable score. It took twelve. And the last three hours were magically stretched to feel like 10. Something they don’t teach you in engineering school is that legs cramp and feet get sore. Who knew ?! . By the end I couldn’t spread my leg fully so I had to walk in a crippled, knee-bent wobbly way for about 15 km.
I discovered something important in that journey. Well several things, such as it’s 54 km not 65 and the cramps thing, but the most important I think is that only people named Gulliver can have interesting things happen to them on their adventures. No giants, no little people and nor did I save a damsel in distress. A shame though since I had prepared some Shakespearian verses to woe her with. Some Abu Nowas too. I did meet several interesting people on the road nonetheless. I drank some tea with a police man who thought I was crazy, I walked some distance with a tok-tok driver who thought I was crazy, and I almost got a hashish cigarette (a joint) from a person I thought was crazy.( He offered but mom said don’t take hashish from strangers !!)
So all in all it was an amusing journey. Lessons learned ? I don’t know, perhaps it’s bloody 54 km between Alex and Damanhur not 65? Maybe get some MOVE cream with you before you do a folly like this one ?
Someday I will continue this journey to another city. I haven’t decided yet. Apparently you don’t get famous walking long distances. Only if you run, never shave and have people shouting behind you: “Run, Forest. Run !!”