Monday, January 9, 2012

It's 1975... And there I was, minding my own business as usual... When my oh my, Labibo (also known as Labib-of-Cairo) gallops by on his white horse, I mean, white donkey... Hey Labibooo, I call out and wave in salute... But Labibo didn't even look in my direction, he was too busy combing his brand new moustache! Labiboooooooooo, I yell at the top of my lungs and wave madly... Alas Labibo is oblivious to all except his sparkling new Levis jeans which he got from Port Said along with yet another smashing pair of beige corduroy trousers... Finally Labibo turns back and comes galloping with his white donkey... Ahlan ya Loubna, Labibo says dryly... I know it's the effect of those couple of trousers, so I don't push my luck and go with the flow... "Hey Labibo, I heard you were in Port Said lately"... The shadow of a smile flickers on Labibo's face and he grimaces with his moustache, showing off that he has full control of the new hairy addition to his youthful face... "Yeah, I was lucky"... "Really,Labibo? How?" I ask eagerly trying to break the ice that normally builds when one wears a new Levis while the rest of us wear Hannaux and Sidnawi bantalonat... "I didn't pay any gomrok" boasted the Labibo... "Noooooo!!"... I'm incredulous... "Hoooooowwwwww Labibo, do tell us, how???"... "It's easy", says Labibo now reclining in the donkey saddle... I could hear a Clint Eastwood mosiqa tasweereya in the background... This will definitely get ugly... I look left and right, checking that the coast is clear... I insist... "Come on Labibo, how did you do it, what's the trick, we grew up in school together remember, don't be selfish now"... "Ha, ha, ha"... roars the Labibo as he throws his head back... "I wore the Levis jeans and then I wore the corduroy trousers on top of it and threw my old trousers in the back of the trunk and passed through gomrok, no questions asked, worked like a charm"... I'm in awe... My respect for my brother from school deepens and I fight a tear that's soaring in my eyes... " Labibo, you're a genius"... I manage to say, my voice breaking with emotion, a lump in my throat... "Labibo?"... I can hardly talk... "Did you remember to get us something?"... The kind eyes falter for a second and without hesitation Labibo fishes in his Levis pocket and throws me something before digging his stirrups in the side of his donkey, and disappearing in a cloud of dust in the horizon. I slowly open my hand and look at the packet of Chicklets...

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