After a morning business meeting the aura of Cairo beckons me once again. “Where are the Sphinx?” “How far are the pyramids?”, I enquire at the hotel. Off I go walking. Soon the Egyptian Museum is in sight but having already seen its wonders I plod onward. The Cairo streets seem much busier than even mid-town Manhattan at rush hour. My pace slows as I maneuver among throngs of people and ever clogged street traffic. “Where are you from?”, a voice says in English. Next to me is a middle aged, short, Egyptian, man with a thick black mustache. I fall for his friendly words and soon we are discussing New York and the Cairo crowds. “You are staying at the Sheraton. I work there”, he tells me. Our walking dialogue drifts to pharmaceuticals, my business. “My family owns a medicinal plant farm in Alexandria. I want to invite you there, he says enticingly. “But for now you must visit my brothers medical plant apothecary. It is near by”.
OK I may be a fool.. Next we push through tour groups and just plain workers, maneuver up narrow alleyways, turn a few corners and then the man exclaims’ Here is my brothers shop”. It is dark inside the humble dwelling as we make our way through a long narrow hallway. Finally, after the brother serves me traditional hot tea I feel obliged to by something as a way for me to make my get away. I settle for what is claimed to me an aphrodisiac and wobble off into the Cairo setting sun.