COFFEE TALK: Weekend activity

Jumana Shehata
6 Min Read

The weekend is finally here. While most people look forward to going shopping, or sitting by a pool to unwind or relaxing at home after a long week, I look forward to my Coffee Talk sessions.

Two young women in a corner were my first choice,

“So Touti, how was your week?

Letting out a sigh as long as ‘a yoga breath out with your tummy’, “Actually, it was quite disturbing, Salma.

“Fight with the boss again?

She took a moment of silence, before responding. “You know how we have family in the Western Provence? Anyway,, a neighbour of ours, well her brother, well, no he too was our neighbour before he joined the force, well, my friend, no my brother’s.

“Calm down, calm down, drink some water, then try to tell me again, you are not making sense, what happened?

She picked up her mobile and moved it away from her, “He got killed!


“Well, not killed exactly, he is a policeman, and so are his friends, they were all around 25 years of age, they were playing around with their pistols, the bullets were out, or so they thought, apparently one bullet was stuck, and his best friend shot him in the chest by mistake.

Looking at her friend in anguish, she asked quietly, “And where is his friend now?

“Salma, you must understand that in the rural areas people are much closer. Anyway, he was still alive, yet no hospital admitted him, so eventually he lost his life.

“Touti, I am no sorry.

They sat in silence for minutes. As I tried to make sense of what I just heard I looked up to see a row of tables across were full of people, talking but too far for me to make out what they were saying.

Checking her mobile Touti continued, “His friend is destroyed, of course. It’s a mistake, and his family won’t press charges, they grew up together.

The line of people in front of me was escape from the serious depressing conversation they were having.

Still unable to hear what people were saying, I felt as if I were in a clinic’s waiting room, and indeed I did what I usually do in waiting rooms. I started comparing noses, and then when I got bored of that, shoes.

Except that being summer, most were wearing sandals, then the natural pattern of thought followed in my head, “Why do most Egyptian girls have ugly feet?

I hardly finished the thought before, from behind me, I heard: “Maha you should have been there, begad, I told you most funerals have nothing to do with depressing moods anymore. Rasha said with a smile,

“Never mind the diamonds and pearls, or even the make-up and hairdos, she continued.

Laughing, Maha asked, “You make it sound like a party? “Without the drinks, it might as well have been, Rasha chuckled, “What personally interested me most was the fashion talk.

“Maha I am serious with the long working hours, I have no time to flip through magazines or watch fashion TV, and even window shopping is a far away dream,

They both laughed

A young sophisticated girl, sipped alone on her coffee, then she signalled to a man at the door, to a peculiar man walking in.

“Dad, why are you late?

“They’re idiots. The country is full of idiots, they are all idiots, he ranted as he tried to pull his sock back up, the seam was loose, and it kept falling back down, “Idiots.

Placing a full mug of hot coffee in front of him, “Dad, drink this you’ll feel better, then tell me about your day.

He did as he was told and remained quiet till he finished it to the last drop.

“Those idiots in the street. I was coming out of my office in Tahrir yesterday, and this man was walking past with his wife and a very sick looking child, they told me, they came from Domyat to treat the child, but they did not have money to go back, they needed LE 92, so I gave it to them.

Sarah smiled, “So what’s wrong?

“Before I came here, I went to my bank in Talaat Harb, and as I came out of the car, this man and his wife and a sick baby approach me again, they get closer and I realize it’s the same family. Idiots! He yelled,

“And if they will lie, at least they should do it right. The idiots did not even recognize me, and as soon as I started insulting them and telling them what happened, they started running.

Sarah giggled and let out an embarrassing snort, “Dad I wanted to tell you I won’t be able to meet you next week, its Mom’s birthday.

“Don’t mention that woman to me again, do what you want, I have to go now. And with that he got up and left.

So did I.

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