Karim Rahman explains how to squeeze 24 hours into the 12 non-curfew hours we've got. Lunch at Left Bank is no longer an option. McDonald's drive-thru will do.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you'd know that Cairo has been subjected to a strict military curfew. In fact, the curfew's so strict, you'd think you died and went to British boarding school hell. Living your occasionally glamorous life under a strict 7-to-7 lockdown can somewhat put a damper on everything. Your night time socialite events turn into daytime coffee dates, and brunch now officially starts at 9 AM instead of 12, so you have more time. Forget about a shopping spree; you just don't have the time. Add work to this already-packed schedule and you've got yourself a booked day! I think the military is unaware how much we Egyptians suffer under curfew. Fuck the economy; HOW ARE WE GOING TO GO TO TAMARAI?!
While night time shenanigans and midnight drunken adventures seem to have been forcibly taken away from us, I've decided to conduct a tiny experiment. Assuming you have the entire 12 hours of no curfew all to yourself, how can you squeeze what you regularly used to do in 24 hours? How can you efficiently plan out your day so not a minute is wasted? I took the day off from work, and geared up for what was possibly the biggest challenge of my life, all in an attempt to help entrapped Cairenes make the best out of their curfew'd up day!
7:00 AM:This is when the curfew ends. Your hours of freedom start now. You have three options: sleep in for a while longer, get out of bed, shower and leave your house or just leave your house. Personally, I find option number two to be sanitary and preferable, while option number three to be the most efficient. Choose wisely.
8:00 AM:You decided to shower (good on you!); you chose hygiene over efficiency, and while the clock may be ticking in the background, you don't smell like a hobo. You can do this. Now, rush over to your favourite coffee shop. You will be fighting strung out high schoolers, housewives and old people for a place to sit. Throw your things on the first vacant chair you find. Shout out your order to the cashier; you have no time for pleasantries.
10:00 AM: Fuck. You over indulged in your delicious yet extremely fattening breakfast. You just scrambled your entire schedule for the day. Panic will start to set in, but don't let it get to you. You still have time. Forget tanning by the pool, it's time to actually do some chores. And by chores, I obviously mean shopping. Rush over to Zara; it will already be packed to the brim. Elbow a couple of fashionistas in the face to get that tiered, ombre shift dress. You NEED that dress.
12:00 PM: Your day is almost over (it's sad to think that if by noon, you haven't done at least 75% of what you want to do, you're screwed). Head over to the bank; you're going to need to have some cash that you probably won't spend anyway because you'll be stuck at home. You can never have enough money, though.
3:00 PM: By three, you will definitely be running around the city like a crazed maniac, trying to do everything all at once. But you can't; you have to give yourself two hours for traffic, which means you're left with one hour. At this point, lunch at Left Bank is no longer an option. McDonald's drive-thru will do.
6:00 PM: By now, it's best if you were safely home. Otherwise, you're fucked with traffic and you'll have to start mentally preparing to spend the night with some army men. Not as yummy as it sounds.