72 hours back in Cairo and my senses are primed to pick up on any changes that may have occurred over the Christmas period.
Was the relatively traffic free journey from the airport to Dokki on Tuesday night a sign of a significant change in Cairo’s commuting chaos?
Well after two more days here- I can vouch that it is not.
Is the fact that street vendors seem to have all taken to wearing black and white keffiyehs around their necks , a signal of some radical politicisation or a spontaneous act of Palestinian solidarity on behalf of the sweet potato sellers and others?
Well no. After two days in Cairo even the cold blooded Irishman has noticed that the temperature has dropped sharply here. Hence the scarves.
Is the fact that the metro station under Tahrir Square has many police men stationed in it (when before Christmas they were hardly seen, and in general there seems to be a higher security presence than before Christmas), a sign that the authorities are reasserting their control in the days before the first anniversary of the January revolution?
Well...we will have to wait and see on that one.
Is the fact that when one of the cleaning staff at my apartment welcomed me back in Arabic and asked me how I was...I actually stumbled in my reply to her and got embarrassingly confused...is this a sign that 3 wonderful and somewhat "liquid" Christmas weeks in Dublin can make me forget all the Arabic I learnt in 3 months?
Well, I’m afraid to answer that one.