A hot bath can do strange things, no joke. There I was, straight into the steam with a book on the side to read. And then thoughts, good and bad. A solitary drip from the sink tap. Outside everything frozen up; trains and planes cancelled. Life’s long waiting game.
There was a beep from my phone downstairs. Who was it? For fuck… I had things to do, obviously. And this morning, low in the sky, the moon had turned a red colour. Had the radio said the cause was climatic? I thought they said climactic. I would prefer the latter.
The hotel lobby is cool. The internet connection is slow and staff are hovering, scowling, grumbling. There are no flights out of Africa for days – news reports say a week, airlines say nothing until next month.
At the rooftop pool the air is choking thick with smog and the ten-lane jam of traffic across the dusty bridges of the grey Nile is incessant. Horns blare all around, drowning a tuneless call to prayer.
No one reads their airport fiction. They gaze across the sandy sprawl of city, thinking only of maps of Northern Europe – and ash.