• Wadi Degla Women's World Squash Championship • 12-20 Dec 2014 • Cairo •  

Women's Worlds EN BREF
All you never knew you need to know about the Worlds in Cairo

from Naigara Falls ............................................................ to Cairo

From One World(s) to Another…

Sunday 7th. Shuttle from White Oaks to Toronto airport, 14.30. Flight 18h30.

Monday 8th. Arrival Heathrow T5 (yuk) 6.30 am. 3 hours sleep on the plane.

Taxi to Wimbledon to picking up car. 8.30. Arrival Crystal Palace where I have my London Room.

Unpacking. Sorting out laundry. Reading 549 emails. Zzzzz for 1h. Going French Consulate at South Kensington to pick up now Biometric Passport. Back Crystal Palace. 1h sleep. Picking up mail at Dulwich Squash Club where mate Noreen who received my postal mail works. Can’t face packing.

3am. Wide awake after 3 hours sleep.

Tuesday 9th, 7.30. Packing. Yes, got it slightly wrong when I booked the flight London Cairo. Saw I was flying the 7th, so booked the 9th to Cairo. Except we were arriving the 8th early morning.

And that's nothing compare to the "I have my surgery booked for the 20th, as in the World's Final"! One Surgery postoned! And a return on the 21st 9pm for a departure for France on the 22nd 10pm.

Short turn over. So tired. Soooooo tired.

Was supposed to stay with a dear friend for 2 days in Cairo, then go to Tournament Hotel. Just cannot face another packing/unpacking. Calling Karim Darwish, Tournament Big Boss to ask if I can stay in the Hotel from tonight. “No problem”. Can I get picked up? “No problem”.

I love Egypt. They don't have problem. Only solutions.

10 am. Off to Wimbledon to drop car – to be picked up by friends that keep with while I’m away.

11am. Taxi to Heathrow T2. 12noon, check in. “you have to print the boarding pass and luggage strip. Moi “Do I have to fly the plane as well?”.

12h30. Security. “Your bag has been recognised as containing explosives. I’ll need your passport and boarding pass.” Another 15m of my life I won’t get back.

Egypt Air. Half empty. Nobody next to me. Luxury. Food though: I didn’t know people could boil chicken, no thank you. Sprinkling creamer in my diet pepsi. I think I’ll sleep a bit then…

Engy welcomes everyone to the Courts...

9pm. Arrival Cairo. Nobody there to pick me up. Ah. Texting Meguid (forgot to write down Karim’s number). About 10m later, Tamer Mamdouh is walking in. “Sorry Fram, they don’t let us in the airport anymore, I had to call a policeman friend of mine to let me in”.

Tamer is the friend from Heliopolis Club that got me to hold that Egyptian Flag for the Final in Qatar – where I was clever enough to pick an Egyptian Winner for, for those who were in the Moon at the time, it was two Egyptians playing each other, doh.

His car doesn’t start. “It will be the battery, no problem.” Off to his boot, he pick up some jump leads, gets a car to stop, and sorted. Only in Egypt….

Nice drive (30km) to HolidayInn Maadi, formely Sofitel I'm told, on the River Nile. Maadi is one of the nicest area of Cairo with Zamalec. Dropping luggage in room, 12th floor, breathtaking view of the Nile at night. It’s now about midnight.

Tamer takes me for a walk in Maadi, I can do with fresh air and open space. Along the Nile, we end up at the Grand Cafe, of course it’s open. Of course the food is delicious. Of course they put a heater next to the table cause it’s winter and we are outside and it’s not that warm….

By the time he leaves, it’s 1.30 am. While I’m back at the hotel trying and failing to sleep – 8 hours jetlag with Toronto, of course, his car doesn’t start.

So he stops a taxi, gets the jump leads out, and off to the garage next door. Wakes up the garage man who lives right above the shop. Who comes down with his son. “You need a knew battery”. “Ok, change it now”. So they did.
2am. Tamer has now a new battery.

Trying to sleep. Failing miserably. 3 am. Right awake again. Third night with 3 hours sleep.

Wednesday 10th. I’m a zombie. Basically, with jetlag, you are sleepy during the day, and can’t sleep at night. I strongly recommend it if you want to feel old and useless.

Trying to get a massage – that normally help me to rebalance body. Only for men not only at the hotel, but at the Wadi Degla too. Pfffff.

Thanks to Mohamed El Shrkawy – who helped us for the Sky Open already – I get a really nice massage at the end of the day at the Maadi Hotel, round the corner.

On the way back, Tamer gets me a local phone – 1m of call on my normal English is £5 per minute!

Back at the hotel for 6. Didn’t have any food since breakfast. Can’t be bothered. Collapse in bed, the massage has worked. I sleep for 4 hours. Awake at 11pm! Bit of work, waiting for Cubs to arrive from London, he is fine. A

bout 2am, I swallow the Melatonin that Sam Teran gave me at breakfast – forgot mine in London - and GOD BLESS HER, I manage to sleep until 8am!!!!!

I’m back with the Living. Bye Bye Zombie, Hello Framby.

Wadi Degla Club - the white large tent on the top right is the glass court

Thursday, 11th. Full beans. Breakfast with Cubs, then off to the Club with Mohamed Rashwan. The “5, 10m drive Tamer Dixit is in fact 20m, with very light traffic. Heavy security at the club.

Ahmed takes us round the venue, first where we’ll play the qualifying first round, the players lounge – soooo much space – beautiful view from the top of the building, then the glass court, then the Darwish Academy.

So nice to be outside, temperature is perfect, people are nice, and smiling, and helpful. A little tea with El Shrkawy waiting for the shuttle bus back.

Back to the hotel for 2pm. Off to have a little walk along the Nile with Cubs. So noisy with the cars beeping and at the same time, so peaceful and calming. Arriving at the Fish Market.

“Which fish would you like?”. So much choice. We just point at things, and just say yes to most of the questions... We get so much food, so nice, so healthy, far tooo much though. Impeccable service. Strongly recommend it.

Nile. Why do I feel so close to you?

As I look at the scene, this water, this “source de vie”, “Life Source” that is the Nile, and those two fishermen’s boats slowly passing in front of us, I cannot help the tears rolling down. I will never know why, but every time I see the Nile, I feel I’m back home. Like I belong here.

And I’m so grateful to Life, to the Angels of Squash, for bringing me back yet again.

In Love with Egypt.

the view of the Nile from the Hotel pool

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