Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where the Green Grass Grows

I think it isn't until I come stateside that I realize how dull and dingy everything in Cairo is.  You have to understand that even though much of Cairo borders the Nile River that it's still basically built along a desert.  And desert means sand, lots and lots of sand.  Winter, spring, summer, and fall - regardless of the weather - there is a constant abundance of dust everywhere!  So this means that everything green in Cairo has a permanent tinge of brown to it.

And it also means that - being in the desert - that things just don't grow on their own there.  I would guess that everything green growing in Cairo was planted there.  Trees, bushes, and flowers of all kinds must be watered faithfully on a daily basis because if one waited for rain, well, that desert might just take back over the city.

So to come home to Kentucky, I am always kind of struck by how beautifully green it is here.  Some of the greenest grass I have seen here grows along the side of the highway (which, incidentally, is planted or at the very least supplemented because I just saw a truck shooting out grass seed out there yesterday).  But still really green and really pretty!

And when it rains in KY, well, the air smells clean - especially if there's any greenery (like trees or grass) nearby.  Unfortunately, the handful of times that it rains in Cairo every year produces only dirty drops of water all over everything because the air is so dirty with dust and pollution.  Yes, the air might smell a little cleaner but this lasts just a fleeting moment before the dust gets back up into the air once more.  So rain is not always such a good thing in Cairo.  But here, well, it's like the world just walked through a shower and is now all fresh and clean and new!

You know, I have yet to let my son anywhere near the grass in Cairo.  At 9 months old, he has yet to feel the cool green grass under his hands and feet.  In KY this would be a real travesty, but in Cairo this is a matter of survival!  The grass in Cairo is usually off-limits anyways and if you COULD sit on it, I'm not sure that you'd want to.

But Kentucky is the Bluegrass state where the grass is so green sometimes that it's almost blue.  So it would be a shame if we came all this way and didn't stop to enjoy the green grass.  And while once he has gotten a taste of how good the grass feels beneath his feet, he may protest when I refuse to let him wander around on the grass back in Egypt - but then again, isn't it great to have something else to look forward to when you come back to KY?

Soft green grass...bare breeze...warm sun...

And I'm breeze...warm sun...

That's for me, while my son gets to discover the green grass for the first time.

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