The Chopper

Tonight I will move from my temporary residency at Affaf’s friend’s house, which I wrote about previously, to a flat that the school will pay for. They’re in the same neighborhood of Feyrouz, where the nicest apartment buildings in Luxor are located. I’m overjoyed.

I quite liked the smells of Monica’s building, though. On the first floor, a team of perhaps three men run a business cleaning, chopping and packing vegetables for nearby restaurants.

The scents of raw vegetables and dirt form an organic and subtly sweet bouquet that at first I thought belonged to a type of local clay. With time, and some lingering near this doorway, I eventually got a peek at the true source of the aromas. And they smelled even better.

The man above is the foremost chopper, pictured in his natural habitat. I never learned his name because we never understood a word the other one was saying, but he was kind to me in my time there and I’ll miss the smells with which he fills the apartment building.


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