Cairo always struck me as the most exotic place in the world, blinking away on the departures board in Heathrow on route to Belfast every three months. When fate took a swipe and I found myself in Egypt one day I wasn't disappointed either. 'I'm in Egypt!' I'd exclaim in the middle of a street. Golly I'm in bloody Egypt. And shake my head in wonder. Time and again and the fascination never lost its lustre. In police convoy from Port Said to Cairo or heading the charge of cargo along the Suez Canal, there was never a quiet adventure not to be had.
Ice Cold in Alex. The dusty desert silence of that movie could not contrast more with the debauchery of the place. Alexandria is cacophonous. No, ridiculous. A man hops past me across the road on his hands his body truncated at the waist. I step over an octopus on the pavement miles from the harbour. He seems as surprised as me at the enthusiastic wave that deposited him there. The wail to prayer over a warm dusk is as mournful and beguiling as the conch shells of Bora Bora.
I shot 16 rolls of film this day. A lot of photographer's stock work, nothing of particular merit, though I always enjoyed the ad hoc absurdity of this photo. Sometimes a place is too much and it stymies. 'It's more than the colour!' said The Bloke bewilderedly once when trying to describe an exceedingly blue shark. Alexandria is more than the colour. It's more than itself.