Cairo Bizarre

CRUISING CAIRO On every other street corner a medieval Arab squats, almost obliviously, on the sidewalk as the late 20th century rushes by. Men both in suits and off-white robes stop their business, set all aside and face Mecca to pray. Most of the city is the color of the desert over which it spreads out: a dusty tan. Brighter, lively color is in the interstices, the nooks and crannies, the twists and turns of the great city’s guts. There the... Read More

The Fire of Rajastan Never Dies

THE FIRE OF RAJASTAN NEVER DIES “Fire is sacred to all the Rajputs, but especially to the desert people,” Prayag Singh said to me. “It burns within us, and never dies.” “Is that why you say you have the hottest chilies in all of India?” I asked jokingly. “Yes,” he said with a straight face. “You will see, perhaps, tonight in the village.” He spurred his camel to a quicker pace, and we followed... Read More