Continuing with extracts from TheLawyer.com’s new ‘Postcard from…’ series, this week’s blogger is Michael Lacey, managing partner of Denton Wilde Sapte’s Cairo office.
A pharoah trek to work
To an expat, life in Cairo can be a startling contrast between a confused, polluted, noisy, snarling mess and an experience characterised by kind people, colourful shops, stunning antiquities and natural beauty.
Fortunately, I miss the former most of the time as I live on the tree-lined island of Zamalek and walk one and a half blocks to work each morning under a sunny sky! Zamalek lies in the Nile River, nestled between the twin cities of Cairo and Giza, which for all practical purposes function as one sprawling metropolis of 20 million inhabitants.
These combined cities together contain the Giza, Sakhara and Dashour pyramids, along with some of the world’s greatest early Christian and Islamic antiquities. Cairo is also one of the safest big cities in the world.
Dentons’ Cairo office is situated in a charming old villa, complete with a small private garden – a rarity in this city.
I don’t own a car as I found that parking usually takes longer than the journey itself, so it’s easier to get around by foot or taxi. The subway makes for an interesting alternative and can cut a significant amount of time from an otherwise traffic-intensive journey – plus it only costs about seven pence!
Any commute in Cairo is filled with multiple exchanges of pleasantries with the local population, the sounds of honking cars and the smell of flowers, food and, occasionally, rubbish!