Having lost my Egyptian virginity four days ago, I have fallen wonderingly in love with the city of Cairo.
And had my undying loyalty to Tunisia not prevented me, I would even venture that it is the best city I have visited.
Which makes it all the more peculiar that I cannot explain why.
Likening it to a woman (for all great cities are female), Cairo is the Zsa Zsa Gabor to Tunis’ gamboling cheerleader.
Pretty, shining and radiant with a youthful glow, Tunis exudes a beauty that smacks of freshness through her white walls, turquoise shutters and winding balconies.
Cairo, on the other hand, is an aged beauty, her glamour and good-times resting under a dusting of powder, her balustrades cracking and her waters running slow.
The boathouses on the Nile evoke every Naguib Mahfouz novel consumed, while the former colonial tea rooms still ring with the (imagined) titterings of British lady-wives festooned with pearls.
The revolution continues and Tahrir lurches from positive to negative energy.
The tragedy of the martyrs of Tahrir is on every wall and the graffiti inspires amazement at the creativity and durability of Egyptian artists.
This week has brought contact with a number of the most admirable and gifted individuals: the iconic feminist Iman Bibars, the fearless Lina Attalah, the prolific Ganzeer and the insatiably revolutionary Mohamed Safi.
I feel deeply privileged to meet them all.
And then there is the food. No harissa nor knafa nabulsi – but I shall forgive this on the basis of the exquisite seafood.
My, my. I shall dream of this long after the dust of Cairo has been washed from my clothes.