So my dad decided to take pity on me and allow such atrocities. I have a hole in my wallet where 400 le used to reside before. Was it worth it? You evaluate for yourself.
Friends were kind enough to pick me up from the house at 6. It took us 2 hours to get to the venue. Streets were excessively crowded and nothing is labelled you pretty much have to guess where you are going. OR ask a cop upon which you will be told “Shakira, ew3a weshak, tany yemeeen!!!”.
You finally get there, you park your car and try to find the astronomer within to try and mark the spot where you left your beloved vehicle. There is very little you can use as markers, next to the Porsche, or besides the second lamp post to the left!! Finally you give up and start heading for the buses. You are given a ride to the stage.
Most people didn’t have a chance to eat at home so the organizers were shrewd enough to rent out booths to fastfood chains where people got burgers and pizzas and other such nutritious junk at ridiculous prices. You waltzed in to the actual stage area to discover that anybody who paid 750 for their ticket were ripped off big time. There were no seperations, was one big happy mob. To the right the VIP section looked promising, but no such luck, their area was elevated so I’m sure they had a hell of a view.
Shakira came on at 10:30 (TYPICAL), dark stage, single spot on a guy playing the guitar to Fairouz’s A3teny Elnay wa Ghany. I love Fairouz, but wasn’t sure what the hell was going on untill you heard Shakira’s unmistakable voice singing the first paragraph. I’m sure Fairouz tossed in her sleep but still, Shakira is Shakira bardo 🙂
Concert carried on, she is quite the entertainer, she got us acquainted with slow songs from her new album, shared childhood memories, danced to La Tortura and Whenever Wherever. They paused often for costume changes but during that time there was always plenty of action on the well equipped stage. I loved the lighting and the laser games on the gauze screen. Twice she seemingly ended the concert only to resume again. At some point she jumped into the crowd (don’t think she was fully aware of the risks involved with such folly) and they went wild. Girl’s got charisma. All she had to do was blow a kiss into the air and the crowd went insane.
I thoroughly enjoyed her show but I must say I HATE the venue. The ground is flat making it impossible for anybody shorter than 170 cm to see the stage let alone Shakira. Screens were a blessing. We danced we had fun but for 80 minutes of Shakira you had to drive 2 hours to get there in impossible traffic. THEN after the concert is over it takes a miracle to find your car. Everything looks different by night, you have to walk back since the buses have disappeared. You finally find your car you get in, now drive real careful cause the ground is sand and stone and cars around you are getting stuck and experiencing tyre problems. An hour later you finally reach the road. After that it takes like 20 minutes driving like maniacs to get back to Mohandseen through Lebanon square.
Lessons learned: Next time, rent a 4×4 and spend the night at the Menahouse Oberoi. It’s worth it to avoid the traffic and the hassle and the car accidents. Anyways….
Must give thanks to our courageous organiser and driver. Props to you wallahy ya Mustafa. Also saw a ton of people I know who I had not seen in months. That was cool. So thank you Shakira, thank you Cairo, good night and see you next year.