Growing up, my lovely Mother had me and my sister enrolled in all the activities she believed it was important for a lady of stature in society to be able to do. She had such a cute Jane Austen take on things, so for the longest time it was piano, swimming and tennis lessons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all the better for those classes. I love music dearly and value my piano and the classics greatly. It is just, ever since I’ve been a teen, I’ve always wanted to learn the guitar. Guitar solos in my favourite songs would drive me mad. Yet as I grew older there was always something else that had to be learned, so there was no time for fresh hobbies, let alone fresh hobbies my mom saw as unlady-like.
Anyway, having the MBA out of the way and having given up on the CFA (best of luck to all those sitting in a week); it was time to finally learn the guitar. Fate had thrown my way some accomplished guitarists with intricate knowledge of the instrument itself. I window shopped for a guitar for the entire length of my 3 months in Dubai. Almost bought a Hofner on my last weekend there. I had borrowed a friend’s guitar and had tortured the poor thing long enough to decide that I was serious about this and that I wanted one to call my own.
Being back in Cairo, buying a guitar is a whole new story. Guitar experts will tell you that this is not a purchase decision you want to make on your own. There are countless things to check for and you have to know how to kick the tires. So after several attempts to meet guitar playing friends, and after having been blown off a couple of times for no inexplicable reason, Bassem comes to the rescue.
*Not sure how he feels about me using his name in public so will stick to his first name*.
We go to this store in Maadi, he gives the sales guy our price range, brings down all the classical guitars within that price range (one of them being a bloody FENDER!!) and gets to it. He plays every single note on every single fret on every single guitar. He does scales up and down them. Plays freestyle, some flamenco and a song to boot. Knocks on the wood at different locations. Checks its balance. Scrutinises every bit of those guitars, before coming to the glorious conclusion of:
“Take this one, its a decent guitar!”
Hence ladies and gents, voila, my very own guitar.
May you all get to realise your childhood dreams.