I recently edited this section out of my Egyptian chapter. It's a tough chapter, where a lot of things happened, but not a lot of it is noteworthy or interesting enough to include. Anyway, this is one of the ministories which didn't make the final cut. Please note that this is a few editing rounds short of being polished as I cut it out at an early stage.
You'll probably notice sections of strong writing, and sections not so strong. Hopefully it will provide a look into my editing process anyhow.
At the end of each class, with Arabic grammar and vocabulary scrambling to get a foothold in our heads, we often ended up at our favourite backstreet café. With one hand,
On a cool January afternoon, Pierre and I sat playing backgammon in our favourite bustling alleyway. An enormous Egyptian man had locked onto us with his eyes from far across the alley. Sweat beading down his forehead, he walked straight toward us, grabbing a napkin from a nearby table to wipe his brow. Nearly out of breath, he said, “Do you want part in Egyptian movie?”
The shady-looking, overweight man brightened. “It’s a movie about the mob. I’m not sure who the director is. You can learn more about it at the office if you come with me.”
Two hours later, the associate director still hadn’t arrived. I took a deep, frustrated breath. “I gotta go.”
On my way out the door, the British girl, her voice filled with panic, rushed toward me. “Wait!” She took my arm and shuffled me into a separate room filled with wire racks of pants, dress shirts and long-tailed coats – it looked like a charity shop. “You can take your clothes off here,” she said, standing by the door.
“But we just met. What kind of Egyptian film is this?”
Her face went bright crimson. “Uhh,” she stuttered, “Abdul’s going to get your dimensions and fit you with something for the role.” Her slim Egyptian colleague slid between her and the door and looked me up and down.
“Oh,” I winked at her, “maybe later then.”
The man took out his measuring tape and determined my lengths and widths. They then did the same to
“Please wait here,” the British girl said. “The assistant will be here any minute.”
“That’s what you said yesterday,” I said.
“I know, I know, but he’s coming.”
Pierre and I still sat in the concrete stairwell two hours later. “Forget it.” I stood up. “I’m done.”
“I’m staying. I really want to do this and see how movies are made.”
“They’re not paying you to sit here for hours every day. Waiting around on the day of the shoot is one thing; they give you twenty bucks at the end of the day. But, it’s been four hours now just to sign up. It’s ridiculous.”