I began the christian new year in a the humid interior of a warehouse rave on the outskirts of barcelona, controlling some gadgets that push decibels through bass bins. People were dancing.
Afterwards stopped at home long enough to rinse away the oily collective sweat of an the night party, I was soon on a plane towards Egypt for a rendezvous with friends.
It’s a different sweat in Cairo, a matte effect. Everything is covered in thick dust, some mix of airborne desert and auto exhaust. Lay an object down for 24 hours and it will be become a greyish khaki color. Just as snow makes a city beautiful, this skin of dust dampens the loudness of colors and harmonizes the visual noise of the metropole. I’d love to talk more about Cairo, but it really fucking overwhelming. One of the fotos below is the entrance to my hotel, where tangles of improvised wiring & plumbing ornament a colonial staircase in complete abandon, whose centerpiece is some kind of collapsed elevator sculpture that is home to families of feral cats. A five minute walk from here: eateries of the super-rich, alleyway sheesha bars, luxury hotels, a streets littered with burned out cars, the remains of King Tut, the river Nile. It’s a place that summarizes nearly the whole of human history and our likely future: the normalization of survivalism as modus operandi in a landscape of ruin.
From Cairo I nearly missed the continuing flight to Kuala Lumpur, the sweat glands in overdrive as the taxi stewed in a traffic jam and me in the pheromones of my own panic.
Twelve hours later the transfer in KL featured an epic sprint to catch another nearly missed flight, this one in the dense mug of tropical Malaysia in wet season, still wearing the same clothes I’d put on in european winter, however many days ago.
In Indonesia now, at night sleepless with jetlag listening to the din of a million insects and nearly as many motorbikes. Many diverse experiences to come in the next month, but they will all have one common denominator: sweat.