News from the Bubble…

Fram Gommendy from Mena House

If Calsberg did Bubbles…. Well, they do actually but not the ones I’m talking about here…
If in the previous event, the CIB PSA World Tour Finals, I was not included in the PSABubble – as in, a protected area to keep the players safe, where nobody not tested is not allowed and where social distancing is respected at all time, including mask and gloves when necessary. This time round, for the first days, I’m going to be living the Lockdown from ‘Inside the House’…

After two weeks of highly charged emotionally days – including opening your own flat upon arrival in Cairo with a locksmith as it’s been hijacked by thieves, packing all your stuff, moving into temporary accommodation, visiting dozens of flats, covering the CIB Finals in not simple conditions due to the new (logical and expected) regulations, rushing back from 6th October (West of Cairo) to Maadi (Cairo Centre) to sign for a new flat, moving into new flat, finishing unpacking at midnight last night to pack again this morning at 8am – it was back to Mena House in Giza.

If last time I came – for the last Al-Ahram event in 2016 – Mena House was under a management that was not really keeping up with time I felt. This time round, Marriott has now bought the incredible venue, and has started refurbishment. So no  Historical reception that has seen Kings and Princes for the past century this time round, next time Insha’Allah.

To situate it for you, it’s the most prestigious hotels near the Pyramids, and the last stop before the police checks to get onto the road that takes you to the Pyramids of Giza.

If you want to organise a wedding, a party, a special event, you come to Mena House. It’s part of Cairo Culture. I remember the Party night of CIBFInals here, where the parents of Ali Farag – Amr and Mona – were actually invited to a wedding there that same night!

Just to give you an idea of the standard of the place. My flat in Cairo is situated on Road 9, the most sought after address in Maadi, full of expats, it’s a duplex, Nile and Pyramids view. Well one night of my room here at Mena house is more expensive that my monthly rental. I kid you not. Merci CIB, PSA and I.Events for having me/us!!!

It was SOOOO NICE to actually see/interact, even from afar, with my players.

Last week I glanced at them, so it was incredibly amazing feeling to see so many of them in the Hotel  lobby – all wearing masks, no touching, no hugs, at 2 metres, but still, I could chat with them!

Excellent organisation from PSA to get the Covid tests done, very little wait, little speech from COO Lee Beachill, while Tim Garner Tour Director was organising the tests, and giving us labels with numbers to give to the nurses.

In France – I was tested twice before coming to Cairo – they only insert a tube in the nose, but here, they do it in the throat as well, and to be honest, it’s not the most pleasant of sensations to say the least. But it had to be done.

Then, straight to the room, no contact with anybody but the waiter for room service. I have to admit I just crashed and slept 5 solid hours. Funny that I dreamed that Steve Cubbins – who is back in Whitley Bay – car was drowning as he parked it at the wrong location, and nearly missed the bus stop to go back to the hotel that was like the Nantes Castle where we had last event in Sept 2019… go figure…

Woke up, it was dark, a wedding – surprise – had just started, the Newly Weds made their entrance, the Egyptian music at its best, the Pyramids were illuminated, and I got the word I was negative to the virus. A bit of a magical moment really. Peace, Energy, Plenitude.

I have been covering events at the Pyramids since 2006, so you might think I’m used to it but how can you get used to the Power, the Magnetic Energy, the Legends, the Souls, the History, that emanates from that incredible part of the world. How not be grateful to CIB, PSA, IEvents and all the sponsors that allow us to be here today…

Merci to all. Merci les Anges. Alleluia. Elhamdoulillah. Very, very much.