WasSsup WasSsup?

One day I’m walking through a busy marketplace in Alexandria called Al-Manchaya. I’m all veiled up with no flashy jewelry or handbag, and yet I get mobbed by the poor left and right asking me for spare change. I didn’t understand why they had singled me out from the crowds of other people swimming by.

So the next day, I dress up super bummed down, showing nothing that reveals I have an inkling of money on me. I walk around in flip-flops, my hair is a mess from the wind and I look like I had just rolled out of bed, but still the same thing happened. Made no sense. There were other women walking by me dripping in gold from head to toe with fancy accessories and what looked like expensive shoes but I didn’t see anybody bothering them!

I tell my friend Hamada about what keeps happening to me. No matter what I dress like or how I present myself, the homeless, distraught and the penniless keep flocking to me like flies. What the hell am I doing wrong? Or right?

He thinks for a moment then asks me, “Did you have money on you? And if so, how much?” I tell him I had just withdrawn a few hundred from the bank for a rug; hence, making it about four thousand Egyptian pounds in conversion. He tells me, “That’s a lot of money for here! They can smell it! To them that’s $4,000!”

How could that be? Money has no smell to it and it’s not like I whip it all out at once or pull more than 10 pounds from my pocket. There’s nothing about me that reveals I have enough to pay for even a bottle of Coca-Cola on the street. Yet I keep getting stopped by women carrying sickly babies, men with burned arms or no arms at all. Why me?

So to make a point, Hamada tells me to hand him my money as we jumped into a cab taking us to the downtown area. When I got out and walked around ahead of him, nobody came up to me for several blocks. I mean NOBODY. So when I made note of the discovery then turn around to look for him, I find him a couple of blocks backward. I stroll up to him and find a man in his 70’s reciting Quranic verses to him with one hand forward followed by another woman telling him she needed medicine and couldn’t afford it. We exchange glances and he smiles, pointing out to me that he had made his case.

The smell of money. It’s no joke. People need to check and see what the hell they press into the inks of bills. Better yet, why not roll down to Mexico and pull the test yourself? I assure you all that it was a real eye opener for me and has got me thinking. I’m sure they don’t weave the scent of jasmine petals into money. Or steak. Or buttered popcorn. So what else could it be?

Beats me. Go ask the eye on the pyramid. It will tell you. After all, it sees and knows everything.

WasSsup WasSsup?