Why I Am Awake at 2 AM

When we moved here during the summer, it was over 100 degrees every day and, unless you were sitting in a shady spot with a breeze, a tad unbearable. When an Egyptian friend of ours told us that they let their 2-year-old daughter stay up all night and sleep during the heat of the day, it made a little sense. He clearly wasn’t enjoying the decision though; he said she would come in all night long and turn on and off his bedroom lights or throw rubber balls at his head while he slept.

While it is now Winter in Cairo and the temperature stays between 50 and 60 degrees (10-15 Celsius) every day, there are apparently a few families in our apartment building that ascribe to the same idea while their kids are on Winter break. Including the family directly above us. We met them a few weeks ago; they have three boys under the age of nine, all very cute and very polite.

Between the hours of 11 pm and 3 am every night they are running across their apartment. Thud-thud-thud-thud-thud. Thud-thud-thud-thud-thud. Most often I lay in bed trying to sleep, kept awake by footsteps of the youngest boy, judging by the sound, who is apparently running back and forth down his hallway. Why is he running? I don’t know. He is joined occasionally by heavier thud-thud-thuds of his big brother. Every night, without fail.

There are at least two other families in our building with small children whose parents are encouraging them to release pent up energy while the rest of the world is asleep. There are two boys, both of whom own superhero bicycles, who are sent out of their apartments at night to play in the small courtyard right outside our bedroom window. Apparently, they are instructed: not to leave the area directly around this apartment building, to ride their bicycles back and forth along the sidewalk, and to make as much noise as they possibly can (screaming and bicycle crashing optional, but encouraged).

Thud-thud-thud-thud-thud. Thud-thud-thud-thud-thud. 

*yelling in Arabic* *the reply in Arabic*

Crash. 

*more yelling*

Thud-thud-thud-thud-thud. 

This is why I am awake every night at 2 am.

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One thought on “Why I Am Awake at 2 AM

  1. Hi, my husband lives in Cairo. In his first apartment it was children running around all night. He moved to a “quieter” apartment where it is his landlords wife & mother in heels clomping around at 4am. It drives him crazy.

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