Die Manniken

Heard on my way home today, at 9.50pm, one street vendor to his neighbour who was making to pack up his wares: “It’s still early. Stay a while”

Late night shopping here is an all-family activity, babies through grannies, often. Kids are everywhere. Young children, and not just teenagers, are generally more visible in Egyptian public space than in the west at all times of day and night. Which may be part of why, it seems to me, more shop windows here have this kind of display, all kids, than most western high street shops of my experience do.

Why are they staring at me?

No out-of-sight out-of-mind for Egyptian children. Which is good. But some of the kid dummies are creepy. Windows with 20 copies of the same little girl model bring on all kinds of shivers, full on creepy-doll effect.

Creepy Dolls

Someone more qualified than I to do such a study should analyze downtown Cairo’s shop window displays. I mostly pay attention in case any of the many, many plastic people start to move, whether heading for the club, Kraftwerk-style, or bent on exterminating humans, Autons-style.

One of these is not like the others

Some of these are not like the others

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2 thoughts on “Die Manniken

  1. Your wee brother says:

    Weird indeed – and I’m willing to bet that the majority of kids looking at that first display won’t have ever seen snow before, so the tableau is somewhat misplaced I think. Strange also to see traditional Islamic dresses alongside a mannequin in lingerie – or is that just my ignorance?

  2. edwebb says:

    Oddly enough, there has been snow in Alexandria and on the Cairo-Alex desert road since I arrived here. Not as far south as Cairo, though, so your point stands.

    Juxtapositions – yes, odd to our eyes. Doesn’t seem to faze anybody here.

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