After three years travelling the world, it's time to discover my home town.
Published November 25th 2011
In Egypt, when people take a break from building pyramids or throwing revolutions, you'll find them at the local caf huddled over backgammon boards, puffing away at a shisha pipe - you could call it the North African equivalent of a game of pool at the pub. Being a predominantly Muslim country, coffee or tea is the beverage of choice ahead of anything alcoholic.
It just so happens that here in Adelaide we have our very own little Egyptian café – Horus on Hindley St. Named after the Pharonic falcon-god, Horus offers a selection of Halal foods, drinks and, of course, shisha. For 20 dollars you can smoke shisha to your heart's content and backgammon it up. If the taste of tobacco doesn't do it for you, a range of flavoured smokes are available, including apple and the sickly sweet grape flavour (essentially hubba bubba in cancerous smoke form).
Disposable plastic mouthpieces are available for the germ-conscious, but not compulsory.
Don't know the rules of backgammon? Ask someone to show you the ropes, or to be truly authentic, learn Mahbousa, one of the Egypt-specific versions of the game. Much like the plastic mouthpieces, good sportsmanship is desirable but not compulsory.