That little asshole with the bow and arrow is practically at our doorstep. You’ve been through this ordeal before; pick a spot, have daunting dinner, walk a bit while contemplating whether or not humans were made to be with each other, get ice cream, maybe make out (lol no) and go home. It’s a beautiful process of affection. But why stick to the same venues and ideas, when you can be inventive and hot? Or just the former.
Anyway, here’s a few ideas for your Valentine’s Day outing. Just remember that you can’t love anybody else if you don’t love you, fam.
“But you’ve mentioned Kokio in at least two other articles.” First of all, thank you for reading. Second, who’s the writer here? And third, Kokio is purpose-built to be a romantic, homey and warm environment for literally any occasion you have in mind, maybe even a funeral if you’re inclined. Morbidity aside, nothing truly says “I tolerate you” than a massive helping of premium Korean fried chicken, a beer, some kimchi, and maybe even having your picture taken to be immortalised on Kokio’s proud, colourful walls. You also have the added bonus of being right next to everywhere that’s anywhere in Maadi. So if chicken (somehow) doesn’t do it for you, you have options.
Are you into everything Downtown? Do you genuinely like arthouse and independent films? Do you pretend to be into either to try and develop a ramshackle persona of your own? Grim realities aside, Zawya is one of the few remaining bastions of contemporary art and films that aren’t complete garbage. You never know what you might find or what they might have in mind for a screening, and it’s good to do something new every now and then. Besides, quiet cinema theatres have always been a romantic and debonair option for lovers the world over. And again; you’re in Downtown. You have a bunch of options worth every penny.
Why do dates have to include dining? Or eating in general? When I wonder about it, I reach the conclusion that sharing a nice, warm, well-crafted meal with somebody you care about is one of the few, real signs of appreciation. And what better place to do it than Eish & Malh? The whole place, staff included, somehow manage to carve a subtle, romantic dining niche for themselves in a city as permanently chaotic as Downtown. And to date, they’ve never served a single item that hasn’t made people rediscover themselves and each other. And if that (somehow) fails, a walk around town never hurts.
I tend to detest bars in Cairo; they’re almost always full, crowded, loud, and are obnoxious with the seating and general human aspect of going anywhere. Carmen isn’t like that; it’s small, it’s quiet, it has just enough tables to sit and chat, and it’s historically been the birthplace of many a budding romance. The servers keep to themselves, the lights are dim, the mood is mellow more often than not, and there’s alcohol. That’s pretty much everything you need to keep a relationship functional. You also get the added benefit of being in Zamalek, so you can either take a nice, non-expensive walk around town, or go somewhere else.
You know what’s the best option when it comes to folks who just want to spend time together without having to jump through hoops or put on fancy clothes or deal with other people? A house. Or really, any private place where the two (or more) of you can just chill, watch a film, cuddle, eat, collude, or just exist without the overwhelming pressure of existence in the Middle-East. Just think of all the cheap, happy, simple things you can do in your own damn house. And if that somehow fails, you have the rest of these suggestions.