I was very much looking forward to giving a talk on The Naqib's Daughter at a luncheon organized by The Egyptian American Organization based in Orange County on the last Saturday in September, followed by an address to an Eng Lit class at CalPoly in Pomona; I was especially looking forward to catching up with an old friend and to enjoying Southern California's famed dry, crisp fall weather. Boy was I in for a surprise!
Not that the luncheon talk didn't go well, it did, a pleasant affair attended by over sixty lively Egyptian-Americans who were full of questions and even more apt to snap photos non-stop, flattering but disconcerting. At the university talk in Pomona, none of the students snapped photos, but they were attentive and engaged, and the campus is beautiful, with the Arabian horses that are a legacy in perpetuity from the Kellogg family. No, the surprise, or rather shock, was the 110 degree temperatures that seemed to coincide with the weekend of my visit! Still, my host very kindly drove me to the seaside, Corona del Mar and Pelican Beach, where it was 20 degrees cooler, somehow.
As governor Shwarznegger would say: "I'll be back!"