In a narrow street of Islamic Cairo I'm considering the shoes I had seen in the shop window. Further down the street there's a sudden sound of screaming; sounds to me like a fight. A group of men appears carrying something. When they get closer I see it's an open wooden coffin with a body inside all wrapped in white cotton, being shaken back and forth. The shoe salesman leaves me and runs from the shop. He touches the coffin briefly and throws his hands in the air, wailing. Everyone in the street wants to carry the coffin at once, so that the body wrapped in the white shroud almost slips out. The men are startled, reflect on what they're doing and walk down the narrow street with the coffin a bit more peacefully. Behind the coffin is a second group of men who are wailing as if they were crying. They have handkerchiefs in their hands and use them to rub the corners of their eyes, but I don't see any tears. Soon the procession moves on as quickly as it had arrived. The street is silent again. The man in the shoe store takes a new pair of sneakers out of an old box and holds them up to me with a questioning look.