In the Empty Flat Upstairs, a Japanese woman, Keiko, has mastered Arabic but is driven crazy by her insistence on knowing the literal truth in a city which values hyperbole and exaggeration. In contrast, an Egyptian neighbor, Mona, becomes so obsessed with watching her foreign gay neighbor that she completely loses interest in her husband and her domestic responsibilities. Instead of watching soap operas, she hangs over the balcony, fascinated and shocked by what she sees. In the final story of the collection, Karalombos and Gary, two fugitives on the run, sneak back into Egypt on the 28th of January 2011, only to find Cairo turned upside down. They take care of the pets of those expatriates who have fled the country. To their surprise, they are even recruited to be actors in a reality television show about the Pyramids during the Egyptian Revolution.