Yesterday I wrote about the changing Khartoum landscape, but forgot to mention the Egg.
The Egg (so named because of its peculiar shape) is a massive structure (a hotel apparently) that is being erected on the banks of the river Nile, right in downtown Khartoum. Some people say it's supposed to resemble a sailboat; a taxi driver tells me it's "Ghaddafi's house" (it's being financed by the Lybians).
A friend refers to it as The Teardrop, and today I realise her description might be the most accurate.
The hotel, I'm told, is being built for the African Union summit - a major event that is supposed to be taking place in Khartoum in January.
Since Sudan has not exactly been behaving like a particularly honourable member of the AU club, there has been lots of debate about whether or not it should really be permitted to host Africa's heads of state in this high-profile forum.
The summit, however, is just the beginning –what's even more worrying to some people here in Khartoum is the fact that Sudan is also up for the Presidency of the African Union next month. There's not just the small matter of principle (should a government with this much blood on its hands really be representing the entire continent?) – what’s also at stake is the question of how this move could impact on the African Union troops in Darfur.
Flawed as they may be, it's clear the African Union troops are the only ones who are currently mandated to address the abysmal security situation in Darfur - and the Sudanese government has not exactly been helping them on this front, as the recent row about the AU’s “grounded” armoured vehicles showed.
On a political level, there's an obvious conflict of interest in letting Sudan preside over the entire African Union at the same time it's hosting an AU intervention force (in particular one whose main job is reporting on ceasefire violations, including the governments own transgressions).
In the field, I shudder to think how tricky life could become for the AU troops if the Sudanese government gets to meddle in their affairs even more than they are trying to do already.
And somehow, each time my journey takes me along the river Nile this weekend, that unfinished blue-green monstrosity begins to look more and more like a Teardrop to me.