Wednesday, November 12, 2008

thoughts on living alone

The Good: I was able to start brewing myself some saki earlier this week.

The Bad: I didn't mean to start brewing myself some saki earlier this week.

The Lesson Learned: If you decide to make rice, and if some of the rice sticks in the pot, and if you decide to fill the pot with water to unstick the rice, then for the love of God remember to clean the pot the next day; otherwise, some yeast in the air will magic its way in there and you'll wake up one morning to an angry bubbly concoction and a kitchen that reeks of alcohol.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

party like it's 1899

I went to a party last night. It was a British Imperial party. I wore a suit and a monocle and a bushy mustache and a revolver.

Earlier today I was thinking about how much I wanted to go to the beach. And then I met an Egyptian whose father owns a resort at Hurghada. He asked me if I wanted to visit after midterms. I assume the question was rhetorical.

I met an Egyptian hipster today. He was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt and asked me what I thought about Vampire Weekend.

Sometimes I feel like Egypt is an abusive spouse. This weekend Egypt came to me on its knees with flowers in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other, saying baby i didn't mean to hurt you, won't you please forgive me.

P.S. I tried to upload my sinai & jordan pictures to my computer tonight. There were many more of them and they were much bigger than I realized, so now my harddrive is absolutely full and my computer is barely chugging along and there are still more pictures to go. I fail at blogging.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

yeah, it's still not here

I had lots of Arabic tonight, alright?

In other news, I rode in a non-taxi car for the first time since coming to Egypt today.  On my shuttle ride home, I met a Saudi guy who graduated from Ain Shams last year and just started working for the Engineering department here at AUC.  Very entertaining person.  I mentioned that some people back home were scared about me going to Egypt; and he told me that lots of Egyptians are scared of going to America--apparently American crime is bad enough that it's not safe to go out on the streets after dark.  Especially in Chicago.  Chicago is gangland.  Or at least it is in the average Egyptian's mind (why they singled out Chicago in particular, I'm not quite sure...)

Anyway, he offered to give me a ride home after we got off the shuttle.  Compared to riding in a black & white cab, it was the height of luxury.  Didn't make the Cairo traffic seem any more tame, though.  But after an endless day of classes, having a proper air-conditioned car to ride in was basically the greatest thing ever.  Did I mention yet how friendly Egyptians are?

Monday, October 13, 2008

i lied

I'm too tired. Sorry.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

blogging is hard

I haven't been keeping up with this very well, have I?  Well, I promise I'll write something about the great Jordanian adventure tomorrow.  There.  I'm typing it, so it must be true.

Also, I'm still shocked by the friendliness of Egyptians.  In the past two days, I've been randomly stopped three times on the street just to chat (it always turns to US politics, and about half the time I'm asked whether I'm voting for "the black guy or the old guy").  And these conversations always end with an exchange of cell numbers.  The Ahmeds and the Mohameds in my phone are now all identified by number, and I still can't keep them straight.  And they always call.  Frequently.  Usually for no particular reason.  Usually when I'm in the middle of class.  Oh, Egypt...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

this is alexandria

Here's Tony, sitting on authentic Egyptian cinderblocks.

This is the amphitheater (when it's not covered with Europeans).

Me, after successfully driving the invaders away.

This was taken by our baksheesh-hungry police officer.

A street on the way to the hotel.

They shoot peasants from here.

Hello, Mr. Mubarak.

No beach, but at least the view was pretty.

And this is the reason we came.

With the sun setting.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

i miss my landlady

She went to Alexandria more than a week ago, and she still hasn't returned.  She said I could eat iftar dinner with her family whenever I wanted, which I'm looking forward to immensely.  But mostly I miss her because the downstairs washer and I don't get along at all and I desperately need someone to mediate the dispute.  I tried everything (even kicking it!) but it still won't work for me.  I tried asking the doorman for help, but he doesn't speak English.  So my asking mostly consisted of pointing at the washer and then repeating the word for water at louder and louder volumes while swirling my hands around faster and faster.  He gave me a look that said I had just gone insane.

And so for the past couple of days I've been reduced to washing my clothes by hand in the sink.  This sink has no means of stopping the drain.  So I got to plunge one hand in the hot soapy water to try (and mostly fail) to stop the draining while swishing my clothes around with my other hand and flooding half my bathroom in the process.  Then I discovered that I could plug the drain with a shot glass.  Now the process is a little less annoying, but I still want my landlady back.

I tried to upload some pictures, but my internet is being disagreeable.  Maybe I'll take my laptop to campus tomorrow and give it a go there.