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?