Travel Map

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Can't Stop Smiling

So I needed a few days to settle in before I started blogging again.  I feel more settled in my dorm room- got a bowl and a plate and some silverware and a few meager groceries.  Finally got my ID card activated to get in and out of my room and the suite.  Spoke to some people in the Anth dept, have yet to hear from the Migration studies dept....going to harass them tomorrow.
So today I decided to head to the downtown campus because I was told that was where MRS was located and I need to discuss my degree program with  them.  I didn't feel comfortable going alone so I went with one of my suite-mates.  We get to the campus after a 40 min bus ride, find someone to ask where the office is located, go up 5 flights of stairs....aaaaaand it turns out the dept has moved to new campus.  Where I live.  Where I just left. Welcome to Egypt.
After that my roomie and I decided to go find real food (sadly the campus food in Egypt is just as bad as the campus food in the US) and I manage to find a restaurant that I walked by the other day.  Go me.  It was a gorgeous restaurant and although the employees were going to break fast soon they let us sit and eat.  It was great Egyptian food- kofta, falafel, tahina, dolma, pita and we were stuffed!  The advantage to the heat is that you don't get hungry so we've been saving money on food ;)  Then we wandered around, went to a few shops, and met my suite-mate's new friend at a coffee shop.  It was a very American coffee shop.  Don't get me wrong, it was tasty but I kinda just left that environment so I was more in the mood for something "local."  The friend showed up in an agitated state because she had just been harassed on her walk over.  Sadly this is a common occurrence on the streets of Cairo, no matter how you're dressed, and it's something women have to be prepared to deal with.
After coffee we went to a roof-top bar that the friend had heard about and we ordered beer.  Heineken.  Still skunky, even in Africa.  Then we got shisha and stared at the boats on the Nile and the high rises all around us.   God, it was such an amazing moment.  I know that later I will get stressed and I may even come to be sick of this place but tonight, at that moment, I had never been so glad that I made the choice to come here.
Shukran, Cairo, for being awesome :)

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