31 January, 2011
Today we decided that we had been locked inside long enough and we were going to go to Tahrir in downtown where the major protests were. It was a very mild day, a protesting day off. That being so, there was still probably 5,000 people or more in the Midan. My roommate kept observing the festive air and the sense of hope that was surrounding the people. There was no raucous behavior, just passionate chanting. A few people noticed we were American and said, “Welcome.” Despite two signs, everyone was very appreciative of us being there or at least wasn’t bothered by it.
We also went to the Embassy to get information about the evacuations in person. Apparently the government is offering to loan people the money to get to Turkey, Greece, or Cyprus and once we’re there, we’re on our own. We were speculating at the cost of the tickets: on a regular day airfare to these places isn’t over $300. We finally found out that the US government is offering to assist it’s citizens for the low low price of $3,500. That’s in US dollars. On one hand, it was helpful because most of us decided to stay. With prices like that we can’t afford evacuation.
We also heard that school is cancelled indefinitely and if we don’t start within the next two weeks then the semester will be moved to the summer. Not only does this affect everything, but most of us live off of student loans and without them we might have to go back to the states in order to get jobs. That sounds horrible. I’d rather stay here.
We found a place that had internet. How did they do that? I decided not to use it yet because Em is doing such a good job at updating people for me. I don’t want to foster my addiction unless I have to.