Thursday, October 21, 2010

Epic, Catching up on EVERYTHING post!

So, yes, I have been slacking...I realize this, and will do my best to catch everyone up on my doings since August.  I've realized the best way to do this is to copy and paste emails I have written to people, because truthfully the emails sound like blog posts, and then I will be able to do less writing (I have class in half an hour, and don't plan on spending any more time than that writing this...I know I'm a bad blogger!)

Before going to Alexandria in early September, I wrote this lovely email to a friend about the day-to-day happenings in Maadi (the "suburb") that we live in:

I saw it, I grimaced, I almost puked, and then I warned Maddie to look away, and under no circumstances look to her right.  Because, right there, in the street, laying rigor mortis was....a dead doggie :( My heart cried a little...and then I got over it.  It's no surprise that the Egyptians don't like dogs, but they go as far as poisoning them, beating them to death, and doing other horrific things to them that might honestly make me I'm not going to get into that.

In the same email, I also described our problem with bed bugs (the situation has since been rendered, thanks to an extermination session in the apartment, and a mattress cover that my mom sent!):

We have bed bugs.  It's devastating.  Blood sucking bugs which live in your mattress and bite you all over your body at night--IS NOT PLEASANT.  I have all of these itchy bites all over my arms and legs and it is very annoying.  We are going to talk to our land lady about getting new mattresses tomorrow.  I don't really want to have to live the next 3 months with things biting me in my sleep!

So after that we went to Alexandria.  It was SO great to get out of the polluted entity that is Cairo and relax on the beach for a few days.  The city was lovely, and we went for the end of Ramadan, which meant that everyone was traveling, and also that 13-17 year old boys were EVERYWHERE!!! We ate at a delicious fish restaurant, went to the Citadel, saw the Catacombs and then spent a GLORIOUS day laying on the beach, tanning ourselves, and splashing around in the Mediterranean!  That night we decided to hit up the rooftop bar at the Four Seasons to shisha and have an after dinner drink.  I chose Baileys, which was actually a poor choice and I literally got a shot of Baileys with NO ice...they just don't know how to do the "Baileys on the Rocks" please.  This same night, before going to the Four Seasons, Maddie got her butt pinched and I had to run back to the hotel and get her a pair of jeans.  After a day spent on the beach, she thought she could get a way with a below the knee skirt...well maybe in Maadi, but not on the pubescent boy-lined streets of Iskanderia (Alexandria for all you foreigners).  But swiftly enough, this same night Maddie also fell in love with the boy pouring her beer at the Four Seasons--Mohammed.  He was an excellent beer pourer, and even had braces--definitely a plus.  In summary, Alex was great.  But for some reason we yearned to get I guess Cairo is really becoming my home!

After Alexandria we didn't do much traveling for a while.  We soon got in to a routine at school, and it has been pretty boring the past couple of months.  Classes are going well enough, but we are always anxious for the weekends.  One weekend (okay a couple of them now) we were even anxious enough for "Amurrican-ness" to take our kitchen door off its hinges and fashion a beer pong table out of 4 chairs, plates, plastic bags, our coffee table, and said kitchen was glorious.

Again, for some more day to day doings, and the lead-up to our trip to Nuweiba, a beach town on the Sinai, I will reference an email:

Today is my roommate (Maddie's) birthday! She's a baby, like me, and just turned 20...we had some careful reflection moments about how it feels to no longer be a teenager, and decided that it really just feels like you're still 19, but now you can tell people you're 20 and they won't give you the "wow you're such a baby" look.  After that brief time we then decided to begin the countdown to 21...and to Vegas. Um HELLO--way better than 20.

So next week Maddie and I are going to Nuweiba and spending 5 days laying on the beach. That's all we're doing...getting away from the congested city that is Cairo and laying on the beach, getting tan and relaxing for 5 straight days.  

Tonight for Maddie's birthday we are having a good ole Amurrican fiesta.  Through my brilliant engineering skills I have managed to create a nice beer pong table out of 4 chairs, a coffee table and our kitchen door...picture will surely soon be on facebook, because this engineering masterpiece must not go undocumented. Then we are ordering alcohol from Drinkies, the alcohol delivery service where they call me Miss. Emily, and always ask if I want any wine or vodka with my, shukran.

We discovered this place across the street the other day that has 1LE falafel..yeah a falafel for like 17 cents...what what! It's awesome.  They also have this thing I so rightly name a "chip sandwich". Which is literally fresh made potato chips stuffed into a pita, with this sauce they have tahini or something like that, and then they add a dash of salt, and a dash of Egyptian spice mix.  Mmmmm it's delicious!

This next part of the email brings me up to the part about Nuweiba.  Nuweiba was INCREDIBLE!!! We sat on the beach for 3 days straight, and got our tan on!  I am happy to say I came back to Cairo extra-freckly and relaxed from the trip!  We payed 90LE each for the accommodations for the entire trip, which was a lovely hut on the beach--RIGHT ON THE BEACH!!!! We swam in the Red Sea, and peered at Saudia Arabia which was seemingly close enough to touch.  We also went snorkeling (snorkel man finally convinced us) and he DRAGGED...literally dragged us to the coral reef.  I was soon very annoyed with this, and more annoyed that he touched every piece of coral we saw, and tried to make us do the same...he even broke off a piece of coral...HELLO NOT COOL DUDE, NOT COOL.  Snorkel man did not get a tip.  So in summary of Nuweiba, it was another amazing vacation!!! RIGHT after getting back a couple of friends who are studying in Israel for the semester came to visit and stayed with us for 3 days!! It was a lot of fun to see people from DC, in Egypt!! We did all of the touristy stuff, went to the pyramids again etc..and it was all great!  It's great to get out of Cairo sometimes, but Cairo is definitely growing on me.  This is evident in the next excerpt from an email:

So, life in Cairo has been normal.  I am going to pull a HUGE change, and admit that I am starting to enjoy my time here.  I know, I know, shocking!  I think the combination of getting to know a bunch more people, getting into a schedule, and just the normalcy of going back to my apartment at the end of the day, is relaxing.

This is further evident by the dream that I had last night.  I dreamed that I was back in the US and MISSING CAIRO!!! WHOAA. I know this is bound to happen, and it made me appreciate being in Egypt that much more! =D  I'm really excited for my mom and sister to come, and I really don't have a lot of school left (yesssssss :) !!  Pretty soon it will be December, where I will get to see Kelly (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!) and then I will be headed off to Australia to spend the spring semester there!!! It's been a bit frustrating dealing with Australia things while I am in Egypt, but I'm getting it done!

Okay I'm off to my last class of the week! Have a great weekend everyone! I'm still not making promises about my blog, but maybe I'll try a little more!