Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cairo Day 86

Third Thursday of November


Just a little intro before I forget: When Andreas takes his cold shower, aparently he screams like a little boy being attacked by glow in the dark worms. This was accoring to Constantine and Karoline who could hear him throughout the whole of the apartment...

met with atef for conversation. Ran back home to begin making deviled eggs for thanksgiving. Was the first to arrive at Angela's at 20h, which is crazy for me. Waiting at her place was a ton of food, and, mostly a large 10 kilo turkey.

Cairo day 87(85)...


Thanks to a nifty little date calculator, I learned that today is actually my 85th days in Cairo... how typical of me...

Had a SUPER good session with Atef. ALL in arabic/english with much talking and learning on both sides. We sat in the same place for 3 hours from 15h30 til 18h30. Had to leave because I was supposed to have a doctor's appointment at 21h but what do you know... even doctors recommended on the American Embassy's website are not reliable...(he had forgotten the password to his email account...)

Did some homework, mostly wrote a paper. Also went to the ahuah to have it looked over by Islam. There happened to be a soccer game on at the time, Ahaly v.s. Egypt. It was almost over though. Stayed up until 2h working on my paper and probably til 3h restless in bed. I think the pollution has subsided. It's good not to be able to sleep again.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Made sure to educated Atef and Islam about this. I have been assigned to make deviled eggs and bring cutlery.

Also looking forward to this weekend, even though we have school on Sunday. Should be going horseback riding in the dessert and meeting more Egyptians with Angela at the NGO.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cairo day 86


This was probably the most boring/best/shittiest day ever.
Did a good deal of studying after school today, was waiting for Atef to call so we could meet. Studied more at home because I wanted to have my work done before I went out in case Atef called. When I talked to him he canceled because he was too tired. I think he spent the whole day at the military bureaucracy so I could see why.
Did like 140 push ups while watching Obama's economic press conference. This felt good.
My computer is in the hands of an actual friend of mine now, not just a friend of a friend of a friend. Should be getting it back tomorrow. This was the good news.
Slept with ear plugs which are the best invention ever.
The hot water still is not working even though our landlord came by to fix it while I had my earplugs in.

Thursday is Thanksgiving! something to look forward too!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cairo Day 85


Got my passport back from the Mogamma.
Emailed, did homework at Angela's, all of this before school.
After school went to see a Japanese movie about tea called "Tea Fight" with Bjorn and Eric, two swedes from my school. This was with the Cairo International Film Festival. The movie was weird. But Bjorn really got me today when at lunch he joked about going to see a Colombian movie about coffee... totally fell for that.
Didn't meet with Atef.
Sijh! came over to my apartment to chill. super nice caught up. he's leaving back for NYC December 21st.
Went downtown to Hurreya with Ahmed, Chris and Jordan for her birthday (22nd). Nice time, just like last night. Came home and talked to Andreas' friend, Constantine. Oriental and Classics scholar at Harvard from what I understood underneath his German accent. Nice guy, polite.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cairo Day 84


Slept 6 hours, woke up at 8am to go to the Mogamma with A. Was surprisingly quick, painless and efficient... although I need to go back tomorrow because of a reentry visa., to pick up my passport.

Came back, did hw. Angela has a bf now, she was hiding him for the past few weeks... sneaky, Hatim, a super nice Egyptian, met him a few time in the past, always at night.

Watched this Korean soap opera/drama tv show "coffee prince" really good, all about korean people and their love stories. A nice incite to Korean culture, and its people, whom I've loved ever since 9th Grade (hoot hoot out to JinWoo Kong wherever you may by (Australia last I heard))

Got some ingredients to make delicious dinner here. It's cooking in the stove as I write... should be delicious... and just had popcorn...

Going to el-Fishawy coffee shop later tonight with Chris, Angela, Jordan, Rahmo. Should be fun. Getting cold out though.
Still no news from Sofie, very troubling.

Just made cookies :) chocolate :)
speaking of which, i'm dry out of cote d'or again...

Cairo Day 83


Woke up 12h30... didn't eat any breakfast, started reading a book called "Chicago"
Fixed the water heater/figured it out. Learned Arabic vocab from ch. 8 and 3 ~35 words. Ate houwaoushee and koshari for dinner at ahua. Chess with Islam? going out with Ahmed? Bitching about getting my mac back from Hossam. He said it'll be ready on Tuesday, I told him I want it back before that with or without a new hard drive. FUCK! EGYPT! FUCK EGYPT! i need that back!! ouff... I'm calm again...

In gerneral, starting to feel like Egypt and ARabic isn't all that. Couldn't live in Egypt bc of the the pollution. (this just in, according to Islam from the Ahua, the pollution is only like this during the month of November, just can't live here in Nov.)
and when I watch Al-Jazeera, it seems every other word that comes out of interviewees' mouths is in English. All educated arabs know English relatively well. Sticking to it though, maybe it'll pay off or I'll change my mind about not liking Cairo.
Assuming Arabic will get me a way cooler/higher paying job this could be worth it. Met a Sudanese media coordinator at the Mugamma today who speak Arabic and English and seemed like she had a cool job.

w/ a US gov job, you get 500$ more/month or $6000 more/year just for speaking Arabic and $200 more per month or $2400 more per year. Could also pay off in a few years.
Read more of Chicago, up to page 100.

No news from Sofie, since Wednesday, quite worried.

Cairo Day 82


Read the Herald Tribune all morning, met with Atef at 16h. Cleaning lady came today. soso job... Made deviled eggs at Chris' for Rahmo's Murder Mystery night which was fun in itself but not a real success as far as the murder mystery part goes. Re-met and met two pretty cool people, elizabeth and cristine, i think, hung out with them a bit after the party because they were going home in the same direction as me. Went to a friend of their's apartment. Got home at 3am.

on the way to chris': marked by how good egyptians would be at playing rugby or american football at the sight (and experience, based on my short rugby career in France) of them exiting the metro at the mubarak metro station -nearly qualified as violent.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cairo Day 81


Volunteered with A, taught Egyptians english, "cuz" was found in a Egyptian English newspaper, they wanted to know what "cuz" means... I can't believe someone published that in a newspaper... Only in Egypt... Lasted 2 hours, felt like they got a lot out of it. Walked from Zamalek to Tahrir w A. Each got a McDdonald's smoothie, 5 pounds, glorious, as Chris would say.
Met with Atef for 2 hours until 21h
Went home, watched an awesome documentary (mousajilia) on ARTE about luminescent sea creatures. Ate three yogurts. Slept from 22h to 1h, went back to bed, too much inertia to get out of bed to go to Palmira *belly dancers*. Slept, again, from 1h-9h30. Sleeping is just so easy and feels so right.

Cairo day 80


Was rather productive from 9h-11h. Thinking I will drop Colloquial Arabic. Went to smoothie place next to school with A and other girls. Nice time, met Pommegranate girl, swede, african origin.
Hw, eat, news in Fr, Arabic on fr 24, Pirus, Fr24 has 4 hours a day of Arabic broadcasts. Somali PIRATES! Exciting!

Atef 20h-22h15, home, sleep, excessively.

Cairo day 79

Day 59 has been updated.


I know there's no point in writing about what happened last tuesday, as it's already Sunday, but, I like to keep in mind the diary aspect of this blog, for later reading.

School was fine. Leaning towards thie NO Ameeya side. Talked to Angela about Risala NGO we'll go there together on R, she started teaching English. She's also stopping Colloquial, btw (252 Euros)

Went home around 16h30 after email stuff. Atef was busy today. Ate, watched news, got summoned to the Ahua around 19h. Chatted, played 5games of chess. Won 4. Had hw checked by one of the guys there too. Everyone is super nice, evern the jester who jokes about being Bin Laden & me being Bush when we play chess. He cheats and then looses anyway...
More hw, got ahead on vocab.
Still, morning headache, hangover feeling...
Moreover, worried about a lump in my neck by my ear, cyst, maybe should go away soon. Emailed doctor on Embassy's website anyway. Not super worried.
Have another cold sore on my bottom right lip. Probably due to intense pollution.
Lights out 0h32. Looking forward to Dec 21st.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cairo Day 78


First day of my third month of class! Half way through the semester! 20h/week, 9 weeks = 180 hours so far! of class only!

I'm really hesitating to continue with colloquial Arabic classes. They're from 9h-11h. Don't know if it's worth it. I think I could learn more outside of class, or doing stuff on my own. I could/should/colloquial should be practiced, not learned... The teacher is OK, speaks clearly, seemed nice enough at first sight. Another foreseeable problem is that of NOT using those two hours in a productive manner. To avoid this, I would come to school at 9h anyway and study on my own from Media Arabic book or my colloquial book, both of which I still have many chapters to go in.
Or, I could actually start volunteering at that NGO like I said I would 2 months ago -UPDATE: just talked to Angela after school and we're going there this Thursday after class.

Foosha (formal Arabic) was good again, same teacher as last month's session.
Met with Atef, spoke about as much Arabic/English as we did Spanish... but productive, as a whole.
Did HW, made dinner, steamed carrots and pasta. Went out with Karime, and Egyptian I met here while Gwladys and I were buying milk at the supermarket. He speaks French and English. Just chatted, mostly in French, some Arabic. He's nice can be on the snob side. I think I just have to find the right subjects to talk about and he's fine.
Email from dad. He has a new girlfriend. seems to be something good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cairo day 75

For some reason I felt like i had a hangover today. This feeling finally subsided around 3pm...
Visited Cairo University with Islam, dude from my local coffee shop, with whom i play chess and hang out in Arabic.

Cairo Uni is pretty cool. Even though it was a day off and there were no classes students were still on campus, hanging out, probably because it's a safe haven from the outside world. Most girls were covered though.
Had a nice talk about religion with Islam... no pun intended... how ironic... on the rules they dictate and 'who' wrote such rules

stole Le Monde from a french centre in the Uni and read it.
Was bored and went back to the ahua and played 6 games of chess, won 4.
dealing with a super expensive 388 LE electric bill... there's no way we used that much this past month... negotiating with out landlord and electric co should be interesting...