Category Archives: Uncategorized

Third World Country

One of the strangest things about Cairo is the poverty.  In the US, we have rich sections and poor sections.  Not so here.  There are slums between all the gorgeous, opulent mosques.  Sidenote: there are more houses of worship here than you could ever imagine.  Crosses and minarets are EVERYWHERE.  And they’re all so beautiful.  Anyway, the poverty is inescapable.  

We all watched Slumdog Millionaire on the plane over (sidenote: Lufthansa rocks and could not be more different from various us airlines).  That was either an excellent idea or a terrible one.  There are small children everywhere, trying to sell things.  A friend wanted to give them money, until she realized the truth: the money often doesn’t go to them.  Children here, like in all poor areas, have far more responsibility.  They walk around alone, buy groceries, and 9 year old girls are often in charge of their younger siblings.  

People hand you stuff or offer to take your picture, and then say thank you repeatedly or follow you until you pay them.  If you ignore them or say le shukran (no thank you) in a stern voice they usually go away, it’s only if you engage them (or don’t realize that in Egypt nothing is free) that you end up as their target.  They’re harmless, just annoying and sad.  

The saddest thing about poverty in egypt is the realization that this is one of the richest countries on the continent.  People are clamouring to get here so they can live in these slums.

Walking Like an Egyptian

Ahlan wa Sahlan!  A warm Egyptian welcome to you!

Yes, I am that lame(see title).  But so is my camel-riding tourguide, who told us that if we ride all the way to Libya via camel, we will in fact walk like egyptians.   After a day of trekking through the Sahara, I believe him.  My legs are still aching!  

Ahh, I kinda can’t believe I’m here!  So we had a crazy flight/journey.  On the way into Frankfurt, we had a couple times where we free fell four 2-3 seconds.  Scariest thing ever.  So needless to say, the entire group of us got pretty close on the flight.  No dying confessions or anything, but we were all seated in groups of 3-6 people from the trip, so it was a good bonding experience.  The layover in Frankfurt was bizarre, since for us it was partytime on Thursday night, and for them it was wicked early on a friday morning.  Weird.  

So we rode camels through the Sahara, went to the Papyrus Museum, have eaten all kinds of crazy things, and FINALLY found tubes.  We always travel in a pack, which is good for safety and the whole bonding experience, but it’s weird to be 20 and not allowed to wander off alone like I normally do.  Start breathing again mom, I’m not going to, it’s just something to get used to.  

Class starts on Monday and I can’t wait!  My ustadtha (teacher)  is really nice, and the class only has 11 people in it.  There’s one for people with no Arabic, another for those with some (me), and a third for those who legit know what they’re doing.  We’ll take classes at the AUC dorms, a short walk from the hotel.  Yes, we will all walk together.  And study together.  And eat together.  If someone wants to kidnap us, they’re going to need a VERY large van.  

We’ve already got homework–I passed in my first paper upon arrival (well, sort of.  she gave us an extension but mine’s already done and sitting in my room).  The I’m reading our next book, and will start the paper once i’m done.  

The hotel is lovely, thank goodness.  Clean, safe, comfy beds, no bedbugs, good shower.  Great Success!

Sorry this is so spastic, coherence will follow.