Archive | September, 2008

No. Just…no.

28 Sep

As our friends know, both Patrick and I are very interested in and opinionated about politics. Despite this, I’ve made an effort to keep this blog politically neutral, no small feat in an election year. I just have to shake my head in disgust though and hope the end comes soon. Continue reading

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Pictures of D’Nile

23 Sep

I was just uploaded a bunch of pictures and thought I’d share with you. Continue reading

$300 million just doesn’t buy what it used to

12 Sep

School started this past Sunday on the new AUC campus. The beginning of a new school year is always a bit frantic and confusing — even more so in Egypt — but this year had the particular twist of having the entire university move to a new campus on the edge of civilization (using the term loosely) 30 kilometers out in the desert. The added bonus is that the campus isn’t finished. Continue reading

Belly Dancing

9 Sep

…is really hard. Seriously. Hard. Remember that old song about the knee bone being connected to the leg bone, etc? In belly dancing, you have to disregard all that and make parts of your body shake and jiggle independently. Once you’ve got the hang of that, you start learning moves that one only sees in hip-hop videos. Nonetheless, it’s really fun. And we’re supposed to wear jingly scarves on our hips while we shake it. The jingly scarves make it all worthwhile.

Back to D’Nile

6 Sep

A week ago, Patrick and I were at JFK airport checking in for our flight. In line ahead of us were about a dozen or so carts groaning under the weight of the largest bags you’ve ever seen, each about the size of a Ford Fiesta and probably packed to bursting with things like clothes from the Gap and cans of tomato sauce.  I assumed there were people to whom the bags belonged, because the carts would occaisionally scoot forward and we could hear rapid-fire Arabic shouting coming from behind them. We had been worried about the weight allowance but those worries quickly dissipated. After checking in, we took our bags towards the security scanner, only to be suddenly lost in a swarm of people and sedan sized bags, vying for the attention of the baggage handler. There wasn’t a line to be seen anywhere. It was every man and bag for himself.

We settled into our seats on the plane and watched in amazement as a lady carried on a 4-foot tall doll and tried to stuff it into a carry-on bin. Not only was it creepy to watch her violently slam a lifelike doll body into the bin, but it was ridiculous in that the doll was twice the size of the bin. An airline attendant assured the lady that there would be a seat available for the doll. Then suddenly, a man speaking Arabic plopped down into the seat next to me, gave a wink, and then got up and ran off again. It was 6:30, 5 minutes till departure time and the plane was fairly empty. At about 1 minute to departure, crowds of people starting filling up the plane as the call to prayer began over the TV monitor.

As the plane took off and the chaos died down, Patrick and I just looked at each other and realized… we were headed back to D’Nile. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Grandma Dre!

2 Sep

It’s a little late, due to technical difficulties, but your Egyptian grandson wanted to wish his grandma a very happy 39th birthday! Finn decided to celebrate the auspicious occasion by giving you a standing ovation, the first time doing so under his own power.

("Hey, somebody get me out of this prison!")

P.S. – We arrived in Cairo safe and sound. We’ll post an update ASAP.