Sunday, September 5, 2010

First days in Misr

As all of this might suggest, I'm in Egypt(!!) I've been here about a week now and I've been nagging myself to start this blog the entire time, so I finally did. Even though I've only been here about a week, I've already done a ton of stuff, mostly trips that are put on by the housing office here. they have signup sheets and you just fill out a receipt and give them money (usually between 50-150 L.E., or like $9-30) and they take you where ever that trip might be going (nile cruise, horseback riding, the pyramids, etc), and often even supply snacks.

I went on a Felucca ride on the Nile (in this case, just a river in Egypt). A felucca is basically a sailboat with a really strange looking sail. The ride was fun and it was one of the first days I was here so we did some ice breakers to get to know each other. I discovered that the ride into Cairo can range anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and that bus rides on this country's roads make me feel carsick, which is not something I've ever had a problem with before.

Another night I went on a Nile cruise iftar (افطر). Iftar usually refers to breakfast (in the morning), but since it is presently the holy month of Ramadan (more on that later), iftar refers to the meal that takes place at sunset to break the fast. Dinner was really good, it was chicken (which seems to be every meal around here) that was seasoned excellently, and it was a surprisingly huge portion (an entire half chicken), along with cinnamon rice (sounds strange, is AMAZING), these little things that reminded me of indian samosas, hummus and pita bread, pickled vegetables (ick), and a few other random things. Overall it was a delicious meal. There was also entertainment... a tanoor (تنور؟) dancer. The tanoor dancer spins round and round for his entire performance, and he has these thingies that he holds up while spinning and then he takes off these huge skirts he has on and spins those. It was cool. Pictures are on facebook. Unfortunately the "cruise" part of the cruise happened during dinner, when it was dark out, so it seemed kinda pointless. Even though the food was good and the entertainment was cool I think I overpaid somewhat for this trip.

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