Sunday, September 5, 2010

Up Until the End of Orientation

Alright I already talked about the Bedouin night, but I forgot the order I did things, and this next entry for horseback riding at the pyramids was actually the day before the Bedouin night. This is why I need to keep up with my blogging.

I spent this night horseback riding by the Pyramids. It wasn't quite what I expected but it was interesting. I discovered that the pyramids are surrounded by a huge fence (which is how they get to charge admission to something that's pretty much inside the largest city in the Middle East. Well, our 60 LE ($11ish) horseback riding trip did not get us inside this fence, what we did was ride along the fence and up some sand dunes to get a really pretty view of the pyramids from outside the fence, but it was also nighttime so the pictures came out pretty bad. It was really pretty though. The horses, however, were a different story. They were CRAZY. My roommate is a good rider and she couldn't even get hers to do what she wanted it to do. Mine was just slow. Like, really slow. I was literally the last person back on the bus. The guide people kept doing the little clicky thing with their tongues to get it to go faster... nothing. Also, my friend's horse freaked out and reared up and came down on the back of this other girl's horse, understandably freaking her out, but both she and my friend were fine. It was really scary. So yeah, the horses weren't very well trained. I think it was a pretty cool trip though, but I really wanted to get a closer-up view of the pyramids.

Insert Bedouin night here.

My Survival Arabic class ended today. While it was somewhat tiring to go to (20 contact hours in 6 days), I'm sorta sad that it's over. I feel like I learned a lot and might actually be able to speak to someone a little bit now.
Game Night. I feel about 10 years old saying this, but I went to game night here in the dorms and it was a great time. I learned a new game called mango/manga (I'm not really sure which) which is a really cool memory game that I'm somewhat decent at, though it's mostly luck. Then I played a game of Monopoly, which some of you may know I've been dying to play all summer. I had the game won and then I decided to be nice and ended up losing, but that wasn't really the point. I had planned on going to the gym but the Monopoly game went on so long that it was closed before I got the chance to go, so that was somewhat sad but I had a really fun night so that's ok. I really do need to start going to the gym, though.

Even though my survival Arabic class is over I still had to get up because I was approached last night by this girl who had signed up for the Pyramids trip today but was sick and would not be able to get up in the morning to go. So I bought her ticket from her for 100LE (she paid 140) and went to the Pyramids. Dumbass me forgot my camera on my desk, so I didn't get to take any pictures, but Tiffany has some of me so as soon as we become friends on facebook there will be pictures of me at the pyramids. And unlike the last trip to the pyramids I actually got inside the fence, so I actually got to climb on and go inside the pyramids. The pictures came out really well so I'm gonna see what I can do to find Tiffany on Facebook so those pictures go up. I got a first hand view of the ridiculous aggressiveness of the people who try to sell stuff to tourists around here. I got some postcards and some mini pyramids which I later discovered are pretty pathetic, but whatever. The sphynx is pretty badass, btw. We then went to lunch (and at this point we were all starving because the only thing that keeps you from overheating in this country is the wind, and we spent half our time underground, where there isn't any) where we had a buffet of deliciousness. There were scalloped potatoes, grape leaves, hummus and pita, chicken, kofka, and all other sorts of deliciousness.

Guess what? I had to wake up early again today. But this time it was for a free trip, so that made it worth it. We went to old Cairo, which is the Coptic section of Cairo. The Copts are Egyptian Christians (Orthodox), so we went in some really pretty churches and stuff. There was also a synagogue that we went in that was really nice. I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure it was the first synagogue I'd been in. I had a plan to go to Zamalek (the other dorms) to hang out with Sean (who goes to Tulane) after the trip, but Ramadan fucked up all the everything (even more than usual because it's Saturday) so that didn't work out very well. So I just chilled in my dorm and went to bed early because classes started the next day(!!).

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