Thursday, September 13, 2007


Life has definitely slowed down in Cairo. For the first three weeks, I really felt like a tourist, and I definitely didn't feel like I would be here for any long stretch of time. But now that classes are in full swing and I have this apartment, I actually feel like I live in Cairo, which, I must say, is pretty cool.

For one, I'm back to my regular school ways - go to class, come back to my apartment, take a nap while watching TV, eat ramen noodles, do homework, etc. I've stopped doing a ton of sightseeing every day, mostly because I don't have the time, and also because I've seen a large majority of Cairo already, and I need to space some of it out - I've still got three months!

The hardest part of returning home after all this will be going back to a real school. All us international kids have said the same thing: we feel like we're back in high school. I, for one, feel like I'm in high school in Laguna Beach. The teachers seem like they used to care but have given up, the students seem like they don't need an education (because, let's face it, they don't), and every single student wears at least $10,000 worth of clothing and jewelry to class. We really are surrounded by some of the wealthiest 17-year-olds in the world. And classes are ridiculously easy. On top of that, I only have class two times a week. It's actually a bit frustrating how little work I'm doing.

Everyone seems to be going through the same thing at the almost-one-month mark: namely, a bit of homesickness. Not debilitating or extremely painful homesickness, but in our conversations I find us talking less about sex and more about things like, "I wonder what so-and-so is doing right now..." or "Why are my friends so bad at responding to messages?" (that's YOU, Danny Bodnar). I think this is all just a side-effect of the afore-mentioned transition from tourist mode to resident status. It's strange.

Also, today is the first day of Ramadan. I haven't been outside yet (I need to stay within range of a comfortable bathroom... You figure out why), but I'm a bit nervous to see what it's like. For those of you who don't know, Muslims cannot eat, drink, or smoke during daylight hours for the month of Ramadan. For that reason, they get much testier during the days, and every night turns into a wild party. They also rearrange all the schedules - classes are compressed so I get out by 4 PM instead of 6 - and most businesses pretty much close all month. Which means I'll be either living out of the grocery store downstairs, or... Hardee's. I'll partake in Ramadan for at least one day during the month, which I imagine will be pretty difficult, since I'm constantly starving and you can't even drink water, but I want to see what it's like.

This weekend marks the first of many non-school weekend trips. Although it may as well be a school trip, because 23 of us are going. We've rented two minibuses, and we are leaving at 5 PM tonight for Dahab on the Red Sea. It's about a six or seven hour drive, so we'll get in around midnight. We spend the night and the next day on the beach or doing whatever we want, and then at 2 AM Saturday morning, we will start climbing Mt. Sinai. It takes about two or three hours to climb it, so we'll get to the top and wait for the sunrise. I can't believe I'm going to be watching the sun rise where Moses got his little tablets.

I'll report back (i.e. who kissed, who fell off the mountain, did I find any more commandments) on Sunday.


honeybunny said...

When you are on Mt. Sinai if you hear a burning bush talking - walk away!


Anonymous said...

Did you receive the commandment on Mt Sinai that said "marry a wealthy egyptian so your favorite Aunt can walk around in $100,000 worth of jewelry"? Can I sleep on the little bit of leapord couch when I visit-I love that thing!

Love you - Favorite Aunt Dana