Saturday, November 3, 2007


Wow. I haven't posted in three weeks. Will you accept my apology? Can we ever be friends again? Hopefully someone's still checking this thing (I know you'll never give up on me, Sarah Pagel). I wish I could say I've been really busy, but I haven't done that much. I suppose we've all just been enjoying each other's company here. We still have six weeks left, but we've all gotten into the mindset that we're going home soon (hence the massive pile of unwashed, moldy dishes in our sink), so we're all getting a little depressed that soon we won't be seeing each other every day. It'll be very weird.

Last weekend, Beckett, Allyson, and I hopped on a train for Alexandria, since one of our classes would be taking a field trip there the next day, and the professor said we could meet up with them in the city and go to the museum and library with the class, so we wouldn't have to pay admission ourselves. For a first-class train ticket to Alexandria (a nearly three-hour trip), it was about $6. Unbelievable, this country. We got in a really crazy fight with this guy who was furious that he and I had the same seat assignment, and even though I sat down in the seat first, he kept screaming in Arabic at Beckett to make me move. Eventually a really nice woman who spoke English switched seats to appease the dude, because he had some sort of ridiculous standard for how his train seats should be, and all the other open seats just weren't doing it for him. Even though he couldn't understand English, I spent much of the ride loudly proclaiming that my seat was the most comfortable one on the train.

In Alexandria, we didn't really do much. We got off at the wrong train station, since everyone else was getting off, and then decided to walk to the hotel, trusting in Lonely Planet's map. If you've read even one of my Japan entries, you'd know what a horrible mistake this was. What looked like a short, ten minute walk, turned into an over five-mile hike along the Mediterranean coast. Luckily, it wasn't that hot, so it was actually not to bad of a walk. Our hotel was pretty nice for being $7 a night, and it even included breakfast. Plus the place was completely empty, so Beckett and I were able to play five games of pool in the really creepy lounge without being interrupted once! I won every game, naturally. We spent the night literally going from seafood restaurant to seafood restaurant, eating a crazy amount of marine life. For what I've heard about Alexandria's seafood, I was rather disappointed. With the exception of the calamari (probably best I've ever had), the crab and fish I had were sorely lacking in flavor. Maybe it's a bad time of year.

Halloween was sort of a disappointment, as well. I decided I had only one costume option - a mummy. Really, the only place easier to choose a cliche Halloween costume is Transylvania. The one problem is that Egyptian toilet paper is absolutely the worst. Granted, I maybe should have sprung for some better-quality paper, but I don't think it would matter here. Kimberly-Clark needs to tap into this market, Dad. The paper kept ripping, and it didn't help that Beckett is in Amsterdam for the weekend, so I had to wrap myself. I eventually grabbed seven rolls of toilet paper, and hopped in the elevator to go down to my friend Alfred's apartment to ask for some help. Of course, there was some guy in the elevator, which made the entire ride really awkward, what with my body being half-covered by toilet paper and all. Alfred, his roommate James (who looks a lot like Jim from The Office, so naturally he went as Three-Hole-Punch Jim), and four girls were all getting in their costumes, and for some reason James was the one that started wrapping me, rather than any of the four girls. And he decided to wrap my thighs. Needless to say, James and I are very close now. Eventually Neve and Meg took over for the pelvic region, saving James and I from a very awkward night.

The toilet paper barely stayed on during the cab ride, and by the time we got to the AUC Halloween party, I was almost completely uncovered. Luckily, the party was even worse than my costume. We stayed for about 20 minutes (we all only went for the promised free candy, which was literally 10 pieces - thanks, AUC!), and then took off back to Alfred and James'. By that point, the only toilet paper left had all fallen down my legs to my ankles, so I looked like I was sporting some awesome leg-warmers rather than any sort of costume.

Next weekend, Beckett, Alfred, myself, and anyone else who decides to come along, will be jumping on a bus to Israel. It's about a five-hour drive to the border, at which point we have to get out and walk across the border, since the bus drivers will not cross into Israel. The hardest part will be getting through the border - we've heard stories of kids seeing both sunrise and sunset sitting at the border - but I think this is the one time during this trip it'll actually benefit me to say, "I'm Jewish!" If we're stuck crossing the border for most of our weekend and we don't see much, at least we'll have had an adventure.

And the weekend after that, I'll be in England for a Gottleib Family Road Trip! I'm dying to just fast-forward to November 14th, to see my family and breathe clean air again. Jury's still out on which one I'm more excited for.

I promise I'll stop slacking on updating this thing. Although it's actually starting to get a little difficult to type with my coke nail. Today's the three week anniversary, and it's already getting pretty long. Only 49 weeks left to go!

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