Monday, August 10, 2009

writing from Egypt

I'm writing in a journal, the journal is at this point a day behind, and I'm copying it, so I'll get as far as I get today and start up the next time I have internet, which will probably be Thursday.

As soon as I exited the plane I could feel the burn of the pollution in my nose and lungs. I have never been anywhere so polluted. It took about an hour to get through customs, even though we were the only flight there. It was because there were no instructions telling people they needed to buy a visa. Lisy has told me, however I still had to wait in a line of confused people. They are super scared about the swine flu here, and you pass through a quarentine check point before getting your passport checked. They look at you through an infrared camera to make sure that you aren't glowing too orange.

The first day I slept until noon, found that the internet in the apartment did not work and took a small walk around the neighborhood. Lisy lives in a very beautiful and upscale part of Cairo. Here there are lots of trees and villas. Many diplomats and ex-pats live here. Lsiy says there is no other place quite like it in Cairo. I believe her. Looking out from her balcony are lots of trees, some of them Mango! Compared to the rest of the city it's a green paradise.

The drive home from the airport was unremarkable except for passing through the city of the dead. The city of the dead is technically a huge graveyeard of tombs. the tombs are like small homes (perhaps for the afterlife? more so living reletives can visit) Many of the tombs are guarded by a member of the family or a hired guard who lives in the tomb itself. These are generally people without any other options. The city of the dead is a dangerous place that has little to no electricity, no water, the police don't go in, and it spans an astonishing 20% of the city. Needless to say, no one will notice an extra dead body in a tomb.

The weekend started nice and slowly. We went to Cardouf, the Egyptiann Walmart for the weekely grocery and thing shop.. CArdouf is built in the middle of the deasert and is surrounded by new developments that will aparently be quite expensive. Building materials are so valuble here that they hire villagers to live in the unfinished buildings and guard the materials.
We also walked through the neighborhood and got sandwiches and mango juice from street vendors. 36 hours later my tummy was a little yucky, but nothing that has stopped me from treking about the city. falafel here by the way is way yummier than any falafel I've ever had. IT has fennel seed in it which is delicious!

Saturday Lisy and I went to the pyramids in the morning. In typical Embly fashion I forgot my camera, but Lisy saved the day with her camera phone. I've since stashed my camera in my purse so that I can't forget it.

ok I have no more time, but I will continue later!

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