Beginnings / Cairo / egypt / Travel

Another casual update.

Little by little, I’m starting to put a life together here in good ol’ Cairo.

Talaat Harb Square, which is the nearest roundabout to my hostel. There are some lovely colonial buildings in the area, although many look pretty dilapidated from the outside.

Talaat Harb Square, which is the nearest roundabout to my hostel. There are some lovely colonial buildings in the area, although many look pretty dilapidated from the outside.

I’ve worked out the gym issue (I think, more on that later) and have accomplished use of some public transit–I have yet to figure out the buses, but hopefully that’ll comes soon because bus fare < taxi prices, by far. I’ve become chummy with the guys working at the hostel, have a settled route to stroll to work, and have developed a pretty good obsession with Sons of Anarchy (I’m only on season 2 so NOBODY SPOIL IT FOR ME.) Things are good. And you know what?

#Catladylife continues here at Dahab hostel. Except there is an old lady who literally lives here and beat me to the punch, she feeds them daily.

#Catladylife continues here at Dahab hostel. Except there is an old lady who literally lives here and beat me to the punch, she feeds them daily.

I think this is the fastest I’ve ever adjusted to a foreign country. It’s probably due in large part to the fact that Cairo is just a larger, more crowded Amman, but nothing feels unfamiliar or remotely scary. (No, do not take that as a sign that I’m blatantly ignoring danger and not being cautious.)  Only current downsides are my continuing lack of living space (hopefully to be worked out soon, fingers crossed) which includes a lack of air conditioning and the ability to cook or store food in a fridge (I’ve got access to a freezer, that’s it) which is slightly killing me because all I can do is eat takeout. Not really ideal. Yikes. Oh…admittedly another flaw is that while I’m still able to produce basic sentences, my Arabic is trash and understanding the supremely fast-talking Egyptians is the bane of my existence. Whatevs.

The infamous Tahrir Square, which, to my surprise, is often inhabited at night by locals who sit on the fake grass and chat or have picnics.

The infamous Tahrir Square, which, to my surprise, is often inhabited at night by locals who sit on the fake grass and chat or have picnics.

Events-wise, still lacking in tons of exciting stories, but I did assist with entrance exams last Thursday–which essentially boiled down to administering 4.5 hours worth of exams and sitting around, then taking a huge stack of them home for grading and recording. After the exams, however, a lot of coworkers went out for a drink at a nearby hotel (Carlton…not Ritz, mind you) rooftop bar to welcome the several of us who are new, which was lovely. (It seems I will once again be surrounded by the British. Can’t complain.) Several of us then popped over to one of the nicer areas in Cairo, the  Nile island Zamaalek, for a party, although I left well before I’m sure it was over.

Another sunset from the hostel rooftop.

Another sunset from the hostel rooftop.

On a more exciting note, one of my friends from my time in Oman is in and out of Cairo, and he rolled in this weekend for the first time since my arrival. We met with some other friends of his at the Mariott hotel in Zamaalek, which is swanky as all get out, and had a drink and caught up, which was absolutely lovely. We’ll be out again tonight somewhere a bit less flashy, I believe. Good to see a familiar face far from home.

Part of the elaborate front façade of the Mariott hotel, Zamaalek. There was some sort of party going on up there.

Part of the elaborate front façade of the Mariott hotel, Zamaalek. There was some sort of party going on up there.

Truly I haven’t been living quite the most fascinating life yet–Cairo has thousands of years of history to explore, but my focus so far has honestly been settling in. (Thought process being that none of it is going anywhere anytime soon, so once I’m all collected and have my feet under me, I will explore a bit more.) Also, apologies for these photos–since I’ve not done anything thrilling I have yet to take out my precious nicer camera, I’ll try to remedy that. I also have ZERO idea why my iPhone photos for this post loaded as such a small size, that didn’t happen last time. Sigh.

Cheers loves, hopefully I’ll have some more interesting subjects to discuss soon!

-B

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