What to say about Egypt...
It's good to be back in the Middle East. I was smiling almost non-stop on the extremely crazy taxi ride from the airport to our friends' apartment, during which we came thiiiiis close to hitting other cars half a dozen times. I had forgotten how much I missed hordes of employees being paid to stand around and do nothing, or the constant sound of horns chirping and blaring, or the ubiquitous funny English you see everywhere. I had also forgotten about that special Middle East smell, baked to perfection this time of year in the 115-degree heat: a mixture of dust, petrol, baking bread, spices, body odor, and urine that brings back all my memories of Arabia. After any length of time spent walking around in sandals, said enhanced dust is caked all over your feet and let me tell you, it feels soooooo good to wash it off at the end of the day.
I realized almost immediately upon arrival that I would have to set the zany English bar higher than I thought, because there is just. so. MUCH. of it. I laughed and laughed when I saw a car labeled in huge letters, "JUMPO 7000," and rued the fact that I hadn't taken a picture of it. Not two seconds later, another car drove up, with the same mistake written on it. Hmm. Not quite so funny now. This one, though, I think was worth a picture:
And words cannot describe how happy I am to see stuff like this:
I didn't even know there were Kinder fridges. The smart shop-owners here keep their chocolatey goods in refrigerators because of the heat, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw Kinder chocolates getting their own space. Brilliant.
In other news, we got our cell phones some fancy Vodafone SIM cards so they can work on the Egyptian mobile network. I asked the clerk how much it cost to send a text message (19 piastres), and then I asked him if we were charged for receiving text messages in addition to sending them. He gave me the weirdest look as if to say, "of COURSE you don't get charged for receiving text messages, because that would be retarded. I can't even believe you just asked me that question." Take note, T-Mobile et al.
A few items of business:
-The weekend here is Friday/Saturday, so my posting habits may change to reflect that. But maybe not.
-We are hanging out in Cairo for a few days and then heading to Syria for some fun, kid-laden travel. We won't be settled in Alexandria for about two more weeks, so sorry, you'll have to wait a little longer for those pictures of the Mediterranean.
-But you will be getting some posts from Syria, which I think we can all agree is an extra special additional free bonus.