Highlights from a Day called Today

Today was pretty boring. But I am going to talk about it anyways.

We got to work at 10:45am today.  I think that is a new world record for lateness.  Whats the phrase? …When in Rome?  Walk like Egyptians?? When in Rome walk like Egyptians?  Cliche expressions make me feel better about myself.

The power went out at work.  Of course I am the only one in the office without a backup generator attached to my computer so I took this as an opportunity to use the restroom while my computer thought about its life.  No power in the bathroom either, stupid.

Power went out again. WHYYYYY. 

Like the small children with money that we are, we went on a hunt to retrieve treats for the ride home before Ashraf picked us up.  Shawarmas, sodas, and THREE types of chocolate later we were ready for the battle that is traveling from Maadi to Cairo.  Marvelous.

Got a tummy ache on the ride home.  Thats what you get for being 3 years old girlfriend.

Had time to think about what I did on the ride home. Learned my lesson and had popcorn for dinner.  This is how you do life, right?

Yeahhhh

Egypt: Street Art of the Revolution

Photos taken in and around Zamalek, a suburb of Cairo, Egypt.

Tank Vs. Bike by Ganzeer.  Sad panda addition by Sad Panda 

Hand-painted murals on the Fine Arts College Building in Zamalek, Egypt

Just found an crowd-sourced web site that marks locations of street art in Cairo, definitely want to see more soon!  I love all of these because they have so much heart behind them.  Which one is your favorite?

Eid Mubarak!

Thanks to the whole 1.5 Egyptian beers I had the night before, I am spending Eid indoors cowering from natural light.  Last night, we were awoken at 1:30am by a countdown and sounds of celebration in the streets.   It was awesome to hear the joy and laughter in the air,..for a little while.

The Chinese motorbikes with stereo systems manufactured on planet obnoxious lost their charm after about eight minutes.  My premature beer headache was made even worse as they paraded their way through my attempts to get more than hour of straight sleep.  I am happy I was awake to hear the cheering and laughter in the streets, but man…my brain hurts.

Eid:

It is traditional to hand out the meat from cows, goats, and sheep purchased prior to the feast on the morning of eid.  In a gesture of brotherhood, 1/3 of the meat is handed out to the poor, 1/3 to family and friends, and 1/3 is for yourself and your family. 

We wanted to walk around and see it for ourselves, but my head couldn’t handle it.  Instead we had a feast of our own, KFC fried chicken and South Park.  Embracing the feast the American way!

Eid Mubarak!

A Day in the Life of a Casey in Egypt

If you are a 5-star Casey-stalker (a true friend), you will know we recently started working a couple weeks ago.  I am working at MSN Arabia and Max is working at LinkOnline, an internet portal company in Egypt.

As such, our days have gone from free-wheelin and meandering around our neighborhood in Zamalek in search-of-addresses-that-I-swear-egyptians-made-up-just-to-freaking-laugh-at-us-as-we-wander-around-lost-as-crap*,  to a life of structure and order.

I use the word order loosely, as there are very few things about Cairo that promote order in ones life.  Regardless, this post is my attempt at sharing a day in the life of a Casey in Cairo.

7:20am: Wake up to the bright Cairo sunshine and sound of car horns. Penetrating the closed windows. From across the Nile.  This is the horns letting us know we aren’t safe, and won’t be safe for the rest of the day.  Even in our own homes.

7:40am: Get in the shower.  Continue not-ceasing (not quite a double negative…1 1/2 negative?) to be being entertained by the amount of dirt that washes off my feet when the water hits my feet in the shower.

7:55am: Complain-sing about how I have no clothes as I get ready for the day. Be ignored by Max who has perfected the art of not hearing anything pertaining to the trials and tribulations of preparing my appearance for human eyes.

8:45am:No matter what time we tell Ashraf we will be down there, get down there 15 minutes later.  This is us trying our hand at cultural competency and doing everything we say we will do much later than promised. Nailed it.

8:46am:Say good morning to the Boab (building keeper) in arabic on the way to the car.  Don’t understand what he says in return.  Smile, laugh, and run away.

8:47am: Enjoy the non-intrusive hum of car horns joining our early morning conversations at a rate of 326 FUBPM( FREAKING unnecessary beeps per minute).  Other highlights of morning drive include battling to convince Ashraf it was the others fault that we were late, and being told “this is not Casey. this is NOT max. HELLO!!!” when we fail to keep the two-man show that is our dialogue going for the entirety of the car ride. Its hard out there for a pimp(s).

9:30am: Make tea in the kitchen at work.  Afraid of questionable spoons, just open the sugar jar and pour it all in there.  If I put enough it will be pretty sweet throughout, right? Thought so.  Next step!

9:35am: Sit down at desk.  Open excel.  Pivot tables like a BOSS for the next 3 hours.

12:30pm: Ohh meal time.  Walk downstairs to Max’s floor.  Interrupt 5 smoke breaks over the course of 3 floors. Carefully delibrate which fast food we will order for lunch.  If we talk long and loud enough, one of Max’s coworkers will take pity on us and take us somewhere authentic and awesome. Yessss.

1:30pm: Visualize data like a rockstar.

5:00pm: Sit. In. Traffic. This is excellent time to get to know people you already know very well.  Learn some arabic.  Talk about, ..anything.  You find yourself in some pretty interesting conversations after you hit the 132nd hour of traffic sitting with the same 3 people.  The first 131 hours covered the basics, its in the 132nd hour of straight conversation and beyond that you truly get to know someone.  

6:20pm: Ask the other person if they want to go to finally go to the gym we paid 1200 pounds for.  No you say? Yesssssssssssss.

6:40pm: Melt into the couch and do nothing else productive for the rest of the night. 

11:30pm: Feel like complete weak sauce as your super-human Egyptian coworkers are probably just now heading out to spend time with their friends as you retire for bed.  Rest easy knowing you may not be cool, but 

I can’t think of any way to finish that sentence.  Maybe, “rest easy knowing that you may not be cool, but at least you had a well-balanced breakfast?” “Rest easy knowing that somewhere out there an Egyptian baby went to sleep 15 minutes before you?”

I’ll take either one.  Go on with your bad pivot-tablin, hardy breakfastin eatin, stayin-up later than Egyptian babies self gurl!

*”It is okay to have a run-on sentence as long as you use lots and lots of dashes”

-Casey’s Official Guide to Grammar, 3rd Edition

Here are some pictures of our flat in Egypt.  

It was pretty messy in here so telling myself I was going to take pictures was exceeeellent incentive to clean.  On the way home from dinner yesterday we stopped and picked up the flowers in the pictures from a corner flower shop.  It was only 20 pounds (3 dollars) for all of them.  They have really livened the place up!  

Although it is complely unimportant and only the 3 people that read this will notice, I switched back to Tumblr!  Pictures load a lot faster and I like to write posts a lot more frequently here.  Sooo heree I ammm.  
This is a leftover picture from the desert last weekend.  It is a police officer waiting for his police officer frand so they could ride back to the main road together.  I likeee.
Our 6 week internship turned into a 5 week internship as we realized one of those weeks is during the Eid holiday.  FINALLY a vacation!!  

Although it is complely unimportant and only the 3 people that read this will notice, I switched back to Tumblr!  Pictures load a lot faster and I like to write posts a lot more frequently here.  Sooo heree I ammm.  

This is a leftover picture from the desert last weekend.  It is a police officer waiting for his police officer frand so they could ride back to the main road together.  I likeee.

Our 6 week internship turned into a 5 week internship as we realized one of those weeks is during the Eid holiday.  FINALLY a vacation!!  

Sakaraaa. Favorite Egyptian beer!

Sakaraaa. Favorite Egyptian beer!

Yesterday we boogied our way back to Al-Fayoum for the second time this month. We did some desert drivin, visited a Roman fortress, a petrified forest field, and the most wonderful of all: had a KFC picnic in the desert.

Fortress: About 30km into the desert from the main road, the fortress was totally desolate. There was desert for miles in all directions, except South, where lake Quran hovered in the distance. Although pretty damaged, a good amount of the fortress remained. There were pieces of old Roman pottery splattered across the rolling mounds of sand behind the fortress. If there was such thing as pottery pimps back in the day, which I like to believe there were, they made it RAIN upon this fortress. Being the Casey I am, I got my fill of pottery shard after about thirty minutes.

Max was lost in the pursuit of painted pottery and Kim had his metal detector in hand, so I walked down an old road that led to the water and made myself comfortable on a rock facing the lake. I took advantage of this time alone and had myself a very calming and rejuvinating moment.

With no one around, I tried to focus on silence and imagine everything that happened right on the road I was sitting on. But alas, my dweeby plot was foiled by a dickwad fly. So i sayz to him, you weren’t invited to my cool meditation party broface, quit buzzin all over my party. Even after I told him the situation he just wanted to stay and party, so I allowed it. We had a surprisingly nice time together and after a good while I decided to rejoin the humans in their pottery hunting pursuits.

At the end of the hunt we found some pretty cool/sizeable pieces of roman pottery. Successss.

Next stop: Petrified Forest! Now I just don’t know who would want to scare a tree, but props to them for frightening an entire forest!

Sorry. Anyways, had our fried chicken picnic and played with the petrified wood. The sun was just starting to set and it was most beautious. We gathered some good wood and set off on our way home. On the way home we visited pharoanic caves and enjoyed the sunset for a couple minutes. I am hereby starting my list of favorite places to enjoy a sunset. The desert is number one. I’ll finish this later.

As we usually end up doing, we raced the sunset out of the desert.  Fayoum is a safe place but my “what-if-that-person-on-that-motorcycle-pulls-out-a-nerf-gun-and-shoots-it-into-our-exhaust-pipe-and-our-car-explodes-into-lots-of-tiny-pieces???” brain is never 100% comfortable in the desert after sunset.  To my relief, we made it back to the main road just as the sky reached full darkness.  As always, Cairo greeted us with its trademark welcome-home present: hours of traffic.  Missed you too Cairo <3

Gas station in the desert on the way to Fayoum from Cairo

Gas station in the desert on the way to Fayoum from Cairo

Mountains and shops in Dahab, Egypt

Mountains and shops in Dahab, Egypt