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