Saturday, February 19, 2005


February 18th, Cairo

Hello Everybody.

Well, I splurged on a flat, and I'm thrilled about it!

We ended up the first night staying in a hotel in a neighborhood called
Garden City, which is right on the Nile, very centrally located. It's
walking disctance from downtown and Mohammud Ally street with all the drum stores, ect. Very bustling but comfortable - big sidewalks ect. We were supposed to go to Saiid's brother near the Pyramids to find a place, but I said, lets look around here for the hell of it even though everybody said its very expensive.

We walked around and started asking the Boabs - they are the guys that sit in the buildings (kindof like the super) and take care of things. So after we asked about 6 different ones, we got one that called his friend, and he took us to his friend, and then his friend got his dad, and his dad made some calls and we ended up with a parade of guys following us around helping us find a place.

So this place is in a luxury building right in front of a big beautiful public park. It has a gorgeous marbel entrance and a beautiful elevator. The flat is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!! It has a huge living room with all kinds of different lighting options that the landlady showed us one by one. It has a nice big bedroom with big windows looking over trees. The kitchen is fully equiped and nice, there are two nice bathrooms. Its so wonderful. After some bargaining, we agreed on about $350 for the month (which came out to more like $400 after we tipped everyone who helped us find it), which is more than we expected, but I am totally thrilled. I couldn't imagine a nicer neighborhood or a nicer apartment!

Last night we just walked all over the city. Cairo by night is so cool - its alot less crowded, but there's still stuff happening. For example at 3:30am we were walking up this little ally and we came upon an open barber shop! It was great cause I've been nagging Rami to get a haircut for a couple months now. The guy seemed inspired - he cut Rami's hair as if he was working on work of art. Rami said he never had such a nice haircut.

We also had a very nice meal. It was the standard stuff - ful, falafel, ect, but they gave us each a huge pile of arrugala, scallions, lime and an entire head of lettuce. We crunched away.

Today is the first day I really feel relaxed now that we have a flat. The plan is to visit Rami's grandmother. I also have to practice. Saiid is coming back from Jordan tonight, so I need to be in top shape. I tuned the mystucal drum and it sounds AWESOME!!!

I still don't know what to do about my hair. Now its part dread locks, part braids, and I just stuffed the whole mess in big braids. I'm afraid to touch it. I think I'll go to a beauty parlor here and have them wash and comb it.

Oh - the Arabic - I haven't learned the alphabet yet, so I can't read or write, but I've been speaking quite a lot. My problem is that I can usually say what I want, but if the person answering me uses one or two words I don't know, I cant understand them. But I feel a difference even after one day its getting easier.

Oh, and the weather. Its HOT out today, probably in the low 80's. At night it gets down to the low 60's. Absolutely perfect!!!!! I don't understand why this is the "off" season in Egypt. I can't imagine nicer weather.

Here is my phone number:

My Cell phone - 011- 2012- 592-8254

To be continued!

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