So from reading my posts you know that the first couple of days here in Cairo was spent touring the city and seeing the sights and sounds of this city, and of course one day in Alexandria. Unfortunately though, just as all good things do, the fun has come to an end. I spoke of how difficult the classes were in passing. Well let me just reiterate the fact they are hard. Things are doubly difficult when one has to go from one form of Arabic to another back to back for two consecutive days. My head has been spinning in circles trying to remember when I can say one form of yes and when I can't. The Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) teacher gets slightly annoyed when the class answers his questions in the Egyptian dialect, even though I'm pretty sure he is Egyptian, and the Egyptian dialect teacher (Egyptian Colloquial Arabic or ECA) giggles when her questions are answered with MSA. Don't they understand that this is HARD for us. Sigh...at least my section hasn't been forced to learn the entire Arabic alphabet in 3 days like the beginners have, I guess that's a saving grace of sorts.
The biggest story for me today was that I was finally able to watch the finale of 24. It pained me a lot when I realized that I wouldn't be able to watch the series finale "live" because of the time difference...and of course the lack of Fox on this overwhelmingly Arabic language tv package that the hotel offers. But just being able to find a solid 2 hours of time when I was tired, in class or doing homework, felt heavenly and I greatly enjoyed finally being able to finish one of the most innovative series to every grace the airwaves. Of course watching it wasn't without a little drama as megavideo cut me off at their customary 72 minute limit and I had to scrounge around the internet to find an alternate means of watching, but I was finally successful.
Back to Egyptian things, we got a taste of Egyptians love for soccer today. From around lunch time when my group arrived back at the Metro station that is closest to our hotel and a passing guy yelled at us that he expected his team to win 2-0, to the area police commander that showed up in the hotel lobby tonight to catch the game on tv, Egyptians clearly follow the teams within the league. I couldn't begin to tell you which team won, or where they were from, but I did get to watch the game, and I can tell you that it was entertaining to watch.
Black Honey is the translated name of this movie that a few of us want to go watch while we are here in Egypt. We saw the commercial for it a couple of nights ago during dinner when the tv at the restaurant was on mute and it just looked absolutely hilarious. We have since seen the commercial with sound...and it made very little sense except for a few choice words here and there...but we still want to go see it regardless.
Yesterday afforded myself, Emily and Sam the opportunity to go into Downtown Cairo with Lucie. We went to the American University in Cairo old campus where Lucie did her intensive Arabic program a couple years back, but the main campus has since moved to the newer campus elsewhere in the city. We also stopped at the AUC bookstore, which was really cool as far as university bookstores go. After that we went to the island of Zumalek, which is smack in the middle of the Nile. Getting over there, the elderly taxi driver we had tried to overcharge us...but coming back, the relatively young driver we had nearly refused to accept our payment. There is no rhyme or reason to it, no way to judge who will be nice and who will try to be a jerk, because I definitely would have pegged the older gentleman to be the nicer one. Indecipherable cabbie behavior aside, I've come to the conclusion that Cairo as a whole really has no rhyme or reason to it, it's just an unabashed city that will do as it pleases, when it pleases. I think I could get used to this...
Thanks for reading!