Thursday, March 26, 2009
Well rested, and with a bit more of a plan
Yesterday, I mainly hung out at the Egyptian museum, alone for the first few hours, then meeting up with Sundae and her two former roommates after lunch. One of them, Kenzie, was a Classics major, so she had a lot of background on the history (and a guide book for the museum, explaining lots of things in detail), so that was pretty sweet. I've always enjoyed museum tours.
The ladies were also appreciative for my presence. Women in Egypt tend to be heckled at fairly often, but having a man around seems to make the hecklers less bold. Last time I was here, I often was the "designated husband" when people were going to markets and other various public places.
After that, we went out to dinner with some more AUC people, friends of Lisa (Sundae's other former roommate). At that point, having not slept for something like 24 hours, I was really flagging. I was, perhaps, not the best conversationalist, but when I got back to the hostel, I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. I had set an alarm to wake me up at 8 this morning, but failed to arm it. Fortunately, I woke up at 8:30, for a total of probably 10 hours of sleep. It may not have been all the sleep I needed, but it's certainly a good start.
So here's the plan for the next few days, at least.
Today (Thursday): Wander around Islamic Cairo, in the neighborhood of Khan al-Khalili. Islamic Cairo is a bit of a misnomer, since really most of Cairo is Islamic, but this is some of the older architecture, complete with city gates and such-like. Also: lots of kitchy stores.
Tomorrow: Wander around Coptic Cairo. This is the older Christian quarter, with old churches and such-like.
Saturday: Sundae and friends are getting back from Alexandria on Friday at some point (time undecided as yet), and going to the Pyramids. I will probably join them.
Sunday: At some point, I plan on heading over to Siwa, an Oasis in the west of Egypt. This trip will probably take a few days, but ideally I'll be back by wednesday, just in time to catch another bus to Aqaba, Jordan. I still need to buy tickets for this stuff, but that's the plan. Once in Jordan, I'll have a week to putter around, then head to Syria, where my friend Alex is studying (but gone to Istanbul until the 8th).
More updates soon, I hope.