Middle East | Egypt | Cairo – Observations around the city
I have been in cairo for more than a month now since I returned from my trip to syria and turkey, the start of my year long stay here has begun full swing and I love it, the only problem is that I will one day have to return….What a different world, but wonderful here. Its really a chaotic city that never sleeps, full of modern technology but still rich with tradition, culture and even pharonic superstitions…
here one could sit in the same spot every day for a year and never get bored, so many strange and interesting things happen in every street.
the place of religion here is fascinating, how Islam(or christianity) sneaks its way into everyday lives….As the Islamicist movement is constantly growing more and more influential, people are becoming more religious (at least on the exterior as it seems, as everything in this country is about how others view you, and how one is seen and seen to act)…In some neighborhoods all of the women wear the headscarf, in the modern downtown part, probably 80% of women wear it…in my university, girls wear a headscarf with skin tights jeans and a tee-shirt, showing their neck even…
this city stays awake all night and all day, even butchers, grocers and pharmacists are still selling their wares at 3am, while children play or work in the grass or on the streets at all times of day and nigh
Cairo is my home, now that I have my apartment, my favorite
>fruit juice stand (10 cents for sugar cane juice, and 40 cents for
>mango or Guava juice) and my favorite falafel and fuul (beans)
>stand…I know some people around campus and the city now and know
>my way around…and finally school has started and I am fully settled
>instead of travelling and living out of my backpack.
>the internation students here are ok, I had to go to a beach resort
>with 130 americans, ugh what a trip, and I got some strange eye
>infection, …but have alreayd met so many friendly egyptians and foreigners living interesting lives here,
>I have gotten used to hearing donkeys braying in the night, and
>horse hoofs on the pavement as well as the man who always calls for
>his friend Abdallah loudly at night…The bowwab (man whose job it
>is to sit in the doorway of the apartment and gets paid for it) of
>our apartment is nice, and his kids always say hello and visit us,
>but try to sell me olives and other things. Living here is so
>different than back home, much more difficult I suppsoe, because to
>get a few things, one has to search deeply and thoroughly thoughout
>the whole city for various items…. One gets used to crowds, and
>the pushing and the noise of cell phones, cars honking, everyone
>yelling (actually their normal speaking tone) and everythign else.
ah, but the thrill of it all, and the excitement when taking a casual walk and coming upon a huge festival, or spontaneous religious celebration, or parties in the streets…
and happily, I can kind of speak arabic, and am in an intensive formal arabic class as well, this makes life easier an dmore exicitnig to speak to people on the streets.