Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mango and Cairo

Going on a trip with 3 of my school friends to Cairo seemed like a great idea.
We spend hours planning for it and deciding on the dates, fighting over the dates and finally agreeing on the dates :)

If you think this post is about my friends, it's not, it's about beautiful Cairo.

"Please tell me you hated it" a friend of mine said after I came back, "I didn't it's really cool".

Cairo is ana amazing city full of life. People stay awake 24 / 7 literally! It’s not for partying only, it’s for going out for coffee or whatever. Here if you stay up it’s because you’re cool, in Cairo it’s for spending some good time in good weather. “sometimes we go out and then go directly to class” Lamya said, a cousin of our friend who is studying in AUC. “It’s very normal to sleep 4 hours a day here”.
As she way saying this I was looking for dark circles on her eyes to see the effect of sleep deprivation but unfortunately I found none. How could they do that? How dare they? I was so jealous of the lifestyle: )

It's interesting to say that Cairo is romantic! Yes though it's super dirty and chaotic, with those poor police men trying to be respected by people, traffic and hot weather killing you by the minute, it is nonetheless romantic. If you walk by the Nile you can see couples standing at the bars looking at the river with hopeful eyes, holding hands, having arms around each other, PDA. Each empty slot formed by the bars has a couple and what's interesting is that these couples are boyfriend and girlfriend. Very few are engaged or married (if the ring is an indicator).

What I loved about this fact is that love is not forbidden in Cairo.Inspired by
the book "Eat, Pray, Love" I now know that Cairo speaks 'Lust' in the air.
Everybody is in a state of love, it's in the eyes of people at Khan il Khalili,
streets, restaurants, everywhere.
Definitely a city worth living in!

Sanitary standards are different than ours, once we were at TGI Friday and asked the waiter to clean the table “7alan ya fandim” he said and then took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the table. He must’ve been kidding but he wasn’t, good thing we had Hi-gene!

Fresh juices are something else over there; we were always ordering mango juice. Nivene had 10 in 4 days. Everytime the mango juice surprises you of how good it tastes. Ahwet il Fishawi in Khan il Khalili know this I’m sure coz the prices of a mango juice there are the same as here!
notice the civilizations above (from pyramids to sky scrapers)

Ok I lied this post is also about my friends. Let me give you a bit of background :
These 3 friends have been my close friends since school. We’ve managed to stay close throughout university and work life. Firyal, Nivene and

The trip was smooth as expected with a bit of spices here and there. Nuha, a perfectionist, wanted to photograph everything! And she did :) When she found out that “Hussam Habeeb” the singer (whoever that guy is) was in our hotel, she and Nivene crashed a wedding while he was singing the solo romantic song to the bride and groom! Needless to say after all the embarrassment she took a picture with him :) Nuha was a great travel mate especially at the airport when 2 gulfi guys tried to hook up with us “Oskot o liff wijhak balash ma takullak kaff!” Bravo Nuha :)

Nivene, the fast and the furious, was as always a the easy go-er, she planned the activities of the trip and was crazy enough to take a dare from one of the girls to go up to a bride and tell her “we’re from Jordan and we’d like to take a picture with you”. Needless to say inha intafsat coz the groom objected “aslo il 3areez lazeez bassi multazim” the sister in law justified.
Firyal, the soft hearted, was the angel sent from heaven to all those beggars, taxi drivers, sellers, street bums. She bought from them, tipped them, and sympathized with them. “Firyal please don’t believe them they’re ripping you off” we would beg “shul 10 pounds bil nisbeh ili? Dinar o nos ? Bas addaish bi2asru b 7ayathom?” Our eyes would roll, her eyes would roll trying to explain to each other over and over our ideologies. Firyal will be Firyal and she will not change.

We wanted to go see Adel Imam play Body Guard or as Firyal inquired “AL body guard”, she wanted to Arabize it so that the guy on the phone would understand! We were laughing non stop. “Mar7aba bidna ni7gez la bukra masra7iyyet Al body guard”.

Firyal was the star of the trip especially when she slashed Nuha’s 7inna tattoo of 20 seconds of age by mistake : ) she kept apologizing which was hilarious for Nivene and I to see as Nuha got more and more angry “Nuha sorry 3an jad ba3millek wa7ad b 3amman” “Okay Firyal Khalas 3adi”Nuha would angrily insist : )

The trip was nice, definitely to be repeated but in a cooler weather, when I don’t have the flu and when it is agreed that political stuff are not to be discussed :)