I'm Anything But Ordinary

I'm Anything But Ordinary

24 April 2007

Good Enough

~~~~ Lethargic

Tuesday - NO HISTORIOGRAPHY! Yes, I am still in shock and it's almost been a week. Silly me though, I agreed to meet up with Brian at 11 so I only got an extra hour of sleep. Oh well. Went in and after some hassle (ATM Run, lack of everyone's ISIC cards) we got five tickets to Luxor and five tickets back from Aswan. Yes. Oh yeah, did I mention I have experienced my first official sandstorm. Even the locals said it was a bad one. The air was brown and I had to wear sunglasses walking down the street to keep sand from getting in my eyes. A man in the elevator told me to wet a towel and cover my mouth and I now understand why he suggested it. After being out in it for five minutes it literally got harder to breathe. It was intense. Went to Egyptology and took my quiz. I think I did pretty well. The geography section was super easy thanks to my other egyptology class. Went to drop off my Historiography outline (reason we didn't have class) but she wasn't there. Oh well, I just left it with her secratery. Came home, got my work done, then hung out with Cori, Sasha, and Sakina. The four of us decided to go to an even in the Zamalek dorm so we got into a cab and headed over. It was a party celebrating Egyptian culture. We ate Koshari and drank sugarcane juice. Then a traditional Egyptian dancer came out. I don't what the dance he did was called but it was really cool. He wore these long skirts and spun around in a circle to make the skirts open and balanced these circular cardboard boxes on his head and arms. It's hard to describe but it was really crazy to watch. Especially since he spun around for 20 minutes! I would be so dizzy! Then a dance party broke out and we danced for a while but then Sakina got tired so we decided to get big bottles of water from Metro then head home.

Wednesday - Social movement as usual. Afterwards I met Sakina and Sasha at Pottery Cafe for lunch. I had never eaten there and it was really good. I had a Mango Peach Smoothie and Sasha and I split a veggie pizza and blueberry cheesecake for desert. :) Yuuummy! Went home and attempted to get some laundry done. Finished my work and got a phonecall from Brian saying he had the train tickets. Then my laundry got stuck in the machine! Even the security guard couldn't get it out! By then I had to go to Geography of Ancient Egypt so Hilary agreed to get my laundry for me when the repairman got the door open. Went to class and got antsy because the Zahi Hawas lecture was at 6! I was so excited! Katie saved seats for me and Allison and we got there with plenty of time. Zahi Hawas is the president of ancient egyptian antiquities and hopefully my future boss :rolleyes: He lectured on recent discoveries and said he was recently found what he believes to be Queen Hatsepshut's mummy and a royal tomb from the Greco-Roman period in Alexandria, potentially Cleopatra, Marc Antony, or Alexander the Great. And J Swan took us there and never mentioned it! :confused: After the lecture there was a book signing but Zahi Hawass is such a celebrity he was basically mauled so I decided to just go home. Otlobed Chinese food and Allison and I watched Lost. The other girls in my flat were going out but after the laundry scandal I decided to just stay in. In all, it took 10 hours for me to do laundry... :@

Thursday - Back to Historiography as usual. Sigh. My homework was done at that point so I got myself Koshari for lunch and headed back to the apartment. Hung out with Sasha for a while then went to Egyptology. Talked about the trip this weekend (that I couldn't go on) then headed back to the apartment. Otlobed Hummus and cheese rolls from Tabuleh with Sakina and Sasha and finished my book. Overall, a fun quick read (The Devil Wears Prada). Packed, then met Allison and we walked to the metro. Met up with Dan but Brian and Duncan were running late so we agreed to meet at the train station. Got to Ramses with no trouble then waited for Brian and Duncan to show up. Finally met up with them and got on the train. First class was so nice! The seats were like oversized airplane seats with enough room to lean all the way back without your head being in the person-behind-you's lap. It was a little cold, they blasted the AC, but after I borrowed Dan's sweatshirt I went to sleep and basically slept the 10 hours it took to get to Luxor. Nice.

Friday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAN! Got to Luxor about an hour behind schedule. Bought our tickets for the next day then headed out. As soon as we left the train station were swarmed by touts trying to get us to stay at their hotels, take their tours, or rent out their taxis. It was very overwhelming. But we managed to find one guy who offered to lead us to our Hostel so we could drop off our bags and make a plan. I don't think he really worked for our hostel because halfway there he offered us a tour package to take us to the attractions on the west bank. For 135 pounds (that's around $26!) we got a van, a tour guide, and admition into all the sites. Since we were only doing Luxor in a day we agreed and after stopping by a random hostel to use the bathroom and freshen up we were on our way to the west bank. First we stopped at the Colossi Memnon. Very impressive, but sad because their faces were ruioned. Then we went to Queen Hatsepshut's temple. My favorite part was the walls because some of the paint was still intact and it was so colorful. Then we stopped by an Alabaster workshop to see how the ancient egyptians made alabaster statues. Hey, we got free Karkday (hibiscus tea) out of it! Next up was the Valley of the Kings. We saw the tombs of Ramessess IV, Ramessess IX, and Merenptah. We didn't go into King Tut's tomb because the line was ridiculous, it was really expensive, and, according to others, not really worth it. I got a picture of the entrance though and then we headed to a buffet place for lunch. We sat by the Nile and enjoyed the breeze and finally called a cab to take us to the Hostel. We stayed at the Happy Land Hotel (how cute) and had more Karkday with the manager before dropping our stuff off in our room and headed back out. We called a taxi and went to Karnak temple. Wow! It was so big! We wandered around and explored. I was overwhelmed with the carvings and paint that was still intact... imagine what it would have looked like 3,000 years ago! Then we called a cab to the Luxor museum because by that time we were in some serious need of AC! The Luxor museum is so nice! It was modern-looking, clean, organized, and explained everything very well. I was impressed. There were two mummies, one that is believed to be Ramses I (grandfather of Ramses the great) and the other belonging to Ahmose I. After that we realized the Luxor temple was closeby so we decided to walk there. We walked along the Corniche and watched the sunset over the Nile and then explored the Luxor temple at night when it was all lite up. Sooo pretty! The Luxor Temple is my second favortie temple ever! I can't really say why but I just really liked it. All the statues of Ramses II made me smile because there were just so many and they're all suppose to be glorifying, well, him. We stayed at the temple until we got hungry then we went to a restaurant that had a rooftop dinning room overlooking the temple. It was fun. I had falafel and tomato soup. Not terrible. Afterward we followed signs to an Irish pub to celebrate Dan's 21st birthday. They advertised it, but they didn't have Guiness :( So we toasted with Heineken to Dan's first legal drink. I also had an apple pie burrito thingy for desert. Yummmmm. Went back to the hostel afterward, showered, and went to bed because we had to get up early the next morning!

Saturday - Got up bright and early and stumbled out of bed. The hostel put together take away breakfast for us. Awww. It was pretty generic but we packed it up and headed to the train station. Waited for three hours and finally the train came two hours late. Slept most of the way to Aswan but the train took four hours instead of three and with the train showing up two hours later we were running really late. Called a cab and tried to go to the Nubian Museum but it was closed (why would you close the AIR CONDITIONED museum during the hotest time of the day?) so we asked the cab driver to take us to his favorite restaurant for lunch. It was nice. Good classic arab food and a family atmosphere, it was fun. Then we called another cab and had him take us to the port to go to Philae. We followed the instructions in the Lonely Planet book and told the driver to take us to the Shallam Ferry. Well, it turns out an entire beach is called Shallam so he took us to the beach and we couldn't figure out how to get to Philae. Finally he figured out what we wanted and we got a boat to take us over to the island. The temple on Philae is my favorite temple, no doubt. It was so big and the carvings were all beautiful. I wasn't too thrilled with the byzantine grafiti inside though. They just chiseled crosses into everything! But it was so pretty set against the Nile. And all the flowers growing on the island! It kinda reminded me of Greece and Sounio. So we wandered for a while and then went back to the mainland. Got in our cab and went to the Nubian museum. It was nice inside. Everything was really interesting, I just wished more remained from Nubia. Their culture was fascinating. A really interesting combination of Egyptian and their own culture. It was weird though because I felt like we were as much of a display as the artifacts. People kept coming up to us asking to take our pictures with them. I guess white people are exciting. Weird. Allison and I always said no but the boys agreed a few times. It's just weird to think that they're gonna be in some random photo album for no reason other then they're white. Strange. After that it was getting late so we got a cab back to the train station, wandered for a little bit around downtime Aswan, got Koshari for dinner :) and then got on the train. All the first class tickets were sold out for the return trip but second class was still nice. The seats were a little smaller but other then that the AC was blasting just as much and there was still leg room to recline my chair. It was a little noisier because there were more people and a baby would not stop crying but I managed to sleep most of the trip thanks largely in part to my iPod.

Sunday - We made it back to Cairo in one piece, grabbed the metro, and made it home. I took a shower, made some pasta, and vegged the rest of the day.

Monday - Got up and went to Social Movements. Dr. Saad told us that in the beginning of May Sinai (yes, as in the entire penninsula) would be closed because the Mubarack family was going there for Mubarack's birthday and his son's wedding. I mean, how pimp do you have to be able to close an entire penninsula for your birthday? After class I went to Main campus to check my mail (no cards :( ) and then I walked to Zamalek. Crossing the bridge I saw the Buddy Bears I had read about online. I didn't really go investigate but they looked really cool from the bridge. I should go find that garden before I leave. Went to Metro to pick up supplies for chili I was planning to make and fruit for the roomie (she had food poisoning :( ) decided it was too hot to walk back and called a cab. Got back to Garden City, fixed myself a fruit, yogurt, and honey salad for lunch (yuuuuum) and worked on some homework. Went to Geography of Ancient Egypt and learned about some great trips coming up (Red Sea Monasteries and Middle Egypt) and then headed back to Garden City. Attempted to make Chili but failed miserabley... I can't handle anything hot and spicy. Luckily Sasha liked it though so she ate it and I made an Egg Salad Sandwhich for myself. It was pretty good considering I had to chop pickles for my relish ;) Watched some LOTR, showered, and now I think I'm gonna read until I fall asleep. Goodnight!

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