Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Another whirlwind adventure coming soon!!!!!!!

I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself! I'm going to Turkey tomorrow for four days, and, after that, Siwa oasis for another four days! This was the most last-minute trip I've ever planned; I put the deposit down at 2:30 today, and I leave for Istanbul at 2:45 tomorrow! Ahhh! But the airfare was extraordinarily cheap, at least to me, at 285 dollars, and it is Turkey, and I do have a break, so I booked it. Tres bien! I can't wait to get out of Egypt and explore another country!
Aside from that minor excitement in my life, this last week has been heavily concentrated on classes and homework. I had iftaar at a friend's house on Tuesday, which was exquisite, both the house and the food. Her parents are both 'important' people, and they had a gorgeous apartment to display to our little party, also neither her mom or her dad were actually there. I've never really dealt with servants before, and it was interesting to observe how they interact with their employers and how they treat guests, rather subserviently at times. I've realized that unless you grow up with that culture, you're a little uncomfortable with that level of service and division of social classes. Every day, this concept is reinforced to me, the social class sturcture. AUC is almost exclusively upper class, as is Zamalek, but then I realize that the people I interact with daily, the staff at McDonald's, the Metro clerks, taxi cab drivers, will never be priviledged to do the things I do, to hop across continents, to receive an education at AUC, etc. To them, America truly is the land of promise and rich people, as there is no upward movement in the social structure. You're born a plebian, you die a plebian (I really like this word because 'plebiscite' is one of the first words I learned in my media class;-) Speaking of cab drivers, when Ames and I were in a cab on the way to the iftaar meal, we saw a confrontation between two men over a very minor fender-bender. One of the participants had to be restrained by the police, so vociferious was his enmity and the other man pulled the hub cap off his car and started waving it threateningly. Then, a woman got out of his car, began gesturing menacingly, and they backed up swiftly and disappeared. By now, I think everyone is weary of fasting, and right around 4-5:30, most people are irritable and easily incendiary.
My teachers here all are extremely empathetic toward a student's plight-i.e. we'd rather have the midterm pushed back until after Eid. It took almost no convincing to persuade them to move the midterm back a few weeks, an act that astounded me, as few teachers in the US would think 'we're too busy and will be traveling over Eid' a very good excuse. But, no, I've got a nice long break before reality will set in and midterms consume my life. Before jetting off to Turkey, I did get to watch a soccer game this evening at the Marriot in Zamalek with a few friends in Harrry's Pub. Not exactly British, but the pub was conducive to long chats and racuous cheers over the Barcelona-Chelsea game; Barcelona lost, by the way, and I was cheering for them, as the girl we met there, Jema, is Catalonian and a huge football fan. Anyway, I'm going to bed soon because I've got to rise early and pack, and I fear traffic to the airport will be atrocious!

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