Sunday, September 19, 2010

aa-oo-ii, baa-boo-bii, taa-too-tii, thaa-thoo-thii

pool hours
I finally had enough free time on campus this morning before class to check out the sports facilities and the pool on campus. I even learned how to rent a locker, even though the locker-renting lady didn't speak English. The pool is gigantic, fifty meters long with about twelve lanes. I don't have a swim cap or goggles, but that isn't going to stop me from doing laps tomorrow when I get a chance. As you can see from this schedule, the hours are very irregular, but I'm hoping to get to swim at least twice a week, since the gym here in Zamalek is a little lacking.
Classes went well today, and I even got my homework done at a reasonable time. There isn't any news on the library job front, because the work-study website isn't open to study abroad students yet, but I think it's getting fixed sometime this week.
In Arabic class we are still learning the alphabet, through the use of a book called the Alif-Baa and sometimes with the youtube video below. Feel free to sing along if the fancy strikes you. Don't worry if you can't pronounce some of the letters, because I can't either, and I'm supposed to be able to by now!

Tomorrow I'm also planning to relinquish my passport (along with a passport size photo and one photocopy of my passport) to the student visa services so I can get my visa changed from a visitor's (which is good for multiple re-entries, but only three months) to a student visa, also with multiple re-entries, but which will be good for the rest of the school year. I hope the powers that be won't hold onto it too long, because I don't really like traveling without it, even inside Egypt.
I also went grocery shopping today, twice. The first time was on campus at the 24 hour Quick-Mart, to stock up on granola bars. I also checked out the jars of Nutella, because there wasn't any peanut butter, but since they looked runny and one had been opened, I didn't buy them. Instead, I bought a couple serving size packs of Nutella, just because I wanted to. And because Nutella is the most delicious thing on Earth, ever. While I was in the grocery store, I browsed the cereal shelves, and found this, which made me laugh:
it might be healthy, but it doesn't have any friends
Also, a package of turkish delight. Honestly, I don't remember ever seeing turkish delight in real life before. I kind of thought it was something that C. S. Lewis made up when he was writing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Guess not.
it does exist
My second grocery store trip of the day came when it was time to do my laundry, because I was down to one Egypt-appropriate shirt, and I didn't really feel like wearing it. I found an empty washer and put my clothes in it and started it before I remembered that I didn't have any laundry soap. Oops. My first thought was to borrow some from a friend, but then I kind of felt like a huge mooch, so I ran to Metro (the closest and most Western supermarket) to buy some. I ended up with a brand called Persil, that comes in a bright pink box. When I got back, I added it to the washer and ran the wash cycle again so my clothes would actually get clean.
Then I returned to my room to Skype and do homework, and forgot all about my laundry. The washer had been done for about half an hour when I showed up to put my clothes in the dryer, but thankfully no one had needed it, so my clothes hadn't been moved. Unfortunately, I did the exact same thing when my clothes were in the dryer, and when I came to get them, they were piled on top. I didn't really mind, though, because they weren't on the floor, and it's not like I haven't done the same to other people's clothes in the past.
Overall, it was a successful laundry adventure, because nothing was still wet, I used actual soap instead of just color brightener, and nothing came out a very different color than when it went in. (I don't remember mentioning last time - I washed my only two light shirts with a previously unwashed dark pair of jeans. It didn't ruin them, but they can't really be called white any more. At least they're not pink.)
In other news, look how pretty some parts of AUC's campus are. This is a courtyard hidden in the middle of HUSS, the building where I have most of my classes, which is designed to be confusing and impossible to navigate.
huss courtyard
Actually, speaking of HUSS, I've gotten pretty used to it over the past few weeks. It's the buildings on campus that I've never set foot in before that are the trouble. With my extra time this morning, I decided to sit on a balcony on HUSS's second floor and read my book in the shade. I was closer to the science building than to HUSS, and I knew that a catwalk connected the two buildings, right next to the balcony I was headed for, so I decided to take the science-y route. This was a bad mistake. I wasn't late for anything, but I was lost in that building's depths for 45 minutes before I re-emerged from a door about 50 yards in the opposite direction from where I wanted to be. During that 45 minutes, I found the roof, three doors that wouldn't open, a confusing looking engineering class, and an Authorized Personnel Only chemical storage room with the door propped open to passers-by, which I didn't enter, although I was tempted. (I'll be going back to that room someday, mark my words.) Anyway, I survived my ordeal, as you can see, and I'll live to explore another day.
Here is another song I've been listening to quite a lot, since I finally listened to Sgt. Pepper all the way through without stopping. I don't think this is my favorite song from the album, but it is the one that sticks with me the most:


  1. Hi Elise,

    I don't know if anyone has asked you yet, but did you see any Egyptian Frosted Flakes at the supermarket?

    I think Erin could make big points in her AP US History with such a treasure.

  2. i've been looking for frosted flakes, actually, but haven't found any with the box in arabic yet, and that's all that matters. i'm gonna keep trying though!!