Woops, late blog tonight. I'm here now, it's okay. (I know you were worried.)
Today I had two goals, 1) make my way to Alfa Mart to finally buy some food, and 2) go to the Egyptian Museum with Professor Ikram for my Art and Architecture class. Both were eventually accomplished, although the second one involved much more drama than it should have.
Emily and I guessed our way to Alfa Mart, and braved its frightening escalators (they don't start moving until you step onto them) in search of snacks, flashlights, and goggles. Well, the goggles were just for me. I'll take a picture of them for you tomorrow and post it here. They're mildly hilarious, but the best they had.
I bought bananas, shredded wheat, and Jif peanut butter. I didn't know they even had Jif here, but the fact that they did kind of made my week. [Disclaimer: I am not endorsed by Jif. Duh.]
After our wildly successful grocery shopping trip, Emily and I split up, her to pack for her trip to Dubai this weekend, and me to film the video that's at the bottom of this blog. More on that later.
At 2 pm, I met up with Kim to catch a taxi to the Egyptian Museum. We waited for another girl for a while, but she didn't show, so we left the dorms and started walking, expecting a taxi to solicit us at any moment. This was not what happened. Traffic outside the dorm was completely stopped, and we walked almost 5 blocks before we saw any cabs at all. The streets were also filled with school children, which was strange because I hardly ever see any kids at all. At one point, we thought there might have been a car accident, putting together two and two from the stalled traffic, the crowds, and a persistent siren whose source we couldn't exactly determine. It turned out to be the sound of the horn of a nearby McDonald's delivery motorcycle. Apparently, in Cairo, McDonald's holds the same precedence in traffic that an ambulance does elsewhere.
Eventually, we did find a cab though, and he agreed to take us to the museum for 10 pounds, which is a little bit more than it should have cost, but not enough more that either Kim or I cared. On the way, he pulled over to get another fare, but that didn't take too long. Eventually traffic cleared up, and we made it to the museum in about 25 minutes, a drive which I've never seen take more than 15.
We figured out how to get past security, with lots of help (thanks Vince!), and Professor Ikram met us at the front steps, and got us into the museum without tickets thanks to her handy psychic paper. Or something.
The museum was ridiculously crowded and hot, and we had to run through it, from exhibit to exhibit, because that's the way our class travels when following Professor Ikram. Everything she showed us was interesting, and it was equally fun watching other tourists try to hear her lectures instead of what their own tour guides were saying. When our class trip was done, Kim and I stayed for a while to explore a bit more and check out the tiny gift shop. All in all, I don't think I saw even a fifth of what's on display in the museum, and I definitely plan to go back. One interesting thing I did see was a chunk of the sphinx's beard that had broken off and was then found and eventually ended up in the museum. In a corner. Behind a forklift. This might help you get some idea of the sheer number of important artefacts the museum holds and how well they are 'organized'.
When we left the museum, we tried to catch a taxi back to Zamalek. One man offered to get us a cab, whose fare, he said, would be 50 pounds. Way too much. We turned him down and tried on our own, only to find that taxis didn't want to go to Zamalek, at least not for 10 pounds, which was all we were willing to pay. We kept walking, and eventually ended up at a metro station, which we used to cross the busy street underneath, and found ourselves by the old American University campus. We finally caught a taxi, and miracle of miracles, the driver actually knew where our dorms were. I cannot tell you enough how impressive that was. I've never taken a taxi home before that didn't need to be given directions, so this was amazing.
After that highlight of my day was over, I lazed around for a while, then went down to the cafeteria for dinner, where I met Maggie and Geoff. We hung out for a while in the garden, and I read A Midsummer Night's Dream for my Lit class, which was just as good as I remember it, and a whole lot funnier.
Then I went back upstairs and edited my vlog. I said I would explain so I will. This week's vlog is mostly dedicated to SuperNote, a competition held by youtube superstars Rhett and Link. It's kind of hard to explain, so click here to watch their video about it if you're interested.
Suffice it to say, lots of this video is just me trying to sing one long note in one breath. Pretty boring. There's a surprise at the end for anyone who's curious what life in the Zamalek girl's dorms sounds like, though. Stay tuned.
And that's it for today. Except for the extremely silly skype conversation I had with my little sister a little while ago. It consisted mainly of us laughing hysterically and trying to hold silly faces to convince the other one that the video chat had frozen. It was one of the funniest things we've done in a while. Unfortunately, I was laughing too hard to get any screenshots of either of our faces. Sorry. I love you, Erin!