Saturday, November 6, 2010

egyptian museum and khan el-khalili

Well, that was a long day! I have so much to talk about, but not a lot of time to say it in, because I want to get to sleep. Luckily (not), since my camera is still broken, I don't have any pictures to upload, so that works out great.
Sarah and I slept in this morning, then got a late breakfast at a restaurant called Cafe Noir before we headed off to the Egyptian Museum. We both tried to order pancakes, only to be told they were really crepes, and we could have apple or nutella. We both opted for apple, and ordered mocha lattes to go with. The food and drinks were delicious, and I'll definitely go back there another time.
We got to the museum, sharing a cab with my friend, and found two other students and Professor Ikram waiting. She let us all into the museum with her awesome magic paper, and then left. It was really nice of her to make the trip, just to ensure that we didn't have to pay six dollars to get in.
We had a little mix up with Sarah's camera, which meant she had to leave the museum to put it in a locker, then buy a ticket to get back in, but it all worked out. Starting from the right wings on the first floor, the two of us made our way through the museum, dodging tour groups, and saw almost everything, and definitely everything we were interested in. That took about four hours, and then I went off to describe a statue for my Art and Architecture paper, and Sarah went to check out the gift shop.
When we were done, we met up and (after walking a few pointless blocks) caught a cab to Al-Azhar mosque, near the famous bazaar of Khan el-Khalili. The cab dropped us off in a place I didn't recognize, so we headed off down the street in search of something. What we found was the completely non-touristy section of the market, which was wonderful. We walked through an alley lined with stall, and no one yelled "Obama!" or "Let me take your money!" at us. We bought delicious baclava from a funny old man who wanted us to take a picture for some reason, and pretty scarves from two other vendors. Eventually, we retraced our steps and crossed a busy street using a pedestrian overpass. Then we bought pomegranate juice from a juice stand, and sat to drink it out of small glass tumblers with straws.
When we were done, we wandered a bit more, and stumbled onto a part of town that I recognized, the place I had asked the cab driver to take us, Al-Azhar mosque and the section of town known as Islamic Cairo. It was dark by this point, but we still wandered for an hour or two, and found a mausoleum that was open and free to wander around in. We also found a silver shop where Sarah bought a tiny box for a really good price, even if it isn't really sterling silver (but I think it is).
Then we caught a cab back to Zamalek and had dinner at Hardee's, because we were both kind of craving some protein. I also recharged my phone after I ran out of money on it for the first time this morning. It was terrible not to be able to call or text anyone all day.
When we got back to the dorms, we realized our mistake in eating at Hardee's because tonight was Turkish night, and there was a huge free buffet for everyone, with all sorts of delicious food and desserts. We were stuffed and tired, though, so we went upstairs for a bit, and when we came back down, all the food was gone. Oops.
So that was today, full of walking, and paying for things, and completely wonderful. Sarah's leaving tomorrow, which makes me sad, but it was amazing having her here, and I wouldn't trade the last five days (the scare of two nights ago notwithstanding) for anything.
NaNo word count: 10337

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