Breakfast: At our new home, the Bodmin Guest House, breakfast is included in the cost of the room — which is only 20 E£ (Egyptian Pounds). We were very excited when we learned that we would not have to go far to enjoy what we imagined could be a delicious plate of eggs and buttered toast, with a side of bacon or sausage, or perhaps a full steaming serving platter of pancakes and French toast, or even a bowl of our favorite cereal. Well, that's not exactly what we get. At 8 o'clock every morning, someone stomps down the hall to our rooms, knocks on the door, and barks "Breakfast!" in a heavy Egyptian accent. Bleary-eyed, we stagger down to the "breakfast" room — a dark and decrepit room utterly without charm — and gulp down strong tea (no coffee for andrEa) with two thin rolls, a wedge of processed cheese, and a little container of strawberry jam. Oh well. Better luck next time.
Lunch: Cairo is a city that roars by with the subtlety of dinosaur. Sometimes, it is hard not to do the same. On both mornings, we were so wrapped up in the administrative activities of the day — registering with the authorities, looking for reduced entrance identity cards to Egyptian monuments, writing our daily dispatches — that the lunch hour slipped by and we found ourselves faced with an impossible choice: eat lunch or discover another secret about Egypt. As Anthony has pointed out, we suffer when we do not eat — and Padraic can become positively ghoulish — but we also suffer when we run out of time to learn. As finely tuned as our stomachs are, our brains are just as well oiled. And our thirst for knowledge cannot be sated. We must learn! "More more more," Anthony has been known to utter in his sleep. We know that he could only be talking about knowledge.
Dinner: Cairo is a city full of quickly prepared food. On nearly every street and alley, it is impossible not to find food vendors doling out kushari, falafel, chawarma, fruit drinks (see the Food of the Day), etc. But there are other options as well. Both today and yesterday, we dipped into local establishments and had a little kushari, or chicken, or "macaroni and cheese." The latter was served like a soufflé of puffed cheese over a satisfying, smoking hot mix of pasta . . . and meat! (We thought it was a perfect vegetarian meal but, well, we were mistaken.) Of course, everything is served with bread and torshi. Torshi is a salad of pickled vegetables, like carrots, radishes, and cucumbers. The bread, or reysh, is usually what we would call pita bread.
Food of the Day: Hotel Fawaka
Word of the Day: Bikam? — "How much?"
Person of the Day:
|On Monday, November 17, 1997, 58 foreigners and four Egyptians were killed when six or more Islamic militants attacked visitors at the funerary temple of Queen Hatshepsut on the west bank of the Nile just north of Luxor. The BikeAbout team would like to take this moment to remember those whose lives were lost and to offer our deepest condolences to their friends and families who continue to suffer as a result of the loss. Violence of any kind, especially when brought upon the innocent, should never be tolerated. Never. Nor should the reasons why such violence occurs be ignored. It is only through open and honest dialogue that different people will begin to understand how and why people are different and how and why to bridge their differences.|
Place of the Day: Egyptian Museum
Tech Fact of the Day: Egyptians use a different set of numbers.
Group Dispatch, November 18–19
Questions? Ask Ethan !
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