Sunday, March 18, 2007

No Broblems in the Enchanted Land of Egypt

Alright, I have returned from my travels in Africa now. ( Although most Egyptians don't consider Egypt to be part of Africa per se). And just like I promised I have brought home stories and music and trinkets. Well..I don't know how to start. So here are some pictures.

This is the view from the Citadel were we went on our second day. Doesn't the smog give the city a mystical magical glow? Yes, and the best part about it is that one day of just breathing the air in Cairo is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes! Breathing is free! Cigarettes aren't! Well they almost are, in Cairo.
It is a truly gorgeous, crowded, happy, dirty city though, and after being there most places seem
like ghost towns, with only the tumble weeds missing. It blew our minds when we realized that 8 million people ( the population of Sweden is 9 million) live in this one hard core, poverty stricken part of Cairo called Shubra where you kiss all the fingers of you hand before shaking hands with someone you like. Pinkey first. Pretty sweet move eh?

We went to the Pyramids of course, and I would feel like an idiot if I were to try and describe it in detail. They were awesome, in the true sense of the word. I took polaroids and walked around in silence, mostly, because like when you're in say, New York, all that comes to mind are obvious things like " wow, they're so huge", and " how the hell did they build these things? I don't get it". Oh yeah, Aida did actually say that last one haha. Anyways, after seeing the Pyramids, the enigmas of humanity, we felt like getting our hair done. What can I say, "girls will be girls " haha. Just kidding. But yeah we did.

As you can see here, it was really fun. The only time it wasn't fun was when that hair dryer thing got painfully warm and started making weird sounds and I could no longer concentrate on looking at the pictures in the Egyptian gossip magazine because I kept envisioning my head exploding. I thought about what a strange death that would be. Still totally worth it. I came out looking like someone from Grease and I liked it.

OK, time for some music.

Avenue D- My Dirty South

Thanks to Hedvig this song became our anthem for this trip. We listened to it every single day in our gross smelly room at the hostel where we stayed. I think us blasting this every morning kind of interfered with the " chilled out atmosphere" and also with the yippie- american's yoga exercises. He said he'd been there " For EVER", but it turned out he'd been in Egypt for like 2 and a half weeks. Sacrificing so much to go to the third world countries and taking pictures of the truth. Ahh, yes. What an asshole.

Bob Dylan- Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

We went to Alexandria for 2 days, and stayed with Aida's aunt and 2 cousins in their nice apartment from which you could see the Mediterranean Sea. We took the train there and on the way back I listed to this song on repeat for 2 hours while drifting in and out of sleep. I saw corn fields and palm trees and houses. When I was waiting in line for the train bathroom this one guy laughed at me so hard he almost cried , you know, just at the idea of me going to the bathroom. It was pretty bad. Yeah.

One night we played Egyptian Monopoly, Monobol with Aidas two American friends. A very healthy looking couple named Jane and Billy. When we entered their home, I swear to god, it was like stepping into a different world. Everything just felt so American, they had even made chocolate chip cookies. And they had Jack Daniels. Monobol definitely wasn't. I mean it was, but everything was in Arabic. The game was super old, from a time when Shubra was one of the not half bad pink ones I think. These pictures are from when I lost all my money except for one measly Egyptian pound. Aida thought it was hilarious, and I think she even filmed it.
I wish I had a better picture for this last song ( this is the view from the little computer room at the hostel) , but Hedvig is the one who took all the taxi-pictures. (She made a really cool project out of taking a picture of the driver + Aida in every taxi we were in. ) OK, last song for now:

Samira Said- Aweni Beek

This song came on when we were in taxi, crossing one of the bridges over the Nile. And since we know it from before we started singing along to it ( Aida in Arabic and me just going aweeneebiiiree), so that driver turned it up super loud and started singing it too. It was just so over the top emotional, flying over the bridge in the sun through all that chaos, just screaming this song as loud as we could.

I'm going to post more Arabic music next time because I haven't had time to listen to the CD containing 135 songs, that our friends Methat and Aladin gave us. All the pictures in this post are courtesy of Aida because I left my camera in a taxi in Cairo.


Blogger Grant Miller said...

My kids are dying to go to Egypt. And I imagine the pyramids must be something.

March 19, 2007 11:26 PM  
Blogger Laz said...

Definitely take you kids to Egypt. Actually, you MUST take them there. It's amazing.

March 21, 2007 6:53 PM  
Blogger Mazur said...

Or you could just give them a pack of cigarattes and a copy of Dark Side of the Moon.

March 22, 2007 12:01 AM  
Blogger Laz said...

yes actually that's even better, forget what i said

March 22, 2007 9:53 PM  
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