A Very Long Day
It’s a Sunday, which is a class day here in Cairo, the first day of the week. And today has been a very, very long day. A schedule of the past 24 hours:
12 a.m. to 3 a.m.:Finishing up a paper on gendered labor roles and structural adjustment. Yeah, I didn’t think you wanted to hear about that either.
3 a.m. to 8 a.m.: Sleep
8:30 a.m.: drag self from bed
9:20 a.m.: re-drag self from bed
9:30 a.m. shuttle to school
9:40 to 10 a.m. : Walking to Garden City to meet up with my friend Mikey, who is visiting from Madrid
10 to 11 a.m.: BRUNCH!-esque!
11 a.m. : Mikey and I turn back to Garden City only to find out the road has been blocked for both car and pedestrian traffic, because President Hosni Mubarak (who has been president for 26 years now – since the last one was assassinated) was going to Parliment.
11:40 a.m: Pedestrians now able to walk on the street. Lining the sides of the street are Egyptian police officers, forming a human barrier between the sidewalk and the street. As Mikey and I walk past all 60 officers, and every. single. one. harrasses me, even with Mikey by my side.
11:45: With Mikey in his hostel, I walk back to campus. I am again accosted and followed by police officers. Three months of laughing-off and muttering obsencities under my breath builds up and I snap, screaming things that should not be repeated at the officers. Every single person in the street turns around. “Oh” I say. “I’ve made a horrible mistake.”
11:48: I flee the scene, choosing to walk in between cars rather than walk on the sidewalk with the police officers.
11:55: Gasping (because I have been running) I arrive at my noon class, for which the professor is notorious for locking you out of even if you are one minute late. Two girls tell me that “class has been cancelled.” I deflate to the floor and explain what has happened.
12:00 to 12:45: Deep calming breaths
1:00 to 1:30: oh boy. Lit class.
1:30: Mubarak has stopped traffic again, so I walk towards Ataba (the square by my hotel) to pick up a cab to the airport.
2:20 to 3:20: WHERE ARE PARENTS? DID THIS MAN NEXT TO ME SWALLOW HIS COLOGNE AND IS NOW PISSING IT OUT?
3:20: PARENTS! IN CAIRO! I loudly shout “Browns!”, creating such a scene. Yay! Parents!
3:30 to 4:20 cab ride to Zamelek. Mubarak still messing up traffic
4:20 to 5:30: snack with parents
5:40 to 6:20: 5 minute cab ride turns ugly in face of traffic. Probably Mubarak’s fault.
6:20 to 7: Panicked English class preperation
7 to 10: Teaching English
10 to 10:10: Amusing cab ride home with cabbie that wants to talk about world politics. Groggily manage to get out Arabic version of “I don’t like George Bush” and hope that he doesn’t get “lost” and wants me to pay him more. I suggest learning this phrase for all Americans abroad -regardless of your political views – Mish uhib George Bush. Repeat it slow…
10:10 to 11: Roommate story hour.
11:30 to 12: SHOWER. BEAUTIFUL SHOWER.
12:30: time to go to bed