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Night in Zamelak

August 24, 2006

About 4 p.m., I was feeling kind of foolish about not leaving the apartment, so I emailed Boxa (a friend of a family of a friend) for recommendations about food, shopping, etc. In the mean time, we ventured out again, so some girls could take passport photos for the student visa, and we walked around window shopping, and in and out of stores. I bought two shawls/scarfs to wear over tank tops on the street, making sure the price was ashr (ten pounds) and not ashriin (twenty pounds).

When we got back, I found an email from Boxa saying that he was coming downtown to show us around. I invited a couple of my roommates/hallmates, hoping that was okay. Before I knew it we were splitting up between Boxa’s car and a taxi. When I asked where we were going, we realized it was the restaurant that some of us had gone to last night.

“We’ll go somewhere else then.” Boxa said, motioned to the taxi, said something in Arabic and off we were to Zamelek, where most of the AUC students live. It wasn’t long before we realized we were going to cross the Nile (we hadn’t seen it yet!). The Nile was huge and really, we only went across halfway in reality. After quite a walk, we got to a restaurant where we sat down to a huge dinner with fafafel, faoul, shisha, and various Egyptian dishes that haven’t hit the states quite yet. I had a some combination of spaghetti, bacon bits, chick peas, and some other things that tasted delicious.

Next it was a bakery (with the huge sign here) where we got two 5 pound plates of sweets. Boxa offered to get the car while we looked through a market for food for our newly working refrigerator. We were befriended by a cat and a little girl. We had a million questions for Boxa and he answered them all graciously and with a good sense of humor. Dinner and the bakery were well worth it.

Tommorow: a tour of Islamic Cairo

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