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Up and Downs of the Last Weeks in Misr

December 14, 2006

Final papers and an insane traveling schedule last weekend adds up to me avoiding writing in any sort of public forum. But now the papers are done, and running on five hours of sleep over a period of 48 hours, I bring you some news from Egypt.

I also went to Luxor this past weekend. It was absolutely breathtaking to see some of the best preserved Ancient Egyptian artifacts that close. Plus the knowledge that travelling within Egypt wasn’t as scary as we thought it would be. I said to Teresa and Christine in the airport, if nothing else, this trip has taught me that I’m stronger in ways I didn’t know, and that I’m not as strong as I thought otherwise. Travel doesn’t change you, it makes you more of the person you are.

Yesterday, in a moment of sheer bizzareness, George Clooney and Don Cheadle were on campus. As Kate said in her blog, we were both stuck in the last class of Comparative Politics, thinking up new and inventive ways to crush our overwhelming boredom. Sadly, we couldn’t have even got in if we tried, as it was closed to Forced Migration and Refugee Studies students (the rumor had it that Clooney and Cheadle had recently gone to Sudan and were stopping by to talk about it) and the whole thing was supposed to be “confidential” (i.e. nobody who wasn’t invited was supposed to know), but you can imagine how these things get around a pretty small campus. Even better, some girls in my lit class got into an arguement as to which of the Cairo hotels the two actors were staying at.

That very afternoon, I walked into Greek campus and heard a sudden and overwhelming roar. Fortunately I knew Ahly Club (Cairo’s premiere soccer, ahem football, league) was playing, so I wasn’t worried. Two weeks ago, I went with a bunch of study abroad students to an Ahly game in Cairo Stadium. We had our little red Ahly flags, sat in our 10 pound seats (pretty good for less than 2 dollars, plus it wasn’t crowded at all), and watched a bit of the opening of the Asian Games on the huge TVs during halftime.

I’m forcing myself to sum up the past four months into something tangible, and that is near impossible. When my thoughts and emotions towards Egypt, returning home, what I did and didn’t do changes hourly, never mind under the influence of stress-inducing papers (new thing learned: I am much better at writing literature papers than about any sort of substantive economic policy) and – to complete the circle of this semester – insomnia.

Avoiding writing in this blog also helps me avoid what its purpose will be next semester. I’m going to be ripping from some of the earlier entries wholesale, or using them as starting points for essays/non-fiction work/creative fodder. But I’d still like to keep up a blog. Especially when three out of five of my professors next semester have blogs, and ones worth subscribing to. Now that the Cheerio part of the title has been ruled irrelevant, and the Ahlan, ruled dormant out of the need for me to focus on my Englishmajoring for the next year and half, I’d hate for this place to become a hollow shell of an amusing idea I dreamt up one night in my dorm on F St.

I have some general ideas for the direction of Ahlan, but hopefully that will be something I can firm up over the three weeks of Winter Break.  It’s December, and I am almost home. I cannot believe it went by this fast.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Ri permalink
    December 16, 2006 7:21 am

    Hey, Tay – we are all richer and quite a bit wiser, having lived vicariously through your adventures – so, I for one, am very happy that you’ll be keeping up your blog. Hurry home, safe and sound.

    Aunt Ri

  2. Gretchen permalink
    December 20, 2006 12:21 am

    i love you! see you next tuesdayyyyy!!

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