Friday, November 18, 2005

life in Egypt.

Mohammed did get to take his vacation, as the other guy managed to find his way back to Sharm. Mohammed's home is in a small city to the West of Alexandria. He has a wonderful family that I will remember forever. His mother, father and three brothers, as well as his aunts, and cousins that kept stopping by. They fed me too much though. Everywhere we went, it was "Eat!" "Eat!" "Eat!" If I stayed there much longer, I would have to buy a whole new wardrobe. The food, for the most part, was excellent. There were a few things, though, that I knew that I would not like and so turned down, even though they still kept insisting that I eat more. (Things in the meat department that kind of turn my stomach to think about, that are normal here.)
I met many of Mohammed's friends. Ahmed, Waleed, Mmdoaa, Masaood, Atteia, Ahmed, Mohammed, Romy, etc. He has so many friends and so had a few problems. A lot of his friends were upset that he couldn't spend more time sitting with them and talking with them. He didn't even get to see many of his friends.
Every day we went to Alexandria for a few hours to walk around or such. One day, I went with Mohammed (in the cap), Masaood (in the white shirt), Mmdoaa (beside Mohammed), Ahmed (infront of Mohammed) and Atteia. We walked around for a while and spent some time watching the traffic of the Corniche and the Mediteranean sea. Later, we went to a movie... an Egyptian comedy that , of course, was in Arabic. I barely understood anything that was going on, but the guys couldn't stop laughing the entire time.

Another day, Mohammed (with me), Masaood (middle), Mohammed and I went to Montaaza, the old summer palace in Alex (you can see it behind Mohammed and I). The guys are standing on the bridge at Montaaza. I had been there before, when it was warmer (during my course), to go swimming. This time, we walked around the huge park to enjoy the scenery and take a lot of pictures. A very beautiful place.

One night, I also went into Alex with Mohammed (on the left) and Waleed. We wandered around along the Corniche and then went to see the Citadel/Fort Qaitbey. The Citadel stands where the Great Lighthouse used the stand. Materials from the Lighthouse were used to build the Citadel.

The whole situation of me visiting Mohammed's home was very unusual. Guys (people) here don't take people, especially girls, home. There are no foreigners in Mohammed's town, so I really stood out. I guess when he told his mom he was going home for a vacation, she asked him what he was going to bring for her. He told her that he was bringing something very sweet. I guess there were many questions going around the town, as everyone knows everyone. "Who is that girl?" "Why is she here?" "Where is she staying?" Mohammed said that everyone there loves and knows him and his family so there are no problems.
Today I got to try sugar cane. I knew that they made drinks from it at the juice places here, but I had never tried it. Mohammed's brothers just took chunks of it, chewed on it, and then spit it out. I did smaller pieces. It is very sweet. When you chew on it, the juices come out and then you spit out the rest of it.
I drink too much tea here. The biggest problem with that is that here, they load it with sugar. In a small cup, they will put up to 4 heaping teaspoons, sometimes more. They think it is strange if you want less than 3. In different cities, the cup sizes are very different. In Alex, they use very tall glasses. In Cairo, the glasses are about half of the ones in Alex. In Siwa, they drink tea from very small shot glasses.
Mohammed is now on his way back to Sharm and I am in Alex. I have some things I have to do here, and then tomorrow I will head to Cairo for a night or two. Ehab, my other friend from Sharm will have his holiday when Mohammed gets back and will then meet me in Cairo to take me to his home.
Another adventure.

No comments: