Sahara, Part II: A Nomadic Amazigh Family on the Return Home

Reading Time: 3 minutes
The final leg of my Sahara trip consists mostly of lengthy driving. We stop briefly, however, to speak with a nomadic Amazigh family. Continue reading Sahara, Part II: A Nomadic Amazigh Family on the Return Home

Sahara, Part I: “Camping” in the Desert

Reading Time: 3 minutes
I have never been tent-camping because I have been firmly sure I would hate it. The most I have compromised with the wild has been to live in camp cabins—dirty, bedbug-infested and filled with the stench of hundreds of past residents in the middle of the woods. I’m sure that, on those trips, mosquitoes deliberately targeted me. Continue reading Sahara, Part I: “Camping” in the Desert

Treading Through Rabat in Worn Sneakers

Reading Time: 3 minutes
The term “third world country” initially described countries affiliated with neither the United States nor the Soviet Union during the Cold War. “Second world countries” allied with the Soviets and “first world countries” allied with the U.S. For this reason, the term “second world” has today gone out of use, while the “third world”—which consisted of mostly poor countries during the era—has been conflated on a worldwide basis to describe less economically and politically strong countries. Continue reading Treading Through Rabat in Worn Sneakers

Cuisine in Cairo: A Summary

Reading Time: 7 minutes
Although conversation and behavior do not always cross linguistic and cultural barriers, food always does. I am finally home, but I already miss the many new food experiences I have had in Egypt. Since I am a food addict (I have to eat at least three times a day!), I have decided to compile all of my best meals in Cairo. These are my culinary adventures… Continue reading Cuisine in Cairo: A Summary

Sufi Dancers at Khan al-Khalili

Reading Time: 6 minutes
I did not grow up in a family receptive to art or performance. Though I took years of drawing class, my parents always judged my artwork against a metric of skill rather than an inherent value in my effort or care. During my music concerts, they would often doze off in the back. And it’s not their fault; different people are differently responsive to aesthetic. However, as a result, while I am very appreciative of art, I often do not have a methodology to expressing my appreciation. Continue reading Sufi Dancers at Khan al-Khalili

Fe(teach)er: Egyptian Teacher and Egyptian Pie

Reading Time: 6 minutes
I have had two wonderful, supportive Arabic teachers in my past three weeks in Cairo, but this week is my last with Manar. Manar is super sweet and funny, and our classes are filled with learning and laughter. Since tomorrow is Friday (and the weekend), Manar was kind enough to invite me to food after our final class. Continue reading Fe(teach)er: Egyptian Teacher and Egyptian Pie

Color, Northern Cairo and Cultural Musings

Reading Time: 6 minutes
Winters are not warm in Cairo. Prior to departure, a traveler’s image of the destination is a mixture between research and bias. As much as I try to lessen my biases (no adult is tabula rasa), my first expectations of Egypt certainly were not based on observation, and I did not expect Egyptian weather to be chilly. As a result, I did not need a thermometer to tell me I had a fever last week—after two hours under four blankets and multiple clothing layers, I was still shivering.

Continue reading Color, Northern Cairo and Cultural Musings

New Year’s with an Expat

Reading Time: 5 minutes
My mother’s high school classmate 陈叔叔 (Chen Shushu – literally “Uncle Chen” and meaning “Mr. Chen”) happens to work at the Chinese Embassy in Egypt. As a holiday gesture, a friendly “my-high-school friend-from-China-who-moved-to-the-U.S.-happens-to-have-a-daughter-in-Cairo” exchange and an assurance of my safety traveling alone to my mother, Chen Shushu takes me to dinner for New Year’s Eve. Continue reading New Year’s with an Expat