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

Polyhedrons with Triangular Faces and a Lioness

Reading Time: 9 minutes
The day before New Year’s Eve is another Friday weekend. Mohamed offers to take a few students from our Arabic school to the Pyramids of Giza. How can we refuse? Continue reading Polyhedrons with Triangular Faces and a Lioness

Christmas in Cairo

Reading Time: 6 minutes
This is my first Christmas away from home. Although I am on holiday, I (voluntarily) have class on Christmas Eve, Christmas and (will) on New Year’s. There will be more to celebrate when I can fluently communicate in Arabic. Continue reading Christmas in Cairo

Adventure is Out There: Performing the Tourist Archetype in Greater Cairo (Part II)

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Continued from Part I:

The day is flying, so we quickly grab a to-go (“takeaway” in Egyptian ‘amiya; it uses an English loanword to denote this idea) lunch and board a mini-bus for Taḥrir Square (ميدان التحرير). Continue reading Adventure is Out There: Performing the Tourist Archetype in Greater Cairo (Part II)

Adventure is Out There: Performing the Tourist Archetype in Greater Cairo (Part I)

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Friday is the Day of Prayer, and in the same way that Sunday is a rest day in Western countries, Muslim nations have Friday free. Some people’s weeks are five days long (one of my two Arabic teachers takes Thursday off as well, and some other teachers take Saturday off), and some people’s weeks are six days long (like mine—six days of classes!), but Friday is a shared holiday. And, just like for church in Western countries, some people go to mosque, and some do not. Religion is a very personal experience. Continue reading Adventure is Out There: Performing the Tourist Archetype in Greater Cairo (Part I)

Cairo: My First Impressions of Al-Qahirah

Reading Time: 5 minutes
From the time I was little, I have had two homes I have comfortably lived in. One was multicultural, in the United States, and one was dark-haired and dark-eyed, in China. It was easy for me to blend in either country, because I spoke both age-level English and Chinese and, in China, was Han in a nine-tenths Han nation. Continue reading Cairo: My First Impressions of Al-Qahirah