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

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