The Amazing Race... in Cairo!
Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
15Trip End May 29, 2010
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Then they brought out more meat, and I have NEVER seen any type of meat like this before- it looked like they had just removed ribs from an animal and placed it on a plate. The bones were sticking out the meat was black and yellow…needless to say if I wasn’t already a vegetarian I would have become one on this very night. After the crazy dinner, the teachers walked us to a little hole in the wall juice bar (literally hole.in.wall.) They ordered sugarcane juice for all of us- aka pure liquid sugar. Naturally it was really good! After this evening ended I had had my fill of new foods for the day, to say the least.
Thursday marked the last day of orientation and it ended with an activity called "The Amazing Race in Cairo" and yes, it was exactly like the show. We were put into groups of three and each group was given a separate mission- I was with Lindley and Ryan and we were headed to an art museum for our first stop. Along the way to various destinations around the entire city of Cairo we had to take photos and collect various things such as, a run down taxi, a cheesy keychain, a coin with a hole in it, and Egyptian food we hadn’t tried, a new friend we met on the way, etc
After eventually finding our way to the museum and making our way inside, we made friends with the curator, who helped answer all our questions on the paper and we managed to get a picture with him as our new friend J Then we jumped into a taxi- my first one in Cairo- and headed to Ramses Train station. We had to take a picture of the clock tower, find the price of a ticket and the time of the next train- NOT as easy as it sounds. Apparently everything needs to be written in Arabic, (who knew?) and thankfully Ryan was with Lindley and I because the comments and stares from every single man at this station were becoming overwhelming. I have NEVER in my life been so blatantly stared at by every single person on the street- most of the time their comments are in Arabic and I don’t know what they are saying, but so far I’ve hear “hebeebeti” (my baby) and been told I love you three different times, had 'I want to kiss you’ whispered in my ear, and to top it all off was called a witch hahaha (mixed reactions around here)- I would be flattered if they weren’t around my father’s age (No offense Phil).
Anyway, after the train station we hopped on the Metro subway- my second time on here
Then we walked all around Downtown Cairo looking for a specific koshary restaurant. Koshary is an Egypt specialty food and consists of macaroni, lentils, rice chickpeas, onions, and a type of tomato sauce. We finally found it, said screw the race, and sat down and enjoyed some lunch! It was soooooo GOOD- my favorite Egyptian dish by far. We had to take a picture under the restaurant sign and of the koshary, then we were on our way again. After wandering around downtown (not intentionally) we pretty much decided to give up the race, but still wanted to try to see some of the areas, without rushing
And I have to grudgingly admit that even though it was a miserable experience at the time, it did teach me how to take a taxi, ride the metro, and talk to random people on the street, which will only help me later on. Matthew said the point was to “push you beyond your limits” and I can honestly say I have never been pushed so far beyond my limits in my life.... (which is probably why I didn’t like it ;) So much happened in only two days, and everything I have done is so new and challenging it gets overwhelming. Tomorrow we are headed to the pyramids- much more to come I’m positive. I can’t wait to meet a camel!!!!!!!!