All Dogs Go to Heaven

Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
Trip End Dec 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
AUC Dorms

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some sad news came my way this week when my dad informed me that he had to put our almost 14 year old basset hound, Sally, to sleep this past Thursday.  For those readers that have met my family, you know how important Sally was to us; she was known as my little sister and even had a place in all of our family photographs-- even though she always refused to look at the camera.  In order to celebrate her life, I am going to post some of my favorite Sally memories:
1.  When Sally was a puppy I picked out her name from a Dick and Jane book; for those followers who grew up with Dick and Jane, you remember that Sally was the little sister in the books, and Sally was truly my little sister growing up.  She promptly gained the nickname Roo (and its various forms) because basset hounds are known to howl, all of them except Sally that is. 
2.  Until mid high school (and sometimes after) Sally always slept in my bed with me.  She would jump up onto my bed and somehow through the night manage to move my head off of the pillow and move her head onto it. 
3.  Sally was quite the beggar at the kitchen table, but only once did she actually manage to jump up and get something.  One time we cooked hamburgers and they were set on the table to wait for everyone and while we were waiting Sally jumped up and stole the hamburger!  When we came back to the kitchen, the hamburger had been devoured and only Sally was in sight.
4.  If you got Sally riled up, like Adam and I tended to do, she would pretend to get upset and stick her butt up into the air and bark at you, until she yawned and went back to sleep.
Sally was the most laid back dog; she was the perfect size to be a footrest and a pillow and was always there when you needed her.  It is going to be really hard going back home and she is not there.  Times like these make you realize how much you miss at home while you are gone abroad.  So, because it is all I can do from here, this post is dedicated to Sally and her life:  chasing lizards, sleeping, eating, sleeping, exploring, sleeping, and being the world's best dog and childhood friend.  We know that you are in a better place, but we all miss you terribly! 

Have I mentioned yet how much I love having Tuesdays off?  It feels like the week is so broken up because I go to class for two days, have a day off, go for two more days, then have two days off.  Tuesdays will probably be my blog days, so you can start looking for updates then, or on Wednesdays if they get long.  So, this past Monday night we went on a felucca ride on the Nile.  The group was a fun mix of Study Abroads and Egyptians, which is fun because you get to see real Egyptian culture.  Unlike the last felucca ride, there was very loud music and dancing on the boat.  For such a conservative culture, Egyptians sure do love to dance, and dance they do.  These boats are decked out with colorful lights and are all over the Nile and they are really cheap to rent for an hour.  Oh, and here is another culture note:  if you are with Egyptian guys they never let you pay for anything.  Apparently, it shows that they are well off if they can afford to pay for you and the other girls in the group.  This custom makes things cheaper, but it can also get aggravating because you feel like you are a freeloader and not pulling your weight.  However, even girls that have been here for awhile say that it is usually easier to accept the generosity than fight with an Egyptian on the issue, because believe me, they will not back down.

Also this week, I went to CityStars Mall, aka the largest mall I have been to in my entire life.  CityStars is like a 7 story monstrosity with every expensive shop you could ever ask for.  They also have cheaper stores as well and a hefty choice of American Restaurants.  For dinner, my roommate and I went to Fuddruckers, you heard me right, Fuddruckers.  I had no idea it was outside of South Carolina, much less in Cairo!  After dinner, I broke down (after over a month, keep in mind) and got Starbucks.  CityStars has TWO Starbucks, how could I deny it?  The Carmel Macchiato was delicious, though, and so worth it.  So, I needed to go shopping because I should have brought less T-shirts and more nice shirts to Cairo.  In Cairo, and at AUC in particular, t-shirts scream "I do not want to fit in at all!"  Therefore, I bought a couple of new shirts that I can mix with sweaters and the pants I already have.  Tip for traveling (at least through Europe, China, and Egypt):  people do notice and comment if you compromise looks for comfort.  In Egypt it can mean you get ripped off by vendors and in Europe it just categorizes you as a sloppy American.  I have found that dressing in Cairo is all about balance, you do not have to compromise all comfort.  Recently, I've found myself wearing whatever pants I have (linen or jeans) mixed with a plain fitted t-shirt and perhaps a sweater.  Then, throw on a colorful scarf for color and some jewelry to dress everything up a bit and you are set.  For shoes, wear anything other than tennis shoes and flip flops; I have found myself depending on my Toms and a wonderful pair of Target sandals which are both semi-dressy and comfortable.  With these steps, I feel I blend into Egyptian culture better and I do not get characterized as "the sloppy American study abroad student."  My goal for coming abroad was to break American preconceptions of the Middle East, and I have also found it useful to break negative preconceptions of Americans while I am abroad. 

As mentioned in my last blog, I have been trying to cook a lot more in order to avoid having to spend money on food.  When I need to go grocery shopping, I take a bus for about 15 minutes to Rehab, a nice community near New Cairo.  My roommate and I have explored there and found the best places to get fresh fruit and bread!  The fruit and veggies change every time we go which is nice because it gives us variety, and so does the bakery!  We also get force fed free cookies when we enter the bakery, but I was super excited this past time when I went and they had croissants.  Have I mentioned that all of this stuff is so cheap-- I paid like 5 dollars for 2 bags of fruits and veggies?  It is ten times cheaper to buy and cook on your own than to go out to eat (even though eating out here is really cheap in comparison to the US).  Anyways, I have found myself doing things like boiling noodles, throwing in some fresh peppers, and adding a bit of Italian dressing.  I am looking for more, easy suggestions for things to cook while here, so please, send any ideas along in comment form.  When I return to PC I feel I will be cooking for myself a lot more, my friends at PC are invited to join me on this venture as well. 

Last night I was invited to a birthday party for the guy whose house we stayed at in Ismailia.  Before the party I went to CityStars with his girlfriend (my roommate's good friend) and his best friend to get a present.  In Egypt they have a custom where instead of everyone buying different gifts, everyone puts in what they can towards a really nice gift.  We found a wonderful Esprit watch at CityStars and everyone threw in some to contribute.  After getting the present, we went into Zamalek and went to dinner at EuroDeli.  There were so many people, mostly Egyptian, and I could tell everyone had a blast!  When you get that many Egyptians together, though, it is so loud!  After dinner and coffee and cake we came back to campus and were exhausted. 

Today I do not plan on doing too much just going to the gym and doing a lot of reading.  My classes are great, but I have so much reading to do for all of them-- except Arabic which is just exhausting to practice.  It is definitely helping to hang out with friends that speak Arabic, though, they encourage me to practice with them and try to teach me nifty phrases and words.  They also try to build up your ego by telling you how wonderful you are at speaking Arabic, no matter how false that statement is.  I hope I have been entertaining enough in the blog.  Like always, comment and let me know what is going on at home, and this time PLEASE include any tasty, easy recipes you have, they would be much appreciated! 

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Daddy on

Nice to tribute the Roo. I suppose making the home made noodles is out of the question???

Caroline Parish on

Lacy, I am so sorry about Sally I know you will miss her.
Cairo suits you and I can't think of anything better than exploring local markets and bakeries to try out new foods. I will work on some recipes for you.
Keep telling us all about the Eygptian culture and traditions, it is refreshing to hear about it from your point of view and not a biased media orientated version of life over there.
Now we just need toget Alice to blog more.
Have fun, study hard and enjoy life to the fullest.

Lisa Rose on

Lacy! I'm so sorry to hear about Sally! Hope your dad is holding up! I saw Adam last week, but it would have been before Sally passed.

Miss you- thought of you when I took the kids to the new yogurt place right around the corner from my house- Yumilicious. Had Cake Batter yogurt. YUM.

Mom on

Nice blog darling! You always could write (and read OMG) maybe it was those Dick and Jane books that started it. Sally will be missed by all. She had the softest ears ever! For her sake throw some cheese in with those noodles! You can do alot with noodles to mix it up add anything ya want like ham, pepperoni, peas, bacon, mushrooms, onion, parmesean cheese, etc. I like to make mine with a cream sauce. Cook alittle butter, some cream and parmesean cheese and add it to the noodles and other stuff. I even put some crushed red pepper on top sometimes. Good luck! Love you! tty on FB

Kate on

I'm so sorry to hear about Sally. I know how much you loved her!

But, seriously, I can't believe you lasted that long without Starbucks. I'm very impressed. Loved all the pictures, and it looks like you are having a blast. Just make sure when you do get to all that reading it doesn't turn into nap time. ;) I would offer recipes, but I have no cooking talent. However, I do understand that you can slap just about anything between 2 pieces of bread and it makes a sandwich. haha. Miss you!

Brazill on

I love reading your blogs. I so wish I could have gone abroad. Things here in the "Big City" are about the same as usual. I have a great class. They are working hard to become 2nd graders. You know how they are such babies when we first get them. I can't wait for you to meet them. Chirstine is doing a fantastic job. She helps me out so much. I don't know how I ever survived with out a helper. Anyway, keep up the blogs... I enjoy hearing about all of your adventures. GB

Cousin Karen on

Glad to see you figured out the whole dressing thing. Culture is important if you want to try to blend in and be treated well.

aliceparish on

hey lacy i finally got around to reading your blog. your tribute to sally was precious and sad. i can imagine how hard it is for you. on a lighter note europeans/spaniards all dress nice too. i still need to make a trip to the shopping street and invest in some nice dresses/skirts/shirts or something. tshirts just dont quite fit in (which is a shame, but there are good reasons for it).

biggest fan on

one thing: you would find starbucks in cairo. Why would I expect anything otherwise? That's why I love you!

bender on

finally got the time to catch up on your blogs! and I can say this because we're really good friends but I probably wouldn't read them if you were a horrible writer lol so I'm glad we don't have to cross that bridge :)

I'm sorry to hear about Sally. I'll always remember her on the night before our beach trip and how we snuggled in that bed watching sweet homw alabama. there will never be another one!

Also I couldn't help but guess that you probably thought about me atleast once when referring to sloppy americans who only wear tshirts and flipflops lol but i'm glad i've crossed your mind atleast once since you've been over there ;)

Oh and after hearing about the shivalrous men over there, I expect you to go on many dates once your arabic is good enough ;)

Oh and I totally just remebered that my skype does work, but my webcam has been broken since like last year :( so I guess it's just blog and facebook as a means of communication for now...

miss you lac

hannah on

I know I'll miss Sally and her letting me pet her however long I wanted while I was at your house :( She was an awesome dog, you (we) were lucky to have been able to spend so much time with her!
Well, you know me, and I have to make a shoes comment. Toms and Target sandals??? YES YES YES. If this is what it takes to fit in in Egypt, I might as well move. And I'm glad you're fashionably fitting in and giving us Americans a good reputation.
One easy dish - I made lasagna the other night for our apt and it was very cheap and easy. If you want to know specifics just send me a message or something so I don't bore everyone with my not so great (but delicious) recipe.
And I'm completely jealous that you got to shop at such a huge mall. Shopping buddies fo life.

Taylor Warner on

So i have decided that I should just start commenting directly on your blog as i write a good bit and tend to take over your facebook wall. However, i am already noticing a down fall as when i open the comment box it covers up the blog, therefore requiring me to remember everything i wanted to comment on. boo. I could open another window... perfect. so:
1. generosity, good for my wallet... but yeah, that would be hard!
2. i'm so proud of you holding out on starbucks!! and FUDDRUCKERS?! WHAT?!
3. good to know about the clothes. like your linen pants?? how many should i bring? linen shirts? yeah? yay scarves and jewelry! are you going to bring this style back to pc? because i hope so.
4. noodles... you can use pesto or olive oil... and hmmm you could saute the red peppers before you put them in... and maybe use tomatoes too. if you put a little olive oil in the bottom of the pan and cook the tomatoes into a sauce ish like thing... add some artichokes/chicken to the mix... hmmm
5. i need to work on my rosetta stone...

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