Monday, September 8, 2008

Ants in the Morning, Roosters in the Evening

So I awoke this morning, still a little disgruntled with the world. To my utter horror, things only got worse when I opened my laptop: overnight, a smallish colony of ants had decided that my speakers, fan vents, and keyboard would be a perfect place for a luxury vacation. They crawled out one or two at a time for hours. Thankfully, they didn't do any damage. Angry and dejected, I didn't even leave the apartment. I, of course, blamed the infestation of the single-most important personal item I've brought with me to Egypt on the country itself and its people. I read the news over and over again, listened to music, chatted with people, and whiled away the time ignoring the occasional six-legged nightmare. I had my comfort food--oat bran and dried cranberries. Later, I took photos out of our dining room window of the street below. That was the closest I got to leaving the apartment until after 6 in the evening. Ross and I ventured over to an American-style café near AUC's downtown campus and had some lentil soup. I also had a nice hibiscus and lime ice-blended drink. My spirits started to lift a bit, and by the time I met up with a new friend from my program, Mallory, I decided I didn't absolutely loathe Egypt. We chanced upon my friend Dina along our route to the Cairo Capital Club, and chatted with her a bit. She'll be in my class on Thursday.
It was at the CCC, on the 15th floor, that I had my first graduate class. All of my fears and apprehensions melted away as I enjoyed one of the best first classes I've ever had. Two and a half hours sped by without me losing interest or feeling overwhelmed. The professor's great and a lot of the other students (who come from the States, Egypt, Australia, the UK, Cameroon, Ghana, and elsewhere) have really interesting backgrounds and experience. If this is what all law classes are like, sign me up for law school. I'm picking up the reading packet tomorrow which, though heavy on court decisions, promises to be interesting and stimulating. Perhaps symbolically, the last beastly creature to scurry out from under my keys was during the class.
Afterwards, a small group of us headed back from the direction we came and stopped at the copy shop that prepares course packets. We got to chatting and made plans to meet up later in Zamalek at a café. It ended up being Mallory, me, Evan who I'd met through Better World when we went to grade English exams, and Mitch, a guy here on Fulbright who'd worked at a refugee camp in Kenya. We hung out well into the early morning, the cab Mallory and I shared back downtown dropping us off somewhere around half past two. During the short walk home, Egypt seemed infinitely more bearable than it had just a few hours before. Not only bearable, but a little wonderful too.
It's getting late now, but the rooster outside the apartment is blissfully unaware of what time it is as he's crowing madly. With the honking and white noise of the air conditioner becoming part of my routine, I'm sure I'll fall asleep anyway.

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