Friday, October 10, 2008

From Korea to Kandahar in Cairo

Yesterday was quite a full day. Our classes, now that Ramadan has ended, last three hours and the difference is quite palpable. I got koshary to go and left for my Intro course where I turned in my reflection paper on the refugee régime and its relationship with states' security interests and the language of humanitarianism. A couple of my classmates and I, after escaping from the fluorescent torture chamber, decided to get dinner. A nearby Lebanese place didn't have any room for the likes of us non-reservation holders, so we wandered to the Cleopatra Palace Hotel where one of us had heard there was a good Korean restaurant. I was skeptical as we rounded the corner and came upon the dodgy façade, but was pleasantly surprised inside. The kimchi was delicious as was our main course, bibimbap. Jamie, one of our group of three, had lived in South Korea for a year. She opined that the food in this Egypto-Korean joint was quite good, but that perhaps the rice was a little on the Egyptian side. The presence of dozens of Korean tourists ostensibly confirmed the authenticity or at least acceptability of the cuisine.
It was after ten by the time I returned home, but my evening was just beginning. My next stop was a house party in Mounira at an apartment near the French Cultural Center. Appropriately, there were a lot of francophones, affording me yet another opportunity to socialize in my second language. The rest of the number of guests were Canadian, British, Sudanese, Ethiopian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Italian, American, etc. I had a humorous conversation with my Ethiopian chum, Ammanuel in which he was earnestly trying to discover what American women really mean when they say "I don't know."
Finding myself still there, lost in conversation at 3 AM, I decided I probably ought to go home and sleep. A small herd of new acquaintances and one of my classmates had other plans and convinced me to join them at Odeon where we remained until sunrise. Honestly though, with the way my sleeping pattern is, it was worth it. The conversations I get to have and the experiences people share are truly unique.
Currently, after having slept in quite late, I've been buckling down and doing reading on whether people who are military deserters or trying to dodge military service obligations can qualify as refugees. In less than a couple of hours, I'll be heading to dinner at Kandahar which, though named after a city in Afghanistan, serves Indian and Lebanese food. Don't ask, I have no idea.

News of Egypt:
Education in Egypt
Rice not content with condition of human rights in Egypt
Egypt, Syria, and North Korea only three countries that ban commercial GPS
8 Egyptians charged in 'Eid sexual assault

1 comment:

amy said...

I don't know. I'm laughing.