Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Festivities and the Return of the Fridge

Yesterday, following my Intro to Migration and Refugee Studies course, a few of my classmates and I went to Felfela for Egyptian food. Afterward, the two young ladies among us went to costume up for an early Halloween party (most Halloween parties were held last night due to Thursday's status as the Islamic world's Friday) and Phil and I went back to my apartment where we hung out with Ross watching political YouTube videos and a show on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon until it was time to head to our friends Brandy and Mary-Anne's apartment in Zamalek for some festive Halloween fun. The cab-driver who negotiated the traffic rather artfully was keen on talking politics for us. He explained that he liked Obama because he was new and used the same logic against both Bush and Mubarak, but especially the latter–they've just been there too long without doing a whole lot of good. The cabbie seemed hesistant about the inevitable transfer of power to the president's son, Gamal as well. It was a surprisingely frank estimation of the situation. The group at the party consisted largely of our fellow CMRS students and it was a hoot hanging out in a non-academic, informal atmosphere. Such fun, in fact, that some us stuck around until sunrise. The ride back to Bab al-Luq in the early morning was quite pleasant. The way the city looked lit by the pinkish-yellowish sky, the lack of traffic on the roads, and the relative quiet made wonder if I was really in Cairo. Happily, the greyish haze also lit up by the morning light and effectively obscurely visibility past a certain point brought me back to reality, although it kind of lent a gauzy, impressionist feel to the whole seen.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Ross had gone to bed, outfitted with earplugs and out of reach of his found and the cacaphonous racket of our trusty fridge repairmen who chose midnight as the optimal time to return our fixed refrigerator. My landlord called me and told me that they couldn't reach Ross and were going to leave the appliance in the hall. "Ma3lish," I thought. I ended up dragging the thing when I returned home at 6-something in the morning. The men returned while I was still sleeping to hook it back up and now, thank God, there is frost in the freezer anew and the fridge has cooled down to a respectable yogurt-preserving temperature. You really don't realize just how many things you take for granted (running water, a working fridge, a vacuum, electricity, cranberries etc.) until you're deprived of them every so often. Now I'm sitting down, having enjoyed my customary snack of 'aish baladi and halawa, trying to enjoy Friday without getting to stressed out about the things I need to get done for school and in life. Tonight may include dinner with friends or another Halloween party, but beforehand, it will ideally include lots of research.

Condi Rice and others to arrive in Egypt soon for talks
Egypt donates equipment to Sudanese military
Egyptians fearful in face of uncertain times, flagging economy

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