Monday, October 6, 2008

Pizza and Pumpkin

Tonight's entry will be mercifully short since I spent a good chunk of today working on a reflection paper on the international refugee régime for my Intro class. Craving much-missed human interaction, I left for the evening to join my friend and classmate Erin in Zamalek where we had some of the best pizza in Cairo at Maison Thomas. Though I usually qualify assessments of non-Egyptian food with "it's pretty good for being in Egypt" I would put this pizza up against what most of the pie shops in Peoria have to offer, certainly including my father's favorite, Agatucci's. Maison Thomas's mysterious "Argentina sauce" (which bears no resemblance to chimichurri) was a delicious addition to our pizza funghi and I'm ashamed to admit that, like a good Egyptian, I added some ketchup here and there as I'm now firmly entrenched in the habit of adding the condiment to my pizza. After dinner, Erin and I stopped by al-Diwan, the English-, French-, etc. language bookstore across the street. It was there three years ago that I was first introduced to the works of famed Egyptian author, Naguib Mahfouz. On the way in, though, a gaggle of American tourists asked us if we spoke English and, when we answering in the affirmative, asked us where Abou el-Sid was located. This is the (delicious) Egyptian restaurant where I went with my Rotary host counselor several weeks ago, so I was tickled to be able to point them in the right direction. I followed them down a side street a little ways, verified with a local in Arabic that it was where I remembered it, and sent them on their way.
Though our stomachs weren't perhaps in accord, Erin and I decided to go to a tasty cake shop that she and Cynthia had discovered called Pumpkin. Nostalgic for Pumpkin Festivals past, I was elated to find that they did, in fact, have their own twist on a pumpkin pie. I was thrilled to be able to have a taste "from home" as it were that's quintessentially autumnal for me, but the sweet meringue on top and my already-full belly didn't allow me to finish the whole thing. Now that I've had my dose of pumpkin for October, I am on the hunt for good carrot cake. Anyway, Erin and I talked about life, her experiences in Kenya, and our future plans both broadly and with respect to our program at AUC. It was quite a nice evening if not particularly Egyptian.

Some news of Cairo:
Convoy attempting to bring supplies to Gaza Strip halted by Egyptian police

Egyptians hopeful the upcoming American elections will bring with them a warming of relations
Mubarak pardons jailed journalist

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