Saturday, November 15, 2008

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Ok, so I'm not sure going to bed at 3 generally qualifies as going to bed early, but the way things have been going, it's an improvement to be sure. The night before, I went to be even earlier, though men operating jackhammers just across the street from 11:30 PM until 2:30 AM weren't conducive to my drifting off. Last night, the tool of choice sounded like a chainsaw. God only knows what they're doing out there.
Yesterday, I lazed around a bit before meeting my friend Amanda for a light dinner at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Zamalek. We talked about the ups and downs of Cairo life as I was positive when she was devising ways to leave the country and now that I've been down a bit she's hit an upswing in her appreciation of life here. It's good to have friends who can help bring some perspective and indeed, I've been feeling a bit better recently. After about an hour or so, a girl I'd never met swung by to pick me up in a black SUV and whisk me away to slightly trendy L'Aubergine, a restaurant in Zamalek. The professor at whose apartment I spent election night put me in touch with her because of similar research interests and so, over mediocre Egytpian white wine (all there really is available in terms of vino here), we talked about her thesis and life and the like. She also invited me to a party in Mohandaseen and, despite the fact that the following day (today) I had to lead discussion in my 9 AM Migration in the Middle East and North Africa make-up class, I stayed until 2:30. I met all kinds of interesting people from the expat community-Americans, an Australian, a Syrian, and more.
At precisely 7:34 I miraculously rose as if from the dead and somehow found the energy to shower and get ready for class. The morning sunshine, the brilliant blue sky, and the perfect weather made things just a bit easier and somehow, from somewhere, I felt rather positive about things. I paid more attention in class than usual and made a valiant effort in leading our discussion about the integration of the descendants of immigrants in Western countries for the second half of the class period. At noon, it was over and I returned home for a couple-hour nap. Just finishing replying to emails, I am now trying to come up with an outline and annotated bibliography for my Refugee Law class tomorrow.

Egyptian court rules aid must be allowed to enter Gaza
Egypt's first lady downplays prevalence sexual harassment in the country
Egypt blacklists Saudi firms that allegedly abuse workers

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