Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Misplaced Sunshine

Because my insomnia has returned with a vengeance, I didn't make it to sleep until sometime after 6 AM. Killing time until I was tired enough to do so, I listened to a pretty interesting podcast from the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs. This episode was entitled, "Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations" and may be found by clicking here. Sleeping in until the late afternoon, I had little time do anything but get ready and go to class. I'd like to have made more headway on my outlines and bibliographies, but no luck there. I stopped by the Greek Campus to check for mail and sure enough, a package had arrived for me from my mom and little brother. Insides were photos and other little tokens of home, all of which brightened my day. Unfortunately, after a class in which I found out, because of some spontaneous schedule rearranging, I have to prepare a presentation for Saturday morning, I was hurrying to catch up with some classmates who were getting a cab to Zamalek and let my envelope in the classroom. I only realized it once we were quite close to our destination. Frantically, I called a couple of people, the second of whom was still on campus. He agreed to go and check for the package, but in the end, it wasn't there. I have no idea if it was simply thrown away or if someone who'll be thoughtful enough to read the address on the front and return it to the CMRS office ended up with it. It's one of those little things that you'd take in stride were everything else going ok, but given the stress I've been dealing with lately, it broke my heart and has made me pretty miserable. To top it off, there were photos with my dog Barkley in them, who died recently while I've been away.
I ended up having dinner with my classmate, Mary-Anne, at Tobasco. Strangely, Sheila, my friend from high school who'd I mentioned meeting up with the other day, happened to be eating there with a friend of hers. After discussing class and our mutual friends, Mary-Anne and I said our goodbyes and I joined Sheila and her friend for a while. My next stop was the nearby grocery store where, when I went to grab a carton of juice, another tumbled to the floor and burst open. Given my mood, I was about ready to scream or cry or both, but, because it was Egypt, no one had even paid attention to my gaffe. I walked back to an employee, tried to explain what had happened, and he just smiled and nodded. I shrugged and did my shopping, not worrying about the expenses in my despondancy and the whole time, the only think that happened to the ill-fated juice carton was that it was set up-right. No mopping, no removal of the damaged good, but also, not blaming me, so that was nice. I grabbed the staples--halawa and aish baladi and yogurt, but because the coconut flavor was a bit old, I opted for vanilla instead. I also got some frozen vegetables--broccoli, peas, and carrots, some garlic, and some Barilla pasta sauce. I was hunting for dark chocolate, but to no avail. Proabably for the best as I'd have come home and eaten it all. Instead, I got a small container of halawa with pistachios (in addition to the other large container of halawa) and had a bit with bread when I got home as a dessert of sorts. The grocery store I went to, Seoudi, had much friendly and more helpful staff than either Alfa or Metro, so that was at least something positive to seize onto. Just as important, they were well-stocked with the bottled water I can never find at Metro. They asked if I wanted it delivered, but they ended up only doing so within Zamalek. The guy at the check-out felt bad for me and went out to hail me a taxi and carried the water all the way to it, which was nice. The cab-driver, apart from asking for too much money at the conclusion of the ride and being obliged to take a cop somewhere free of charge when the latter hopped in and demanded he do so, was amiable. I understood most of what he was saying to me in Arabic--he inquired about my studies, and Obama and Bush and my opinions of them. He told me Bush was crazy, but I held my tongue about my opinions of the Egyptian president. Now I'm about to catch the news, try to motivate myself to do some school work, and hope that I can get to bed earlier tonight.

New pyramid discovered in Egypt
Three bedouin killed in class in Sinai
Egypt attemps to delay genocide indictment of Sudanese president
Egyptian doctor exposed to harsh punishment at hands of Saudi government

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