Monday, December 15, 2008

Couscous in Garden City

I'm perched on my couch, set to launch into a rousing several hours of paper-writing again, but thought I'd update briefly before doing so. Yesterday, after pounding out a few pages, I went to the Khan with Ross to try and finish up the bulk of my Christmas shopping. I won't detail my purchases (because so doing might ruin surprises), but I will say that haggling and joking around with the merchants was great fun. Whenever anyone asked me where I was from, I made them guess. I got the sun, Canada, Germany and the US. I'm not sure what being from the sun entails, but one of the guy's that picked America said he had so guessed because only Americans wouldn't tell people where they were from up front. Ha! Ross and I grabbed a cab a little ways from the Khan, but still didn't manage to avoid the sketchy kind of cabbie that lines up outside tourist sites. He demanded 10 LE and we told him we absolutely weren't paying more than 6. In the end, we paid six and that was that. Before going home, we stopped in a bookstore that had some really cool 50s-ish looking story booklets in Arabic and a number of other languages, so we bought a few. Working a bit more on my papers for a while, I had to be back into the streets of Cairo a couple hours later to make my way to Garden City for what turned out to be an excellent dinner of Lebanese and Moroccan food at the home of some French acquaintances. Though I often have occasion to speak French here, last night truly reminded me that I've been gone from France for nearly a year and a half. I was the only American in a group of nine francophones, seven of whom were French and two of whom were Egyptian. We spoke French, naturally, for the entire dinner. I think my mouth and tongue have become unaccustomed to making the kind of sounds necessarily for good French pronunciation. Anyway, the toum and hummus were tasty appetizers and the couscous was great. Homemade dessert, French mœlleux au chocolat, topped of the meal. After dinner we chatted and tried to guess which theme music corresponded with various TV chose and movies, mostly American. I think the French had a better sense of American pop culture than I did. It was funny to hear them reel off the names of American series in French (as they're often quite different). Alas, the time soon came for me to put my nose back to the grindstone and I stayed up 'til 2:30 adding more bulk to my torturous essay. I am off to try and do the same.

No comments: