Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm sure it's in terrible form, but I'm writing this from the Writing Center. The mind boggles at my having been so ambitious as to ask to be scheduled from 10 AM until 3 in the afternoon. 10 AM is an hour of the day I am otherwise generally unacquainted with and today it occurred to me that my practice of catching the 9:25 bus which has arrived later and later (once it was 10:10) is not practical. This means I am now, barring the discovery of a magical shuttle service on the half-hour, going to have to rise at 7:30 AM to get ready and get to the 8:25 bus, arrive at 9:15-20ish, and wait forty minutes for the Writing Center to open. Yes, I realize there are children starving and wars waging. I don't feel particularly sorry for myself, but I do pity both the those that come in for tutoring when my brain is still not functioning and for my flatmates who have to put up with me when I take sleeping pills that make me loopier than a bucket of eels on a Farris wheel. Why it is that AUC planned the bus to arrive ten minutes after the hour, I'll never know. I presume it's the same logic that leads the buses to depart concurrently with the end of my Tuesday night class rather than after it.
In any event, I enjoyed my bumpy ride to the new campus this morning. After giving up trying to sleep, I paid more attention than usual to my surroundings. I even snapped some photos of the Christian and Muslim cemeteries we pass that have always fascinated me. The mausolea of the city's cemeteries make them look like small towns (and in many cases, they actually are). Past them are awful monstrosities of new construction, cheap glass and metal affairs pretending to look futuristic but succeeding only in looking prefab. AUC, incongruous with its environs for a lack of garishness, is an oasis (literally, really).
Last night's bus ride was less pleasant: I found myself relegated to a fold-down aisle seat that would be illegal in the States, no doubt. However, I eavesdropped on an interesting conversation between a French student and an Egyptian student. They talked about Islam and, while agreeing with her religion's restrictions on marrying non-Muslims, the Egyptian student expressed skepticism at the fact that in Islam men can marry non-Muslims, but women cannot. They talked about antiquities and the situation with the Louvre, and the Egyptian student spoke about her visit to the British museum where she took in the Egyptian exhibits. She concluded that the artifacts were better off there because of the ability of the British Museum to preserve and maintain them. I'm sure Zahi Hawass would be chagrined to know the feeling existed in one of his countrymen.

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