Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm just now back from a wee adventure in Zamalek. Erin persuaded Marise and me to indulge her craving for Indian. I ignore my lingering flu symptoms and, after a double class, joined the two of them as well as Phil and two other friends for dinner in an Indian restaurant on one of the riverboats on the east side of Zamalek. Dinner was delicious and the conversation was good and it seemed like I'd have time to spare for my thesis. Then, however, a few of us decided to stop by the grocery store. Erin was trying to make her way home in the same general direction. Our whole party got in two cabs and headed north only to find several streets blocked off because masses of young Egyptians were "protesting" outside the Algerian embassy and for blocks around. Our cabdriver flicked on his lighter and told us that's what the shabab (youth) were trying to do to the Al-Gaza'air (Algeria) embassy. Erin and the other friend that went with her didn't even make it to their part of the island, but rather ended up all the way back in front of the riverboat. Meanwhile, we were shopping at Alfa, enjoying the tacky Christmas decorations for sale, and snapping forbidden photos of the live sheep in a makeshift pen at the intersection of the holiday section and the meat counter where they await their demise for 'Aid.
Erin got a hold of us and asked us to walk her home. We met up with her outside the grocery store and walked her to the line of riot police blocking off the road that led to the embassy whence she was able to quietly head up her street to her place. Oh, soccer and nationalism. Phil, our other friend Camilla, and I found our way to a cab, seeing improvised torches (hair spray or pesticide plus a lighter) in the distance, and returned downtown. Now there's shouting and the occasional little mob parading toward Zamalek. I'm keeping up to date here. In related news:
Other news and issues:

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