In December, bunch of journos in Cairo had security training. Not a bad idea for people who have spent months on end as guests of Qaddafi, and have phone conversations along the lines of “No, the flack jackets should go to Syria and the armor cars should go to Libya,” while teaching their sons to ride bicycles. (The next statement was, “Alexander, pedal with both feet – it works better.”) Continue reading “A Glimpse of the Journos Life Abroad”
Some life lessons are best expressed through an “everything I need to know about (x) I learned from (y)” statement. Like, Everything I need to know about love and relationships, I learned from Tom Waits (future book title), or Everything I need to know about opera, I learned from Loony Tunes (figaro, Figaro, FIGARO!). There are certain of these axioms I’d love to apply, like the Anthony Bourdain tenet of locative gastronomy – Everything I need to know about local food, I’ve learned from five star chefs (the closest I’ve gotten was an Istanbul self-date). Until the Travel Channel comes knocking with Bourdain’s budget, I’m sticking closer to: Everything I need to know about a location’s food and culture, I learned from Andrew Zimmern. Continue reading “Locative Gastronomy and Rasha’s Baba Ghanouj Recipe”
The next stop – Istanbul. But first I had to get out of Cairo. I chose a late flight because I hadn’t seen very much of Cairo at night. The airport looks out on some of the city, and the drive to the airport from Maadi was through most of the city. And what a drive it was. A cab was hailed in Maadi, and the man assured me he knew how to get to the airport. What he forgot to mention, in between trying to convince me that I should stay in Cairo and marry him, and that heavy metal was the best music around (right, thank you, but just because I’m American, it doesn’t mean that I am a HUGE fan of metal. Really.) was that he would have to make a couple of stops along the way. Continue reading “Leaving Cairo”
Imagine walking into famous gardens, now neglected and so arid you expect a tumbleweed to cross your path. Now add to that a museum where mannequins dressed in various styles depict the agrarian history of a country, and where women are categorized and displayed as if they are a species, between the Zebra hide and the stuffed rhinoceros. At the Museum, a gentleman appears and starts opening walls to show you exhibits, and you suddenly realize that no one has been into the museum in while, a long long while, and not just because of its 3 hours open a day policy. Walk a little further and suddenly, you are in a replica pharonic garden, teaming with spring blooms, if somewhat overgrown. You picnic while its caretakers (who also may live in a bower in the garden) bring you flowers and berries. Finally, add indiscriminate gunfire from a shooting club nearby as background noise. That’s what visiting the Agricultural Museum is like.
Sunday (the first day of the work week here,) we went to the Maadi City Centre mall to go to Carrefour, a hypermarket – a supermarket squared – that is like the bastard child of a love triangle between Wegmans, Whole Foods and a small suq.
Since it was a mall, I walked around and checked out the stores. There was a Starbucks, two other coffee chains, and lots of typical mall clothing stores – Mango, Monsoon (which I liked automatically, because Triny and Susanah always recommended it), Zara and Aldo shoes to name a few (Top Shop and Next coming soon.) Continue reading “Bedazzle Your Burqa”