Jun 19, 2012

Ahem. I really hope the LUT overlords haven't paid attention to how much I suck with this blog. They might make me write a proper, non-rude report about my student exchange experience. Wouldn't want that.


Time flies, eh. Especially lately, since I've been so busy with reruns of Doctor Who and Futurama instead of studying for the finals. Not that they actually require studying, so I guess we're good.. This entry is gonna be really bad, isn't it. I will upload pictures too, as soon as I overcome the challenge of plugging my camera to the PC.

So, chronology. What have I done after the last time I wrote? My concentration is hanging out somewhere around zero entropy, because I'm flying home next Tuesday.

Oh yes, I went to Dubai. That was fun, tall buildings and a infinite number of ways to spend your money. The sun was brutal even in April, I was at the beach for a few hours and ended up looking like a boiled crab. Because sunscreen is gay.

What else. Israel. That was awesome. Completely fucking awesome. Refreshing as hell, with all that is  Mediterranean and Western there. It was also kinda nice to see soldiers without getting that uncomfortable feeling. You know, "where the fuck is my invisibility cloak when I need it".

I took the train to Luxor. Beauty. Really really nice. Not the train, obviously. It was all nice and good, minus the hassle, which was ten times worse than in Cairo. Ugh, hate it. The pictures are coming, promise.

Besides the travelling I've just had a shitload of freetime, not necessarily in a good way. Then again, reruns!

There was this super interesting hole in a temple wall. Madinat Habu, I believe.

Apr 16, 2012

Oops. Been a while.

We're having our Spring break aka study for mid terms week. I have four exams in the first two days of mid term. Thanks, MIU.

I can't even remember all the stuff I've been up to since the last time I wrote, so I'll just start with Sinai. Just got back from there and it was wonderful. Being chronological is overrated anyway.

Ras Shitan is different from anywhere I've been ever before. It's so quiet and calm. You just kinda breath and exist there, and it's enough. It's close to Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh - could've gone there too but it seemed too much trouble to move anywhere. Yeah, I'm lazy like that. Just ended up taking a few pictures before I left.

There's something about sleeping in a hut on the shore. There are no sounds at all except for the sea.

Mountains. Apparently St. Catherine was close too, if you're into stuff like climbing and dashing around. This time I wasn't.

Ask the Egyptians and they'll tell you the sea water was cold as hell. I thought it was warm enough, like the Baltic Sea in the summer. Pussies..

Ahem, moving on.

Ah yes, we went to Alexandria few weeks back. It was nice, had this Mediterranean thing going on. Not much worth mentioning, so pics.

My sister was here too. I took her around for a few days and almost killed her by taking her to the pyramids. The day was so hot it wasn't even funny and we rode camels on the desert. I'm sure she'll never forget that. No matter how hard she tries. Ha! I know she hates pictures more than anything, so I'll just post a pic of me getting touchy with a camel. Just ignore her in the background and let's never talk about this again.

Mar 11, 2012

Yes yes, I know I'm terribly lazy with this blog.

Pics from the surroundings of Al Azhar mosque. Took a walk around a market place where the locals do their shopping, I liked the narrow streets and the vibe of real life.

Fancy a cup of Turkish coffee?

They tell me this is the last place in Cairo where they make these hats in the traditional way.

They make authentic papyrus here. Not the cheap banana leave or sugar kane crap.

Seems legit.

 A shoemaker.

The Citadel, seen from the roof of whatshisname's mosque. Must've been mohamed something.

Inside the mosque.

Tomb of whoever's mosque it was. (Sorry, I'll really have to look it up.)

Later on, Al Azhar Mosque. It's the oldest one in Cairo.

Left from here is Khan el-Khalili. Since I'm not that much into aggressive, tourist rip off souvenir sellers, no pics or further stories from there.

Feb 25, 2012

First week of classes was interesting. Technically it was the second week, but in MIU almost no one attends the first week. I chose all my courses beforehand, but of course, four out of the six classes I wanted to take are lectured in Arabic. Hence, I now have a random selection of courses including some sociology, political science, Arab societies and literature. So yeah, different.

The classes remind me of secondary school humanities. The teach.. ahem, doctors expect participation and discussion in class. You don't just come and go. Attendance is mandatory too, of course. Did I say different already?

We have huge gaps between classes and since the campus is in the middle of nowhere, there's nothing else to do than hang out either outside, the library (boring) or computer lab (Facebook blocked, boring). At least  they sell some decent coffee. 

Our appartment has had these minor problems, like my bedroom heater/AC breaking down, which they tried to fix twice, and a water pipe cracking in the toilet. Not exactly enjoyable. 

Egyptians are really not very organized. Schedules or plans don't mean the same thing here than in the Western world. Also, if there's a problem or you need something fixed, they just usually go bukrainshallah. Tomorrow.

There's this old district of Heliopolis, Korba. Nice cafes, shops, restaurants etc. It's pretty.


Feb 17, 2012

Pyramids and camels then, finally.
MIU arranged this trip for us and we had the most amazing tour guide. The wind on the desert was brutal though and there's sand in my ears.

Up we went. The inside of the Pyramid of Khufu was quite impressive actually.

The three pyramids for the Queens.

Hieroglyphs make boring pictures. Taken from the inside of a mastaba tomb.

The door between Life and Death.

 Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure.

Le me.

The obligatory camel ride. Fun, though.

The camel was called Charlie Brown.

The Sphinx, or Abu al Hul (the Terrifying One).

The weather really was rubbish, it was raining. Here's the Nile anyway.

Feb 13, 2012

Pics. We haven't actually done anything super special, so it's gonna be just streets and donkeys. We will get to the pyramids and camels some day, promise!

I guess I took this one on the first night, it's the view from my balcony.

The donkey really hated us and turned his arse to face the camera just after this.

We went to this mall in Heliopolis, called the City Star. It's big and rather upscale. Clothes, restaurants, movie theatres and the lot.

So, technically we live in Heliopolis, in the El Nozha district. Downtown Cairo ( Wust el-Balad )  is quite far away, apparently with the traffic it's "very far". We've been told the public transportation is rubbish, so practically it's either a taxi or someone driving, if you want to get somewhere. The distances are long. We went to central Heliopolis yesterday, I wish I had taken some pictures there. The smog in the air is thicker than I've seen anywhere before.

Home street here. A friend of my roommate was really surprised to hear we went walking yesterday. Egyptians don't walk or take the stairs. Ever.

The other day, there was a bit of traffic on the way to the mall. It's really impossible to capture it on the camera, the way people drive around here. It's pretty insane. The complete disregard of traffic rules, the honking and the chaos, the pedestrians dashing amongst the cars. Love it.

Today it's sunny, so I took another picture from the balcony. I should get some chairs outside, looks like there's a good chance for sunburn today. Google tells me it's +21 degrees, not bad at all.