Sunday, August 30, 2009

So I ventured out to buy a sim card for the cell phone I brought from India in order to use it here instead of buying a new phone. The guys at Vodafone all thought I was Egyptian so they started speaking to me in swift colloquial Arabic and I just stared blankly at them for a few seconds. We all went to City Stars shopping center which is literally the most overwhelming shopping experience that I have ever encountered. Egyptians seem to stay up until the wee hours of the evening into morning in order to eat or shop. (Who really thinks, "Hrm. 1 AM? I think I need a new lamp"?) So the trip to the mall's grocery store just to get laundry detergent made me homicidal. I could hardly take a step in the place without bumping into someone, their small child, or a shopping cart. After grabbing the cheapest box of Tide detergent (1 dollar), I tried to stand in what I thought was a line where adamant mothers were ruthlessly pushing their carts in front of other people. It was definitely interesting. 

Waiting for the bus to pick us up, some naive Londoner who afterwards gave us all a huge lecture on Islam and how good of a Muslim she is made the mistake of giving a boy on the street money because "she was trying to be generous for Ramadan" only to have the boy's father claim that she didn't pay for the cups he was selling and they started to argue. It was extremely awkward, especially when he started to get violent. People just don't understand that giving away things to beggars makes their condition worse because it makes begging their job - they learn how to work the streets. It's so frustrating that people don't see that. 

I thought jet lag hadn't affected me at all until this morning when I was physically unable to wake up at 7:45 to get to orientation stuff and ended up sleeping in until 1:30 this afternoon. Thankfully, there are several chances to check-in and get schedules so today was just a refresher. I think my sleep cycle is now all caught up. 

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad I now have someone else to stalk online! I love long entries! Also, I gave this blog address to my mum because she also enjoys things like that (well, she doesn't know mine but it is primarily gossip and stuff she knows). That mall sounds absolutely terrifying, though I must say I for one always like lamp shopping at 1 AM. I am glad you survived. Yuck for jet lag. I woke up at noon the past two days if that makes you feel any better--and I can't even blame jet lag. Tell me about your roomie (lower-case, obviously. I am the only ROOMIE). Glad you're using your Arabic!