Sunday, December 20, 2009

a wrap-up.

My time in Egypt has been interesting in so many ways. I finally experienced what a true language barrier feels like. I was pretty confident with my Arabic abilities. I mean, I was top of my language class and I had a wide repertoire - like basic greetings, vocabulary to discuss the current nuclear situation in Iran, and I could tell you all about famous Arabs in history. That should have been a good start at least, right? Wrong. I was horrified when I couldn't communicate with the cleaning ladies to tell them that Wednesday mornings worked best for them to change my sheets. But little by little I could carry on complete conversations with taxi drivers and shop owners and soon enough I was having passing conversations with people in the Cairo airport and at museums without them knowing that I wasn't a native speaker. I've been inside 4 pyramids, I've seen both the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and I got to travel to Turkey and Scotland on the side. I'll miss being afraid for my life while in a taxi maneuvering around city traffic. I'll miss being assaulted by the sights of city lights and the colors of store fronts and the smells of kebob and shisha smoke from sidewalk cafes. I'll miss the Nile. But most of all I'll miss going out with friends and dancing and talking and laughing until well after sunrise the next morning. 

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