Tag Archives: the medina

Egypt at last!

16 Sep

I’m here!  Finally here.  In Alexandria.  Showered and in pajamas and ready for about a year of sleep.  But, backtrack to yesterday at noon to realize why I think I am starting to dislike the traveling part of traveling.

1:30pm Tuesday we left our hotel in Washington, DC with a group of 5 Flagship students and our BRAND NEW resident director who all came together for a pre-trip orientation.  Bus to the airport, dealt with a mixup for Monica, Mae, and I who were for some reason all booked together.  Phew! got that over with and didn’t even glance at the new boarding pass I was handed by the helpful guy at the desk…until I had already checked my bags and made it through the first part of security.  Then I looked down and, wait a sec….this boarding pass should definitely NOT be sending me to Kuwait…..and hey!  My name is NOT Hamid.  Backtrack to check in again, try not to be late for that 5:16 flight!!  I made it in plenty of time, luckily, and watched lots of movies on the 7-hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany.  Fixed yet another mixup with our boarding passes and stressed over whether or not my bags were going to Kuwait during the layover.  Yikes!  Flying over Europe I waved hi to all my friends on the ground, and decided Lufthansa is my favorite airline for the real silverware, great movie selection, and comfy seats.  Unfortunately I guess they don’t fly to Alexandria anymore, which meant that we had to take a four hour bus ride from Cairo, where we landed.  I was sicky sick and made them stop a couple times, but managed not to throw up on anyone.   We drove in circles around Alex for a while and fiiiiiinally made it to the place I’m staying at 9pm, which made for almost exactly 24 hours of travel. BLEH.

So I was feeling pretty awful, all alone back in the same dorm building I stayed in last summer, with broken takeef (A/C), dirty, thirsty, and sick.  I was also feeling pretty nervous about starting up the Arabic-speaking habit again, when I heard some familiar voices!  Haidy, Iman and Amira–some of the Egyptian girls I lived with last time, and the sweetest people ever–popped out of nowhere and everything was immediately all better.  It’s always that first jump from just sticking to the safe phrases to really speaking this language full-time that’s the hardest part….sitting back during conversations that you normally would participate in because, what if I just don’t remember how to conjugate, or, I just know I don’t remember all the vocabulary I used to.  But, seeing those amazing Egyptian friends I’ve missed so much was just the comfortable safe environment to jump back on top.  I know I still will have a lot of work to do to get back on my game, but at least I’ve got the speaking confidence back.  Success!  So, good night.