Sevcik's Blog

A year in Cairo Egypt

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

African Cup and mild sand storm

Last night was a victory for Egyptians. It's African Cup time here, so for the past couple of weeks the energy has been building as football (soccer) teams from around Africa have been competing for the African Cup title here in Cairo. Oh is it a big deal! Think of the hype for Superbowl and multiply it by 10. Or, if you are from Nebraska, think of game day for a Husker football game and times it by 5. Truly, things stop for these games. Even RCG had a half day yesterday due to the game. People are either at the game or glued to their TVs at home or in the sheesha shops yelling, laughing, and throwing their fists left and right. The traffic has been even more ridiculous than normal, if you can imagine that! Last night around 10pm the streets going into Cairo were at a stand-still and it looked like a tailgating party. Young adult men were waving Egyptian flags out of their car windows, running and screaming through the streets, and honking horns. If I didn't know it was due to a game victory I would have thought a riot was going on. Around 11pm my Egyptian friend Essam, who I haven't talked with for about a month, called. He was exuberant. Really, I had never heard him so happy. He called because he wanted to share the joy of the victory. "This is so good for Egypt, Sarah, you have no idea. We are all so very happy!" Friday marks championship game day.

Today has also been 'special' due to the weather. The wind is blowing hard and it's one of the coldest days we've had here. The 'special' part is the sky--it's full of sand. Although we're not in a full-out sand storm by any means, we are getting a taste of it today. There is a golden haze everywhere you look, and everyone's eyes are watering and people are coughing. Thankfully I have my handy-dandy good-luck sunglasses with me so I was able to avoid most of the sand-in-the-eye issues. Still, there is sand everywhere, and it seeps through doors and windows. Today at work I had to borrow printing paper from a printer near the window in my office (Matthew's desk) and the top page was filthy with dirt and sand. Not even twenty minutes later I asked Matthew for more paper and already the top paper was covered with a fine layer of sand again. The window in the bathroom was open for most of the day and the toilet beneath it was covered with black and brown sand/dirt. I'm interested (mumkin) to see a real sand storm...maybe. Actually, for an hour or two, it's quite fun!

update 8 feb: one more thing--I spent some time in The Arc yesterday and heard people saying "Madam" and trying a few French words. At that, I spent the next hour teaching a couple of them to speak greetings in both French and Spanish. Today when I saw Adam I noticed he had a couple papers with him in which he was practicing writing out "Gracias", "?et tu?", "Parle-vous francais?" etc. He said he spent the rest of the day yesterday practicing his Spanish, and next he will work on French. :-)


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