Monday, February 5, 2007

Coffee...

This morning was another pyramid morning, the best one yet due to the overnight rain. It only rains a few times a year here and when it does, you can count on a slow commute. Everyone hates driving through the massive puddles here. It's always a surprise what's underneath. Possibly, the dirt filling a big hole has been dislodged and the hole is back, even bigger, or the rock in front of the hole is now covered under water so you can't see it in time to miss it. The puddles wouldn't be so bad, but since it only rains a few times a year, having a good drainage system is a low priority. Throw in the typical mix of pedestrians & donkeys & random trucks stopped in the middle of the road as well and it's real-life frogger. Never a dull morning in Cairo... :-)

I've been here a week now and feel pretty well adjusted. Anybody reading this probably knows the coffee plays an important part in my daily routine. I was unsure how that would change while being here. At first, I was happy to read about the ahwas (Egyptian coffee houses) that dotted every corner. However, it's not quite what Lonely Planet led me to believe. They don't serve coffee, only shia (tea) and men hang out there playing backgamon, smoking sheeshas (water pipes). ...And they're not in El-Maadi, where I'm staying and where many foreigners live. I was excited to see the "Roastery" was right next to the hotel where I'm staying. I went in the other morning for a cup of coffee and contrary to what the name would have me believe, it's not so much a coffee roastery, as it is a hip, TGIFridays-like restaurant. They still sold me an American drip coffee to go, so I can't complain. Down the street on road 9 (a close area by to shop, buy groceries & eat), there are a few more standard coffee shops--Beano's, Cilantro, and the highly-recommended Cafe Grecko. They're close enough that I could consider going there first thing in the morning, but the ride to work stops by at 7:15am so it'd be cutting it close. What I discovered the first day here is that pretty much everyone does have a coffee addiction. There are standard drip pots on every floor and everyone starts the day by chatting in the breakroom over coffee. I even made my first pot last week. I can't say that I don't miss waking up to fresh-brewed coffee every morning, but I'm happy there's still a coffee culture that I can be a part of. :-)

No pictures yet...actually, I've only taken a few. There's a good chance I'm going to Alexandria this weekend so I'm sure I'll be taking more then! I don't have a cable with me so I'm not sure how I'd upload or post them. I might figure it out yet, otherwise, it'll have to wait a few more weeks...

4 comments:

LeeFarabaugh said...

Hey Mo! I'm just catching up. Want me to send you some Jittery Joe's via Fed Ex Worldwide?! So glad you got to see the pyramids again this morning. Your commute reminds me of LA. Drainage not a big priority because it never rains (I can count on one hand how many times I used the windshield wipers the whole time I lived there).

Melissa said...

Sounds like you are having a fun stay! You aren't missing anything much here except for the cold, cold, COLD weather we are having.

Rebekah T said...

Hi, I'm here!
Keep up the good work, I LOVE reading this!

PS- I'm at 150 pages; defense is Feb 23rd at 10am. I'm trying to remember to breathe ;)

Kari L. said...

This is an awesome blog! I am so excited for you and now feel like making pumpkin bread for some strange reason.... The boys keep asking about how you are doing over there.

Miss ya,

Kari L.