Hey everyone! It's been a busy last couple of days. I felt like a tour guide yesterday. Two ladies that I know came in to Cairo in the early afternoon, and another one came in to Cairo in the evening.
Funny story about meeting the first two ladies that came in. I knew what hotel they were staying at, but I had no idea what time they were going to arrive. So I went to their hotel and brought a book along with me. I got there around noon, and hung out for the next four hours. I felt a little self conscious sitting in the lobby for a couple of hours next to the security guards. I kept peeking at them, making sure that they weren't looking at me. Come to think of it, that probably made me look more suspicious! :)
I've spent a bit of time the last two days showing them around town and pointing out good places to eat and hang out. I felt like the wise old sage showing the new folks how to live here. It's neat to see how much the ex-pat community pulls together here.
I had a good time practicing Arabic today. One of my friends lives in a flat above an auto shop. Sometimes when I go over to visit my friend, the guy who runs the auto shop calls me in to hang out and practice my Arabic. Tonight was a cool time. He gave me some cake and tea, and we talked about an old friend of his who used to work in the oil fields. Now that I speak Arabic a little better, people talk to me the way they would talk to other Egyptians. I'm lucky to get 15% of what they say. But I can usually pick up enough words to follow the general gist of a conversation. It's kind of funny. I'm always really excited when I can figure out what someone's trying to say to me. It feels like I've just finished putting together a huge puzzle. So every day is like another puzzle.
Okay, time to study . . .