September 8, 2008
Had my first physical sexual harrassment this evening. Hooray! Welcome to Cairo! </sarcasm>
But honestly, I do love Egypt. More often than not, people are very welcoming and nice and helpful, moreso than anywhere else I can remember. My friends and I were invited off the street to have Iftar with some people. Later we found out that someone just had a baby. They fed us and then invited us into their restaurant/sheesha cafe to wash our hands and have tea and sheesha. All of it was free. I can’t think of anywhere in the states where that would happen. We were five foreign strangers who they invited to their meal, assuming and knowing that we were good people.
In other news, classes started. Not as eventful. The campus is totally new, so no one knows where they’re going, and no one can give correct instructions or directions. It’s pretty, but it’s also in the middle of nowhere. I don’t like that.
I am smelly and sweaty.
September 1, 2008
Today is the first day of Ramadan. I’m so excited for this whole month.
Yesterday I went to the Egyptian Museum. It was weird. The artifacts didn’t seem real. It was much less organized than any museum we have in the states. You could touch pretty much everything. The labels haven’t been changed for at least 60 years. Things are still in crates. I couldn’t decide whether or not I loved it.
It was also strange to see these things taken out of context. Pieces of walls and tombs have been chiseled off and put on display. Mummies have been taken out of their sarcophagi and put in glass cases. It’s a debate I have with myself all the time: should artifacts be left as they are, where they are, or should they be as accessible as possible? This is why photography is so important to cultural development and education. Without photography there would be no progress.
So maybe my major does have a purpose.