Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Arrivals, Germany, McDonalds

Hello all!  I have arrived safe and sound in Egypt following a lovely 18 hour trip.  I left Boston on Sunday night, missed my stop at South Station due to chatting with a cute baby on the T, and promptly ran into students from my school on the same flight at the airport.  Self high five! Luckily, I arrived in Germany with my dignity intact, only to realize that I was cracked out, had a bad headache, and still had 8 hours to go.  Also - German coffee?  What is up with the teacup size serving for like FIVE euros?  That is not enough to rev my engine.  Aren't you guys supposed to be super duper engine rev-ers?  What up with that? Not only that, my phancy phone was not working.  After several phone calls to set it up, I was displeased.  I spent about oh...probably in the family of way too much Euro getting internet so I could get the phone number (which had suspiciously disappeared off my phone) and then calling, only to find that they'd forgotten to turn on my SIM card, and then receiving a text from Verizon that my phone after approximately 15 minutes of being on had racked up $50 in roaming charges.  Which is why I put the international plan into action in the first place.  W. T. F.  You and me's gonna be having some wordz, Verizon.  Right around this time, I started to go jet lag loopy, and realized that people (Germans) were riding bicycles through the terminal. 
Even the German janitors rode them!

Yeah.  I thought about jacking one, I'm not going to lie. 

Several hours and strolls through the terminal to keep myself awake, I boarded my surprisingly full plane to Cairo.  There were lots of what seemed like Egyptians returning - the guy next to me filmed his arrival through the window.   Walking down the gangway, a fellow traveler spotted me and leaned over and said "Welcome to Egypt!"  Delightful! 

I made my way through customs, where you must purchase your visa at one of the fifteen banks that line the customs hall.  It was a little weird to buy my visa from the bank, but I got one, and then was released into the baggage claim area, where I discovered that the sinks are filled with mothballs.  If there is a purpose to that, I would like to know it!  

The baggage claim was a baggage claim like all others, but the arrivals holding area was a whole different story.  Obviously, it was relatively quiet, though huge, which put what normally would be a decent sized crowd into perspective; it was clearly designed to hold many, many more people.  It was also in possession of a rather large but unconcerned population of soldiers, which given the recent events, is not altogether surprising.  Most seemed really young, and they were doing something at the door, which may have been keeping people out (they don't allow ever allow pick up people into the arrivals area for security reasons).

While walking through I'd been asked about 14 times if I wanted a taxi, but that was nothing compared to the 50+ taxi drivers crowding the door!  Everyone wanted me and my backpack.  Luckily, I spotted Becky and her friend Gemal, and we headed out to the parking lot.  Our drive back took us through the city; we passed the Citadel, which is gorgeously lit at night (and also HUGE), and then drove through Tahrir, where Gemal, an ER surgeon, had worked during the Revolution.  It was really dark so I couldn't see too much; methinks we're heading back today.  Don't worry Dad - extra security measures are being taking

Graffiti on a wall in Dokki.

Anydoodle, we got dropped off in Becky's neighborhood of Dokki (pronounced Do-hee), had us a nice Egyptian meal (yum!), and some Girl Scout Cookies.  Yes, I brought them allllll the way from America!  Conveniently, Becky lives next to a McDonalds.  Conveniently, this McDonalds delivers.  They apparently deliver a LOT.  I am totally going to get a ride on one of these bad boys:
Chariots of delicious.

That is alllll for today; I'm off to enjoy Egypt!
View from Becky's balcony!

1 comment:

Desiree said...

Ha, Chariots of Deliciousness. Why do we not have that here?

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