Tag Archives: orientation

Felucca Felucca

22 Jan

Today was my first full day in Cairo! Whoa. Still weird to think I am in Cairo. It seems very surreal (a la Lost in Translation) and I just feel like I’m only staying for a few days, not four months. I haven’t had that “settled in” feeling yet. It will happen!

Today I had very little time to explore Cairo, since we had orientation on campus. But before we discuss that…

Last night my roommate, Dakota and some of her friends and I went to Pizza Hut at like 11:30 (or 23:30). Yes, Pizza Hut. First real meal in Cairo is at a Pizza Hut. But we were SO HUNGRY and we didn’t care what we ate. Really. Everything was very funny because we were all so sleep deprived.

Back to today. Today we had to be up at 6 in order to catch the AUC shuttle to campus at 7. Did I mention AUC’s campus is 20 miles outside of Cairo? It is. It’s in New Cairo, a suburb of HUGE villas and lots of construction essentially in the desert.

Anywho, got to campus and the first thing I did was pick up a coffee, where I met Macarena and Eva (fellow AU students). We then had a welcoming orientation, checked-in to campus, picked up our welcome bags (more on those in a moment) and signed up for some things. On Tuesday we’re doing a tour of Old Cairo/Islamic Cairo, so that should be good. We got our IDs next, which took FOREVER. Then we ditched out on doing a campus tour and sat around reading the “Cairo Guide: The Practical Guide” book that is 1) given to us in the welcome bags 2) published by AUC 3) very helpful 4) pretty hilarious. A few short excerpts from it:

Well you never know when one might come in handy. …Camel meat, by the way, is much eaten in Egypt, and is not only delicious but is said to be virtually cholesterol free.

If you are into power walking, don’t feel weird even if you look weird. We have seen one Egyptian guy doing it.

As I said, kinda hilarious stuff, but the book is filled with good information and all sorts of tidbits and recommendations. Definitely a resource I’m glad to have…same with the map of Cairo they gave us!

Before I go on, I must say this: AUC HAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS I HAVE EVER SEEN. Ever. It’s gorgeous, jaw-dropping gorgeous. I will take tons of pictures when I’m back on campus Wednesday (I took some pictures today of other stuff, will upload tomorrow!)

Also: Apparently a whole bunch of other schools don’t count study abroad grades, it’s essentially taking a pass/fail semester. …WTF AU, why can’t we do that?

Anyway, we caught the shuttle back to Zamalek, got there around 5 (it was an hour and a half commute home! Eeek.), we went and picked up a phone for me (WHOO!) and then had our new friend Andrea take us to a place for some koshari for dinner, which is a rice-lentil-macaroni dish with a red tomato sauce and dry-fried onions. It. Was. Delicious. And only 3LE, or $0.50 for a HUGE BOWL of food! I can’t get over the prices here…everything is so cheap comparatively!

Then Macarena and Andrea and I went a FELUCCA RIDE on the Nile! Feluccas are those iconic sailing boats you always see floating serenely past on the Nile. About 60 kids did it, so we had five boats split between us, around 15 students to a boat. It was so much fun! The breeze blowing past (Cairo does get cool during the winter/night!), us eating delicious desserts and chatting. Good times.

I’m beat and I’m going to bed. Tomorrow Macarena and I have plans to explore Zamalek, our neighborhood! SO EXCITED I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT.