Had a late start today which is too bad since Friday mornings are a chance to move about easily through the empty city streets. Fridays here are like Sundays back home, Saturday is like Saturday, and Sundays here are like Mondays - got it?
While most people are attending church on Friday morning, that is our chance to go for a walk, a bike ride, a drive (if we get a car - which yes is a possibility), grocery shop, or other errands.
I might lose this opportunity if I join a church that meets Friday mornings but am still working that out.
Anyway, when we finally left the apartment at 1:00 pm, things were just beginning to come alive in the streets again. We did have the fastest and safest cab ride here so far though since we did beat the rush. Our cab was beautifully clean and the driver spoke enough English to understand my exclamation to that effect. We went to a place called Dandy Mall which besides some familiar shops like Toys 'R Us, Second Cup and Body Shop offered all the comforts of home should we ever decide we need comforting! They even had a movie theatre playing at least one English Movie - currently Harry Potter.
There were many restaurants to choose from to eat at at the mall including Hardees, McD's, KFC. We chose a more traditional type restaurant because I had yet to try local Falafel. Fuul, cucumber yoghurt dip, falafel, and pita was our meal. It was all DELICIOUS, though the Fuul (fava beans with some delicious seasonings and green peppers) was the best. Lots of easy recipes for this on-line if anyone wants to try it out.
The Falafel was super different than we've had before - they looked more like little doughnuts rolled in sesame seeds. Yum.
The pursuit of how to effectively order a black coffee continues. This time I ordered an Americano, they asked me "Nescafe?" (which means you get instant coffee I think), I said "No, like espresso with water". So naturally, we get a little shot of espresso and a bottle of water! Still good, but not quite what I meant.
By now it was 5:00 pm and we decide to go to the Carrefour in the mall for more groceries. It was just as packed as when we tried the previous Saturday and both of us were too tired to attempt to navigate the cart traffic. So we abandoned cart and got the heck out of there. But after some thought, we decided that was the main reason we made the trip out of Zamalek in the first place so with our shoulders squared in determination and without cart (carrying items only we thought would be easier) we tried to reenter. Lots easier without a cart. We returned home successful but exhausted.
Maybe the heat, maybe the crowds. But anyway, we survived week one!