30 July, 2011


Let's see what we can cram into one day!  May have been ended up being the guiding principle of this Saturday.  Scott and I have a late breakfast - bran cereal as penance for yesterday's NINE cupcakes (okay, they were mini but still).  Then we decide to try our hand at running in Egypt.  A crazy pass time for mid summer in the desert, but ever so much more plausible in an air conditioned gym.

We had to go to separate gym's within the club and I understand from Scott that the man's gym is not wonderful:  Only 2 treadmills, the weight lifting equipment is old, and the airconditioning insufficient.  By contrast, the ladies gym has 6 treadmills, decent weight lifting equipment, and pretty cool airconditioning.  Too bad for the dudes, though nice to see something lopsided in our favour around here!

I found most of the ladies don't run but walk on the treadmills.  Furthermore, the most popular equipment in the workout portion is the 'butt-shaker'.  At one point there were three ladies strapped in to those 1940s machines that "shake the fat out" (at least I think that is the point).  The beauty of these machines was demonstrated as it leaves you free to flip through magazines or text on your phone whilst your thigh, butt, or hips gets their jiggle on.

A quick trip home to change and put our feet up for a minute before our first social engagement of the afternoon.  We met up with a girl from Russia that we have met at a "global mixer" the other night at the Marriott Hotel.  This building is opulent, massive, and just so gosh darn fancy.  Kazzu and her fella join us in a cocktail room there and their coffee is served in beautiful china with a lovely silver pot for their own sugar cubes.  Scott and I split a cheese platter which just not quite as fancy as we were expecting for such a place; but the accompanying bread rocked!

A bit of a tour around the Marriott (we only saw one small part) revealed amazing ceilings, light fixtures, draperies, furnishings.  Wow - you can see why they would charge so much for the cheese plate!

We said goodbye to our first social group and had to race to catch a cab to our second social group.  Unbelievable and so different from our lives in Victoria where we knew only 2 people!

We met two of Scott's co-workers and a friend of a friend at a Thai restaurant in Zamalek.  It was again, very beautifully decorated.  They know how to do impressive here!  I got to order a tofu dish, my first since arriving and it was great.  We all ordered food that arrived on a steaming, sizzling plate.  It was hilarious to see the entire table steaming.  We were all already melting because the airconditioning (despite several request on our part) did not appear to be on.  When the smoke cleared we enjoyed a great meal.  A return visit will definitely be in order.

From there all 5 of us took a cab (1 cab!  He insisted that we squish in!) to somewhere near Zamalek (I was just a passenger, I have no idea) where you can hire small sail boats (Feluccas) to take a ride on the Nile.

For a mere LE60 ( about $10) they took us out for an hour.  The sun was already down (this happens before 7:00 pm here) and the city lights were lovely.  We did not travel too fast or go too far, but this modest vessel with seating room for about 20 people was perfectly suited to the 5 of us.  There were also two crew members, one that stayed at the back with us and one that stayed at the front and worked the sails.  This was like our equivalent to taking a gondola ride in Venice.  People often bring their own snacks and wine on board to make an evening of it, however we classy folk just brought a plastic bag containing a can of beer each.  Good conversation, beautiful views, a mighty fine float in a boat - Happy Saturday Night!

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