26 July, 2011

Hazlenut Icecream and Wine on the Nile

Another leisurely morning - I fear I am wrecked for life for ever having early morning employment and making use of one of those alarm clock thingies.

This time I'm IN the Gezira Sportsclub before that firm 2:00 pm cutoff.  I got past the guards with relatively little hassle too.  One of my new friends, let's call her Kazzu, seemed to understand the whole hoop jumping process of actually being a member of this place so I follow her lead.  She takes me to the membership office where I wait in line for the lady behind the front counter who rejected me on the grounds of being tardy yesterday.  She accepted my form and supporting documents this time and then said something really fast and quiet that Kazzu somehow understood to mean "Take this piece of paper around to another building, give them your money, then come back and see me".  Well okay, that's not what I heard at all.  Thank goodness for Kazzu!  So we visit the money takers, return to the front desk lady, and she instructs (this I understand) to come tomorrow to obtain the official membership cards for Scott and myself.  Success!

So after all that hard work, we reward ourselves with some pool time.  We chat for a bit but find that unfortunately her creepy admirer from yesterday is back.  Sitting two tables away, he resumes his previous days work of ogling Kazzu.  He leans forward, smokes a cigarette or ten, and continues to gaze at her without blinking.  He even inches closer to take up this practice now only one table away.  Finally, Kazzu has had enough so she reports it to the nearby staff.  The come over and talk to me to find out what the problem is and I tell them that this guys is making my friend very uncomfortable and can they deal with it.  They say "Why you look sad?  Smile.  Everything is fine."  They even suggest that we just move to another table.  I seriously doubt that would help and imagine the creeper would just creep on over.  The one thing the staff will not do is address the guy, ask him to leave Kazzu alone, or ask him to leave.  They don't even turn to look at him.

Disheartened by this lack of support, we head over to the women's only gym where at least we know he will not be a problem.  Some hardcore weightlifting ensues and we still manage to have a nice afternoon.  Kazzu heads home to meet up with her fella and I return to the pool to meet up with our other friend who we shall call Eneda.

Eneda and I get right to the business of pumping out a few laps of the pool just to say we did.  Then we enjoy lounging by the pool (the creepy guy is long gone) and I have some magnificent hazlenut icecream.  Where have you been all my life?  Probably with my newfound ginger lattes.  We have another nice chat before heading home ourselves.

Scott is already back from another long work day - somebody has got to do it - and has ordered some mighty fine pizza for us.  We catch up for a bit before I head out to my next social engagement - an international organization networking event for people living in Cairo but hailing from everywhere.

Eneda, Kazzu, and myself step aboard a beautifully decorated and illuminated boat on the nile.  It was permanently docked, but we could see lots of smaller boats floating down the nile all around us.  My goodness, I can't believe I'm ON THE NILE and that I'm really in Egypt.  Unreal.

We sat down at table outside with a gorgeous light breeze and got to meet people from France, Russia, Egypt, Canada, US and Mexico.  Journalists, researchers, entrepeneurs, embassy workers, teachers, poolside loungers - you name it, we were all there.  I had heard that Egyptian wine tends not to be the best but tentatively I ordered a glass of "red".  It was quite fine actually though I never did find out what kind it was and if it was the exception or the rule in Egyptian wine.  Anyway, several hours were spent chatting, hearing about all the things to do in Egypt and what everybody was up to in Cairo.  All those that I met genuinely like it here and many have lived here for several years so that was encouraging too.

I came home to a sleeping Scott - a first in a long while.  Poor fella has some serious sleep debt to pay off but hey, he'll be lounging poolside in a few days himself.  Let's hear it for weekends beginning on Fridays!


  1. What an amazing experience you're having! And making friends from all over the world is always a good thing (the more people and places to visit, later!). I am amazed at how much you do during the day. And to think, you've only been there a short while. You're a pro! So proud of you! Not that I ever had any doubts. :)

  2. Thanks for the words of encouragement - as my one and only follower you are doing a great job! Much appreciated young lady!