19 July, 2011

Poolside Lunch

An outing today!  The community coordinator from Scott's work organized a lunch meeting for all the spouses.  Those of us living in Zamalek took a cab to meet all the others who live in Ma'adi.

Walking to the corner to meet the Zamalek crew and catch the cab, I encountered a dead cat.  Oh dear, he appeared to be just soundly sleeping in the middle of the sidewalk beside a pile of dirt and cardboard.  There are so many stray cats in the street here that I guess that kind of sight is inevitable, but it was shocking to me at any rate.

So three of us met on the corner and caught a cab to Ma'adi House - an American club in Ma'adi.  Now I am learning that cab drivers are not familiar with how to actually get anywhere, plus the generally do not speak any English.  You might wonder how anybody gets where they want to be in such a case.  Me too!  The norm is to name the district you want to get to and once you're there the drivers pull over and ask passersby about the destination you named.  Eventually someone from the neighborhood gets him to the right place!

We arrive at Ma'adi House and it is really nice.  They have a library, playground, restaurant, pool, green space and maybe some other things I didn't see.  Some of the Ma'adi spouses with children have joined this club since it is about the best option for replacing  hanging out at a park or playground on a summer's day in Canada.  We sit at an outdoor table with some shade - I tell you this heat is lovely!  And what an interesting collection of Canadian Spouses - one from Morocco, one from the Czech Republic, one from Japan, one from France, one from the US, and yes, one originally from Canada.  We spoke alternately in English and in French since one spouse knew more of one and one knew more of the other.

Our lunch lasted a few hours (I think - I have no need to consult a watch much as of yet...) and then the Zamalek crew retired to the adjacent pool.  Ahh - like Goldilocks dream: not too hot, not too cold.  But awfully refreshing.  We floated about for over an hour before heading back home.

Cabs returning to Zamalek from Ma'adi sometimes don't want to take you because they don't want to go that far out of their area and don't want to get caught in rush hour (which is a sight to be seen!) either.  But after our third try, one would take us and so off we went.  This time I saw a family of 4 on a single motorcycle...driving on the sidewalk.  And this is not unusual here apparently!

A great day with really great people.

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