Tuesday, July 7, 2009


It began at midnight, July 3 and lasted until 3:30am July 7. We got on a bus for Cairo. We got to the airport at 3am. I didn't sleep. And a sudden rush of weird energy hit me in the airport. I could be seen sashaying down the moving sidewalks and twirling betwixt and between the awkward English signage (some of the best of which, I still maintain, exists between the lobby of our hotel and my room. The sign reads: "Emeragecy Exit"). We got on our (delayed) flight to Aswan and landed sometime between the hours of 7 and 9 am. I don't remember because I managed to fall asleep sometime towards the end of the one-hour plane ride from Cairo to Upper (read: Southern) Egypt, and when I woke up the only word that can describe the way I felt was "groggy". Not to worry, my trusty GA Emma was there to take care of me and grabbed my stuff from the roundy thing that brings you your luggage, also known as a carousel. [Note: Emma is a second year PhD student at Penn and is actually a GA for a hall in the lower Quad. She is very good to me. More on that later.]

Enough with the boring travel nonsense. We were in Aswan. It was hot. Like really hot. One hundred and ten degrees Fahrenheit hot. But that didn’t bother our tour guides. We plunged right into visiting ancient temples, tombs, and…dams? Yes. That’s what we did. We took the bus to the dam, a ferry to a Temple that had been moved because of that dam, and then a bus to our CRUISE SHIP ON THE NILE WHERE WE WOULD BE LIVING FOR THE NEXT FOUR DAYS. It was everything both you and I though it would be. Mostly because the pillows were soft, the towels were large enough to cover all of my vitals, the shower was clean, and separate from the rest of the bathroom, but also because there was a small pool on the top deck, a guy who came around and swept off the crumbs from the table with a big spoony/scrapy thing, and they turned out our beds at night. If you don’t know what that means, you were like me before this trip. Suffice it to say: Its baller (for readers over 25, this means super cool in new slang).

I’m not going to write whole lot about this trip now because I need to do lots and lots of homework and then maybe sleep a little bit. My eyes are in that stingy-tired stage. Oooo but one other interesting piece of news for all of you dedicated readers: I will (most likely) be in Israel from August 3rd (night) until August 9 (morning). If you will be in Israel at that time, send me an email and we'll chill! I plan on taking a bus from Alex to Cairo, from Cairo to Taba, and from Taba to Jerusalem and afterward a plane back from Tel Aviv to Cairo with a layover in Amman since I've only been able to find Royal Jordanian Air flights.

The only bad - if you can even call it that - thing about this trip is that my headphones broke. I bought new ones today from Radioshack. Pretty poor quality, but they get the job done. Which brings me to my song of the moment. I am currently listening to the song Mischak HaSimultani (Simultaneous Game) by Beit HaBubot, one of my favorite Israeli groups of all time. I feel that the whole song, and especially the title, fittingly sums up the double-life (Soloveitchik) feeling in Egypt.

PS this has been the single-most difficult blog to publish. Blogger is being difficult. I wish I could send it to its room or something.


  1. This blog makes me so happy; thanks for sending it along (after I berated you publicly in the lobby of the hotel, of course). BTW, I am 31 and I so know what baller means. - Andrea in DC

  2. YESSS!!!!!!!! SHEV COMES TO JERUSALEM!!!!!!!!!!!
    its my sisters bat mitzvah that shabbat. you are MOST DEFINITELY invited. will let you know details later, closer to the actual date (read: because its israel, we don't have the details planned yet.) but if you're in j'lem for shabbat, you'd better come!