copy Excellent Adventures in Egypt

Enter here to share Joni's adventures living and working in Cairo courtesy of the U.S. Fulbright cultural exchange program. Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and test of our civilization. - Mahatma Ghandi

10/08/2004

Fall (el- rubiya) has finally arrived in Cairo.

I can walk outside in the middle of the day and not feel like one of those sweet potatoes stacked up on the coal-fired cooker that the batata-man trundles through the streets. (Delicious, those roasted batata.) We went off daylight savings time last week, and night falls swiftly (about 5:30 pm) bringing deliciously cool evening air: I'm up to two light blankets on the bed. What a relief to be free of the enervating heat. Posted by Hello Early morning on the Nile just across the street from my flat. '’ve been very busy the last few weeks meeting with people, preparing for and delivering my first lecture, studying Arabic and hassling with Thoth the computer, who decided that I really did not need a functioning CD/DVD drive. Since almost all my files and reference materials are on CD or DVD (oh, those hours spent scanning documents!) I have a very different point of view. But it avails me naught: so far the score is computer 5, Joni zip. I find it amazing how dependent I am on this little piece of technology. The computer is my lifeline: it's my communication link back home as well as my brains and institutional memory for work here in Egypt. The thought of being unable to access my files has kept me in a cold sweat more often than I care to recall. With a lot of help from the wonderful folks at Fulbright, I have been able to get my files transferred onto Thoth's hard drive so I've at least got a workaround for the CD problem. Matt has helped by spending countless hours on the phone with Toshiba (wonderful technical support - I can't sing their praises loudly enough) to try to zero in on the problem. This coming Saturday morning I plan to make the long trek back out to Masr Gidida (Heliopolis) to the Toshiba service center to leave the computer for a day while they figure out if it's the CD drive or the computer's motherboard (perish the thought!) My troubles with Thoth have put me way behind on lots of projects. But, thankfully, this is a holiday weekend in Egypt, so I've got a chance to catch up. (Which holiday, you ask? Why October 6, the date of the 1973 Six Day War with Israel. Why any country celebrates wars is beyond me - why Egypt celebrates this particular one makes my brain do flip-flops.)

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