I just woke up from my first night of sleep in Cairo, and right now it is 3:56 on Sunday morning, which means it’s 9:56 at night back home. I’ve had about six hours of sleep since leaving Friday morning, (airplanes: I just can’t do it) and for whatever reason I find myself incredibly awake right now.
Flying in yesterday was an amazing experience, and the view of the city from the air is breathtaking. For one thing, it is massive. Just absolutely massive. I was pretty excited when we could first see the outskirts of the city, but imagine my shock when a few minutes later we were still over Cairo and there was nothing but buildings as far as I could see from my vantage several thousand feet in the air. Maybe the smog had a part to play in my visibility but either way I was definitely taken aback by the size of the city.
Of course, a good part of my shock and awe probably came from the fact that we were finally there, in Cairo. I think that was the first time it hit me that I was really going. All summer it had been, “Oh, guess I leave for Cairo soon.” This eventually became “Oh, guess I leave for Cairo in two days. Oh, guess I better start packing pretty soon. What do I need again?”
I didn’t think about this trip a whole lot when I was home this summer. It had always felt a little surreal, and seemed so far off in the future. Of course, following Prof. Lo around the streets of Garden city like a group of ducklings after their mother yesterday was very real. The people who stopped and stared at us were very real, and the people who told us “Ahlan ahlan, welcome” were also very real. All I can really say back is Ahlan, ya Cairo. Glad that I’m finally here.