Yesterday I decided to explore the “other side of the tracks” in Maadi. Road 9 has lots of shops on it, but on the other side of the subway tracks is Road 7, and every time we drive out of Maadi to the Corniche, we pass over Road 7 and through reams of more shops. So in an effort to have a “daily outing,” I braved the heat, and climbed the pedestrian fly-over (as we’ve learned to never walk the auto fly-over again, right?) to Road 7. It was teeming with people, much busier than Road 9, including men selling bread on sidewalk pallets. I stopped in a few stores here and there, but didn’t find anything of interest (including my continued elusive search for compressed air). I ended up walking all the way to the Corniche, which runs along the Nile. It was probably only a mile, but keep in mind the heat-factor for some added sympathy. Having gotten that far, I decided to walk a little father north along the Corniche to Alfa Market, which is basically a department/grocery store. I was in search of a hair dryer (someone had asked me to find one for her) and I knew that we had bought mine at another Alfa Market. I was successful in finding a hair dryer, along with a few other items.
As I walked around I noticed that I appeared to be the only one sweating (profusely, I might add). The sweat literally was pouring down my face and I was doing the old-man-hankie act of dabbing at my face with a tissue. Why don’t Egyptians sweat? Or why (how) don’t they show it? I MUST find out – and adopt it immediately!
So, in addition to the hair dryer search, today was also designated as another attempt at using my Arabic. Ron had suggested that I grab a taxi home from Alfa Market and while offering the driver a 20LE note, ask him for 10LE in change (in Arabic). Since 10LE for that short ride is a really good fare, he thought that any taxi driver might miraculously have change, and I might get to use a sentence. So I managed to get a taxi, and to my utter delight used Arabic the whole way home! Now, I can’t claim long full sentences, nor any philosophical, scientific nor political discussions, but I told him our street, confirmed it was in Maadi, told him to go around the circle, after the bridge turn left, stop here. He told me my Arabic was good. I was so pleased!! And he had the change (miracle of miracles).