This year I spent the first of my two weeks of Spring Break in Israel. We traveled from Eilat to Jerusalem and then to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea before heading back to Cairo. The trip from Cairo to Taba wasn’t bad at all, only six hours or so and I remembered to pack plenty of snacks. So many in fact that I had breakfast and snacks for the next day in Israel. Once we entered into Eilat the fun part started though. I was with four other girls but, most likely because I look like I could be Egyptian, I was lucky enough to get my stuff searched at the border crossing into Eilat! The front page of my homework had the word “Islam” on it so of course I had to put up with some very silly questioning about why I would have that. The fact that I was coming from Egypt where I study at the American University in Cairo seems like a reasonable enough explanation but apparently not. After 10 minutes of questioning and them dumping out all of my luggage I was grudgingly allowed to leave. Of course, I had to repack everything without any help…glad my underwear was clean at least. After that we got our passports stamped and grabbed a taxi to the boardwalk where we ate at a rather popular restaurant named Aroma. At this point I have to mention that our trip during Spring Break happened to coincide with Passover, Western Easter and Eastern Palm Sunday. I had stayed overnight at a friend’s place in Cairo so I could catch the early morning bus and gotten the chance to participate in my first Seder. Now, there was a certain poignancy to be celebrating the exodus of the Jewish people out of Egypt while in Cairo waiting to go to Israel. Though that could also have just been the wine after four months of being dry. Oh my, how expensive alcohol is here! Anyway, the point of this side trip down random memory lane is that all the bread in Israel was unleavened throughout our stay. Except for the delicious fig bread I managed to find each morning (but that’s a different story). I’ll have to leave this update here as I’m about to lose my internet access again, but tomorrow’s post should continue the story.
Culture Shock Blog
(c) Silvine Photography
Many of my photographs are taken during my travels through Europe, Asia and Africa. I'm continually seeking inspiration in the architecture I see, the local customs I engage in and the vibrant lifestyles of the people I meet. I see each photograph as a candid shot of someone's life in another country. Through my photography I want to erase borders that may exist because of distance, language or misunderstanding.
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Last night was my last night teaching at Better World and I’m rather sorry for that. My favorite experience being in Egypt was teaching English and Spanish at the Better World NGO classes in Heliopolis every Tuesday. My students were fun and energetic and always eager to learn. Even my duties as a daily manager […]
A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Luxor with a friend of mine. It was a nice diversion from classes at AUC and very much welcomed. We took the cheapest option for getting to Luxor, an 11 hour train ride in second class. We left Cairo around 1 AM and arrived in Luxor […]
A few weeks ago my friends and I decided to climb Mt. Sinai supposedly where Moses received the commandments from God. We left late from Cairo so we would be able to reach Mt. Sinai and climb before the sunrise which actually turned out to be perfectly planned. The trip took around 7 or 8 […]
After living in and traveling around Egypt for a few months, I’ve come to realize that there is a certain art to bargaining here. For starters, Egyptian store clerks seem to think the fastest and most effective method of getting sales is hitting on any female that walks by. This certainly shocked me the first […]
This year I spent the first of my two weeks of Spring Break in Israel. We traveled from Eilat to Jerusalem and then to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea before heading back to Cairo. The trip from Cairo to Taba wasn’t bad at all, only six hours or so and I remembered to pack […]