Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Arabic, Costumes and Party!

Monday was a day of many things…. I had a lovely girl- Hoda, come in to teach the group some basic Arabic for using in the street and shops…. Nothing I couldn't have done with them.. but its been my experience that it is really hard to meet and get to talk with Egyptian women- its all men in the hotels and shops and touristic places…. So this was the groups chance to ask questions they don't often get a chance to ask. So the Arabic lasted an hour- but the cultural exchange was another 2 on top of that!!! Very interesting. One question which had a few comments from it was, as a tour guide, what questions do her Egyptian relatives/friends ask about foreign women? Some of the things were a surprise- but others weren't!! It was also very interesting that before she had taught them yes or no, how are you, or many basic requirements- they knew how to say they were married and whether they had children or not! Different priorities!

After an Egyptian pancake (fateer) , we hit the costume shops…. Much fun was had by all (as you could see from the photos from the previous blog!!!) I had to leave early to go and teach a class so I didn't get to see all the purchases- but I am sure we will have a fashion parade at some point through the week!

The party was the best party I have ever thrown. I was very lucky that Romaya was able to cook for us… and Olivia did lots of shopping while I was out with the group, but what made it a pleasure was the guests- a real mix of interesting and social people. My group of course, my teacher, Sara, whose birthday it was and a couple other dancers- Yasmina and Caroline, some friends from salsa and from Arabic class too. Everyone just introduced themselves and got on with it. I didn't have to work hard as a hostess at all. Apart from organizing the musicians to come… who came eventually at 11.30- until 1.30am Great fun- everyone was up dancing…. Including the men. Sara and I danced together which was one of the main highlights of the night, for me anyway! That and my Salsa with Wael, and Saaidi with Waleed. It was good to see the whole group up and going for it, and to live music too- great! It was all good in fact. Got to bed at 5am (from 8pm) that’s a long, but very enjoyable night!!!!

Tuesday- Shattered!!!!!!!!!!!! What a shocker eh?!!!! The whole group came with me to Maadi and we had a couple of hours dance class in the beautiful studio I teach at there, and after a light lunch in Cilantros (the full ex-pat experience!!!) a wander down to the metro. It's always a nice experience for the group to travel in the women's only carriage. So we get back early- to have a rest before going out… but then the 3, nearly 4 hours of costume shopping started! Yasser and Mahmoud are 2 very happy men after all these girls are buying!!! Since they have an early start to their pyramids day, we spent a quiet evening having a lovely meal in the Nagib Mahfouz restaurant in Khan el Khalili. Was relieved to see they were all as shattered as me by this time. We'll just have to go see a dancer another night.

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