Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mangoes in Misr (On Time!)

Yala Bina! (possibly (or definitely) misspelled Arabic for "let's go!"

Misr is what Egyptians call Egypt.

Saturday was very eventful- full of market mishaps and such. The group split into a bunch of different groups (Other Laura and I were under the weather and didn't venture out until dinner) and traveled all over the city. Eddie's feeling much better, thankfully, and Neal/Tim (Nim? Teal?) took him around to see the beautiful mosques we toured yesterday. Up on my top "wow" places is the Saladin Mosque- a huge building made of white limestone. We took off our shoes and walked into a huge building full of incredible architecture. Pictures are coming (ahem to the other bloggers). At the back were two prayer altars, large steps that led to a platform that allows the prayer leader to be heard. The acoustics are so precise that a single voice chanting from the platforms can be heard in the back of the room. The original prayer altar is decorated in green cloth with wooden railings that match the wooden carved ceiling, while the newer altar is white limestone with carvings that match the walls. David took some amazing pictures, along with a random pile of shoes left by the tourists. We are culturally polite Americans!

There are already some posts about the different group outings today. Tim and Neal and part of the group went to Khan el-Khalili, the famous market in Cairo... and experienced their first "Mango Down!" story- Tim was pick-pocketed! Thankfully, he only lost a few pounds (and some mints- these are some fresh pick-pocketers) and is fine. People bought lots of hookahs and vases and adorable kitschy gifts for the Dirty Santa tomorrow (nothing says Egypt like, literally, something that has a plaque on the front that reads "from Egypt!" in large letters).


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