We exited Hurrayah in a somewhat drowsy state. It was Thursday night (weekend night cuz they can’t get anything right here)and pretty late. I was pretty full of western beverages and Lima beans (see below), content to go home and sleep both off. (Quick aside, they weren’t Lima beans, but that’s the closest description I can give you. Where most bars put out peanuts, this one put out these disgusting Lima bean substitutes. I ate them tho because I have an eating problem. Which reminds me of a few weeks ago when the bartender at this classy British place, Pub 28, absolutely refused to give me and my roommates another plate of peanuts. Again because I have an eating problem.) Back to exiting Hurrayah. While I was in what Mitch calls in his native tongue the “washroom”, my roommates struck up a conversation with three Egyptians outside. They took an extreme liking to us, and a few alley ways later, we started to be able to understand what they were saying.
One thing that could be understood by both groups was “sheesha”. This excited the Egyptians and we started off quickly through the streets. While traveling in between the donkey carts and taxi cabs we learned more about our new friends. There was Rallah, the only one who could speak understandable English, and is currently at the University in Cairo I believe. You would have to ask Richie though, as those two were holding hands the whole walk so I assume there’s more of a bond there. Then there was Risslaba, who obviously enjoyed curling (and not the kind Mitch enjoys in his native country). Most jacked Egyptian I’ve ever seen. Then there was Achbar. His one but memorable contribution to the night was nicknames. Richie got Vin Diesel, because of his shaved head, tough guy attitude and the beater. Mitch got Jack-Off, for reasons that nobody will ever understand. I was watching Mitchell all night and there was nothing to suggest he had just or was about to jack off. Both names stuck immediately, despite Jack-Off's great efforts.
We ended up in this alley way which turned out to be a sheesha bar, After Eight. One pound sheesha! What could be better? ONE POUND FALAFEL! Not at After Eight, but a store real close by. Needless to say, the night had developed into one of the most fun downtown trips in my time here. In stark contrast to the next night.
We agreed to meet them the next day to see the movie “The Expendables”. I never wanted to see this movie in the first place but decided to go for the experience. At three Risslaba called Ryan and wanted to know if we were there yet. We told him no, had just about woken up but would be there soon. We get there at five. They say they will be there in twenty minutes. I have a few one pound falafels. At SIX THIRTY they show up, saying not to worry the shows at six. We walk to the theater, and they’re not even showing the movie. So we walk to another theater. No movie. And another and another. Finally we get to one where the movie starts at ten, and it is eight. They ask if we want to sheesha. Uh yeah sure. Ok lets go to After Eight again. Wait the place we just walked an hour from? Why, you won’t walk? I mean I’ll walk but it seems a little far, please don’t give me a name like Jack-Off!
So we walked all the way back, sat for ten minutes, then walked back to the theater. It was a good way to see Cairo though, just walking around with three middle class guys. At one point Risslaba and Achbar saw a girl they knew and stopped to talk to her, but twenty minutes later we were back on the hike. All to see The Expendables. Gah.
This weekend I headed out to the Red Sea, a welcome break from the bustle of Cairo’s nightlife. But first, we headed over to St. Anthony’s Monastery. The bus ride was pretty painful; there was this tiny bus and we packed it to capacity. I was prepared to amputate my legs to ease the pain. My mood was such that our tour monk almost met an early demise when he was showing us the ramparts. He was suck a quiet, slow speaker, and then all of a sudden he’d be like why isn’t anyone listening to me? Oh I’m sorry, which monk I’ve never heard of came from which place I’ve never heard of? You’re a joke. Then he showed us a miraculous spring in the middle of the desert. And the less miraculous faucet they built so we could DRINK MIRACLE WATER. I shimmied the line to get to it first, but I still can’t speak Arabic. By the way the water was miraculous because according to Monk Look-At-Old-Stuff it absolutely never rains there. And I believed him until it started raining while we backed out the driveway. Get a real job, like reading resumes.
Then it was just straight up beachin’ it for the next day and half. It doesn’t need a paragraph to explain, I sat on the beach for a day and a half. Also, I drank the most delish banana milk ever. That monk should spend less time making stuff up and more time milking bananas.
An interesting, ongoing story, Risslaba has called Ryan every single day since we’ve met him. The other day I got a call at 2:30 in the morning from a number I didn’t recognize. I answered because I’m lonely. It was Risslaba, wondering why Ryan wasn’t picking up his phone. No idea. Vin Diesel? No idea. Jack-Off? Good night, Risslaba.