Sunday, October 10, 2010

Once More Unto the Beach, Dear Bros, Once More!

I realized after writing the no one will get the pun, through no fault of your own, but rather of my far too regular watching of Good Will Hunting. Robin Williams quotes Shakespeare’s Henry V “Once More unto the Breach, Dear Friends, Once More!” But more famously it is the title of Gilmore Girls Episode 721. I don’t ever want it said that this blog, or that show, panders to the ignorant.

Beach weekend! Me and the bros (minus Mitch, who is no longer a bro until further notice, possibly tomorrow) headed up North to Alexandria to wait for buses and argue with taxi drivers, and see the sights in between. Alexandria is the Buffalo to Cairo’s New York City. Second biggest in the state/nation, great waterfront view, wonderful people, and there are sheep in the street. It’s only a two and a half hour train ride, when you don’t figure in the five and half hours we waited for the train after our trademark poor planning. Anyways, it gave us a good chance to get to know each other in a way that sitting everyday in the same dorm room doesn’t.

But then we started chugging along and the times were merry. We weren’t quite sure where we were going to spend the night, it was either this cheap hotel or at our 34-year-old lawyer/international lover friend of friend’s BEACH house. I was hoping for cheap hotel. See, Pat was in Alexandria a few weeks ago and met this character, Amar, at a bar, and ever since Amar desperately tried to get Pat to come back for his birthday party. As luck would have it, Ryan, Richie, and I were headed up that same night of the birthday party. We met Amar in a bar in Cairo a couple nights beforehand to make sure he wasn’t shady, and three hours of his Conquests of Love throughout Europe we were convinced this guy was pretty straightedge.

On the way up there we found out the party of the century had been moved from his friend’s mansion to above a restaurant. So we got into town, checked into a four-bed room, and went out to celebrate now having a 35-year-old creepy friend. The place was pretty chill, and as to be expected Amar had a lot of young, strapping friends, many of them British. We had a great time, but nothing to really tell about until Richie was persuaded to call one of the Brits a fairy, more out of obedience than homophobia. I’ve never seen a name make such a mark. The kid was livid, and stood up ready to turn the clock back to 1812. A ten minute shouting match ensued, both arguing the merits of their nation, while I slammed plates of hummus with Pat, in what could only be the reason for the most severe hiccups either of us have ever had. When the dust settled it was apparent the Brits were as douchey as their popped collars suggested they were, and we were as culturally sensitive as our passports suggested we were. A fun night overall that left plenty to be talked about on the way home.

The next morning we got a jump on things and were up by 11. We headed straight out to the Citadel and I loved it. It was a medieval castle, on the BEACH! We were as much an attraction to the Egyptians as the sights were to us. Several asked to take pictures with us, primarily because of the Tattooed Freak that is Richie Roy. Getting a tattoo is taboo in Islam, but there’s no taboo against getting your picture taken with a damned infidel. We explored the fort for awhile then went to the Catacombs, which also were awesome but didn’t allow pictures. Buried deep in the earth, they had some awesome caves dug out to put dead people in. Here we almost got in another fight, when we remarked how another tour group must be having difficulty with the guide only speaking Arabic and the group only speaking Japanese, or so we thought. Then we hear, and I quote, “We’re not Japanese, BRO.” Oh god damn.

After that I returned to whence I came, the library. Yes, a lot of people don’t know, but before I read resumes at Chemonics, before I looked good at Food & Friends, before I spilled coffee at The Roycroft, and even before I got fired from my work-study position at SIS, I nearly died of loneliness by working at a library. But this library here wasn’t any ma and pa shop East Aurora Library, where we measured DVD’s in and out with tally marks; this was the Great Library of Alexandria, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Except that one got destroyed, so this is just the Library of Alexandria, but it is still pretty great. It functions more as a museum and convention center, but it can still hold up to 2,000 readers, or approximately the population of East Aurora proper.

That night we went to a delightful little seaside restaurant, The Mermaid. True Adam fans will know I’m no fan of fish, but when you’re in Alexandria, you eat fish. So we had a wonderful meal of sea bass, calamari, salad and dessert all for $10, and I had that unfamiliar feeling of being content with a meal. Afterwards, we went to a famous place of expatriates for the night, Spitfire, where we had a wonderful evening and I was forced/enabled to eat these little doughnut holes all night. On the way back we had a one pound falafel shop, where we were served spicy falafels. I’m not one to make excuses, but I feel they basically left out the falafel and gave me a spice patty in a pita bread, because I almost died. Richie thought I might be able to handle it better and could handle spicy sauces, the way people at Inauguration were surprised when I curled up in a ball and demanded to be left for dead. Yes, I’m from Buffalo, do I not bleed? Too much Shakespeare for one post, I’ll tone it down.

Next day was straight up BEACH. We had two of the toughest roughest taxi drivers you could ask for but we didn’t let that spoil our tan time. First beach we went to might as well have been Lake Erie for all the trash that was floating in it, but we had better luck at a beach farther out. Eventually, though, we knew we had to pack our bags and head back to our lack of responsibilities in Cairo. So we got to the train station, said we were looking for a bus to Cairo, got crammed into a mini-bus (leading cause of death for tourists in Egypt, true story), and were out on the road. About a minute into it we ask, “Are we going to Cairo?” We weren’t. But we were going to a bus station where we could get one there. Of course, the bus didn’t leave for another 2 ½ hours, but it was fine as it gave us a chance to get to know each other. A three hour ride later and one final taxi ride later, we were back in the middle of the desert, where we belong.

I also think it is hilarious GoogleAds think my audience will be most interested in hot Bollywood action. They know you’re reading this, Rochelle King and Cassie Wheeldon.

Here is a link to the new album:


  1. A couple quick questions: You actually know the titles to episodes of "The Gilmore Girls"? Who nudged Richie into calling out the Brits? What do you argue with the taxi drivers about? Oh, and I got an ad for an Asian dating service on my page. On my second visit I got an ad extolling the sites of Israel. You'll have to let me know what you think of Israel so I can make an educated decision.

  2. Does the author of this blog intend to answer the questions sent in by his readers? If not, I find that attitude to be cold and disenchanting. We are not sheep! Does not the flower, having attracted a bee with its lovely color and scent, then bestow upon this bee a small token in return?

    Also, how did you decide on the Falaphisor as a profile pic? The voting seemed to result in a tie.

    Clearly I was a fan of Falafel Eyes. So much so that I bothered to vote for it three times (once each from three different computers - hey, I'm on them all day long, you know?)

  3. ohhhh heeiiiicckkkkk yessssssss xx

  4. You would think a daily skype sesh would satisfy some parents but you'd be wrong.

    1) I know enough Gilmore Girls to get by on, I do have a twin sister
    2)One Brit nudged Richie onto the other Brit
    3)Taxi drivers will argue about anything
    4)The Asian dating service is I think pretty applicable to my audience (Andrew Feierman and Su Park)
    5)I'll let you know about Israel when I get there November 16th
    6)I cast the final vote in the photo contest
    7)I'm aware of your amount of freetime