Not much going on today. We went to work and came home. Tonight, we’ll be leaving for weekend in Luxor and Aswan!
Last night, we went to an apartment in Maadi to hangout with people. The group at the party was basically split into thirds: partially AIESEC-ers (like me), partially students at American University of Cairo, and partially international people in their early 20s who work in Cairo. Several of the people were there for U.S. government work, but no one was specific about what they were doing. Everyone was really friendly and interesting to talk to. The apartment was on the top floor of a building in a nice area, and it had a large terrace with built in seating and a fireplace. They pay $800 (USD) a month for the apartment and get way more for their money than you would in the states or Europe. The girls who rent the place are Norwegian, and I had a conversation with one of them about Bergen. She was super nice!
Sherin and I met an Egyptian guy with very bad English who launched into an explanation about how his girlfriend would be so mad at him for coming to a party without her, but that it was too late to bring her out with him. He then continued to explain what exactly he was expecting of her once they got married. He said that 1) she would need to be home to make him lunch every day. He would get home very tired, and she would need to bring him food. It must be good food, or he would be very angry. 2) She must not go out without him, because he would not know who might try to touch or talk to her. 3) She must stay at home and take care of the house and children, because this will make her happy. It is easy, and she will have time to do a good job.
I pointed out that it is contradictory that he should be allowed outside to talk to women, but she could not go to talk to men, and he just laughed, saying, “it is good for the woman to be jealous. She should always be jealous. This makes her happy.”
While I know that this view does not reflect that of the guys I hang out with here, I also know that the men I am friends with here are part of a very small percentage of very western-minded men. However, it was still a bit odd for me to hear this straight from someone who very firmly believes that a woman’s place is in the home. He wasn’t preaching to us, because he acknowledged that our culture is different.
Today at work, a little girl was trying to rub the blue marker spot off of my finger. She kept asking what it was (I wasn't really paying any attention), and then she found another spot, this time on my palm. Then, she found on on my wrist. I realized that she was seeing my veins through my skin and thinking that it was more marker!
Tonight, I am taking a sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor with 12 other interns, including my roommates and the girls I work with. We are all very excited! We have a tour organized for while we are there, so everything is pretty much taken care of. It’ll be the most expensive weekend we have here, but I know it’ll be amazing!