Taxis, Movies, and Refrigerators

Last week while catching a taxi from our work back home, we (2 guys and 3 girls) got in the taxi of a fairly religious man. As we piled into the cab, the cabbie all of a sudden started telling us to get out of the cab for a moment. I was confused as to why we had to get out of the cab that had already agreed to take us home for a fair price. As it ends up, we had piled into the cab boy-girl-boy-girl, which was apparently unacceptable. Once we piled back in boy-boy-girl-girl, all was good and we were on our way. Adding to the fun of the cab ride were the questions our driver asked us. When most taxi drivers make conversation, it usually follows the lines of “Where are you from? I love America. I hate Bush. What do you think about Egypt?” This driver started with the usual “Where are you from?” but then launched into more personal questions: “Do you all live in the same apartment?” We answer “No, the boys live in one apartment and the girls in another.” Our driver got all of a sudden very excited and said “This is good. Boys and girls living in the same apartment is very bad.” (Please excuse my overly simple words, it’s all I could understand that the driver said.) Anyway, the point here is that it was just a funny, strange, interesting cab drive.

I’ve just become accustomed to the usual political conversation in which I state that I’m from America (always America, not the United States, which is a whole other conversation) and then simply listen to their opinions on American politics. During another cab ride last week, there was the usual political conversation save for one little gem. When we asked which candidate our cab driver supports, McCain or Obama, he said “John Kerry!” At first I giggled to myself, thinking “this man has no clue what’s going on in American politics.” But then I realized how stupidly wrong I was. I mean, what do I know about Egyptian politics? I studied them for a semester last year, but I don’t know all of the nuances of current events. I don’t know much about the politics of any other Middle Eastern country either. Kudos to the Egyptian people for knowing more about my country’s politics than I know about theirs. It is my new mission to start following other countries’ political landscapes in order to be better informed.

Okay, so now for a complete topic change…

Last night, a few of us girls went to the movies. We were trying to find an English movie, but we never did. So we ended up watching Captain Hema, an Egyptian film. It had all the main elements of a great movie: romance, murder, and cute kids. However, I still have very little clue of what the heck was going on in that movie. There’s a bus driver who falls in love with the drama teacher who has a bad-guy boyfriend. The girl doesn’t reciprocate the bus driver’s affections, but her boyfriend frames the bus driver for murder and tries to kill him. At some point the boyfriend kidnaps the bus driver’s sickly sister. (I’m not quite sure what made her sick, but she would randomly pass out in the movie.) In the end, the bus driver and the drama teacher fall in love and the sister gets better, I think.

The movie theater that we went to was amazing. It seems like it was an actual theater turned into a movie theater by adding a big screen. When you buy the tickets for 15LE (~$3) you get an assigned seat in the theater. They had ushers take us to our seats. And, at about halfway through the movie, there was a brief, and by ‘brief’ I mean 90 seconds, intermission. They had concession stands at the theater, but we all brought in our own food, which was fine. One girl even brought in a full meal from McDonalds.

Oh, and just as a funny sidenote to end my post today, our old fridge is back. While we were gone Thursday evening, our landlord came into our apartment, moved everything out of the nice, new, cold fridge and into the crappy, old, barely colder than room temperature fridge. He even took the new fridge away. I am just waiting to see how long it takes before our fridge breaks again. As of right now, it is still technically working (because the air inside the fridge is ever so slightly cooler than the air outside the fridge), but I think its days are numbered.