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02 February 2008

week in review, or 'the death of two passenger windows'

let's start at last monday. monday, i was loaned out again to the site 4 hours up the road toward alexandria. i went 8 days prior to check some foundation work they were doing, and had some more work done that needed inspecting. there was more work this time, so instead of up-and-down in a day like the previous trip, i was going to be there 2-3 days, so i got to stay in alex a couple of night.

when the driver picked me up, i mentioned about the overnight stay which his company told him nothing about, so we had to go a bit out of our way to swing by his apartment to pick up an overnight bag. we finally hit the road about an hour later than i had expected and were on our way to nubaria. about an hour into the trip, i'm reaidng my book, all is going well, when *SMASH*... i'm covered in glass and my right ear is ringing. we were going about 120kph (75mph) at the time, no cars were near us, and the passenger side window just exploded. as the driver pulled over, i yanked down the visor to check to see if i was bleeding. despite my ringing ear, all checked out and no lacerations were to be found. on the side of the road, we knocked the rest of the glass out of the frame. if anyone has seen "babel", that's all i could think of. we were going too fast for anyone to really throw anything, no cars were really in our vicinity so i can't think that a stray rock was thrown up (and then somehow flew into the SIDE window). i don't know. it was strange. so we cleaned up the glass, and went on our way again, this time slower because the driver was concerned about me getting too much air.

we made it to site about 3 hours later, and the driver arranged to get a replacement car from alex, but we couldn't get it until after work, so i found my drawings and went to work. the job was easy enough, the civil contractor on that job was really precise in their measurements, so we didn't have to make any adjustments. i finished up around 4PM, and we met the driver with the replacement car on the road about an hour into our 2.5 hours drive to alex. the hotel i was staying at was awesome, right on the mediterranean sea, the restaurants were great. i wasn't complaining, except for the 5 hours round-trip every day, but it was only going to be 2 days... i could live. i would have pictures of the hotel, but that night when i got to the hotel, good ol' butterfingers dropped my nikon S6. i dropped the previous nikon i had once (before taking a single picture), and i found that the lens mount inside is very fragile. after that, all i could so was take pictures of the darkness inside the camera. well, same thing happened to this one when i dropped it. i tried taking it apart today to re-adjust the lens to no avail. i mean, it was broken already, i couldn't really make it any brokener (except that before, the screen showed the murky blackness inside the camera WITH data on the screen, now, it's just black). so, i now have a shiny new paperweight, but i digress...

alexandria was crazy windy. it had to be gusts of like 60mph. i had to chase down my hat a few times just trying to go from the car to the hotel lobby. the sea was whipping up a mad froth, spraying a salty mist up onto the sea road, coating the cars in a nasty gray muck. my kinda weather. i had a great italian dinner, and then had a few drinks at the hotel bar. they have a thing going on where you can pick a type of liquor, glass, mixer, HOW it's mixed, and whether it's "crisp", "smooth", etc., and they'll name it after you. it's the "special" for 24 hours. since i was the only one in the bar, i got the honor that would've more than likely been bestowed upon a hot chick in the bar. it wasn't too exciting, i think it was vodka, pineapple juice, maybe some sprite, on the rocks in a tall glass. yee-haw! i wasn't prepared to be creative.

the next day i went to work in a short sleeve t-shirt rather than a polo. i was going to do laundry in ma'adi (where i'm living outside of cairo) on monday, but instead had to go up the road, so i had no clean work shirts. it was a cool day, but that's the way i like it. the egyptians looked at me like i was one of the aliens who helped build their pyramids (after seeing some of the workmanship here, i'm thoroughly convinced there is NO WAY they could've built the pyramids alone). it was windy, but it didn't bother me as i checked the elevations and whatnot. it DID hurt when it started raining. it was cold enough that i was just shy of comfortable, but when i got wet, i was a shivering mess. they couldn't get done fast enough. luckily, as i said earlier, their civil work was good except for two minor mistakes that needed corrected, and i was able to warm up in the office a bit before leaving at 500PM. same old drive to the hotel, nothing much exciting, and the next day, wednesday, another uneventful 4 hour drive back to ma'adi.

thursday, i moved out of the hotel and into TheMech's apartment. i'm going to be taking over TheMech's lease here in a few days, because he found another apartment with a pool and a private entrance. i fell in love with his apartment the first time i visited. it has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a huge living room, a nice kitchen, a room he converted into a billiards room, and a sizable balcony allfor $3k/month on TheGeneral's dime, it SOOO rocks. i'm staying in one of the guest rooms until he moves out. around 600PM, we got together for dinner at a decent restaurant called "the red onion". we talked, we drank, we ran into some other people from site and TheBrits (a group of british teachers stationed here in egypt for the past 3-5 years that we met at a party a couple weeks back). after that, we went to 'the rugby club', then some people left, and we went to 'the ACE club', then went back to 'the rugby club'. early on in the night, we were having fun and during a friendly faux attack, TheMech accidentally smashed the passenger side window or one of our vehicles while horsing around with the person in the passenger seat. good times. by the end of the club hopping, i'd certainly had a few in me. i took a taxi to the general area of my new abode... then wandered about for 2 hours trying to find it. around 3AM, i called TheMech and asked him "where am i?" that alone should explain the state of mind i was in. he laughed, and together, we somehow found a shopkeeper that was open who called a taxi to come get me. i got to my new place around 400AM, happy just to be falling into my borrowed bed.

on friday, our day off, i didn't do much (i'm starting to disappoint myself in how bad of a tourist i'm being). instead of going to the museum, the pyramids, checking out the sphinx, i went to TGIFriday's on the nile with TheMech and two others for lunch.

there might be more that happened, it seems to me like it was a long week, but maybe not. that's all i have for now. more when i remember it.

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Blogger themom said...

I was beginning to think you had NO internet, as the news is reporting that Egypt (northern Africa), India, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and many more countries had the main internet cables cut (3 total). Sounds like cyber terrorism to me. Leave it to you to drop and break my future camera...what am I going to do with the electronic clutz??? And the glass blowing out of the window....I will not worry, I will not worry, I will not wo.....!!!!

7:37 PM, February 02, 2008  
Blogger swedish chef dave said...

Ahoy Cap'n

well i always put the wrist strap on before using my camera, it is designed to be able to arrest the fall of the camera and prevent damage to it, perhaps you should learn to use it, sounds like your having a normal trip for the general, keep having fun, that is all life is about

6:58 AM, February 05, 2008  

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