We went to work today, interviewing the first 10 candidates. It was a really good bunch, lots of fun talking with them.
We were using office space in the Microsoft Cairo Innovation Office, about 20 minutes from our hotel. The building was just recently finished, and they’re still putting in the wiring and furnishings. It was pretty nice, even if all of the amenities were not yet available.
Getting there and back was a minor adventure. All seven of us crowded into a cab for the drive there. We didn’t know where the new building was, so we ended up walking about a half mile across a grassy field to get there. Then it took a few minutes to find someone and get set up. Once things started rolling it was like clockwork though – if today is any indication the trip will be very worthwhile.
We interviewed from 8 until 7 tonight. When we finished up, we had to walk a bit over a mile to catch a cab, as the office park is behind a security checkpoint. We walked over to a pretty good, informal Italian place which had good pasta.
But about the whole security thing … there’s been a bit of terrorism and instability over the past while here, so it’s pretty normal for places like office parks, hotels, and fancy neighborhoods to guarded. In order to get into our hotel, you need to pass through a metal detector. Of course, when I pass through, I’m usually carrying a camera and cellphone, which sets everything off. Apparently that’s not a big problem though … I stopped the first time, but they simply waved me through, as they have every time subsequently. I’m hoping it’s because I look familiar to them, possibly known as the oddball who freely sprays his shower water throughout his room, and hangs his drying laundry all over the place.
Over dinner, the talk turned to people’s travel plans afterwards. Sherif is here with his family, and will vacation on the Red Sea coast next week. Viresh had talked about going to Libya, or possibly Israel (I assume he won’t try to go to both). He expressed interest in buying a cheap car, and joining the police-escorted convoy on the road from Cairo to Luxor – which is apparently a pretty hair-raising experience. Bret suggested that we might be sure to say goodbye to Viresh before we part on Friday.
Still thinking I’ll head to Luxor, although diving/snorkeling off the coast sure sounds nice.