cairo and khan al-khalili

 
Today was a day off from interviewing, but it was still pretty full.
 
We went to the American University in Cairo to give a talk to engineering students this morning.  It was a lot of fun – Priya and Anne did a great job covering interviewing basics and process, while Bret, Sherif, Viresh and I got to talk a bit about what we do, and what we’ve worked on.  There’s always great energy at these events.  You’re speaking to an audience comprised mostly of people who want to do what we do, and it’s a lot of fun to share stories and tips with them.
 
Afterwards, we headed over to Khan al-Khalili, the big bazaar downtown.  Sherif took us to a placce tht served great falafel, and we enjoyed some turkish coffee as well.  Have to say, this is a great place to be vegetarian.  You’ll never starve, and your tastebuds are never bored.
 
Then to the market.  I’d planned on heading over to the Egyptian Museum, but instead hung out and took pictures while the others shopped.  It was a slice of an old city that really looks very little like the place I live.  The vendors were all over us trying to sell us things (although I’m pretty good at ignoring them), and the alleys are very narrow, the buildings old and crumbling, and above us were the spires on the surrounding mosques.  I was happy, because I got to walk around a bit and watch people and take pictures.  I posted a bunch in my egypt album here – take a peek and see what you think.
 
In the evening, we enjoyed a Nile dinner cruise.  This was a blast.  Sherif got a recommendation from a local friend.  The food was very good (again), and the entertainment was good as well.  Viresh tried to elope with the belly dancer, but we managed to restrain him at the last minute.
 
Now about that food.  I start each meal feeling hungry, but never manage to quite finish what’s in front of me.  I try hard, but think that perhaps all of the good food I’m eating is forming a sedimentary layer in my stomach.  Clearly this prevents me from consuming everything.
 
It’s time for me to decide where to go after business wraps up on Friday.  I think I’m going to head down to Luxor to take in the sights.  I’m considering staying at the Mercure – seems to offer a reasonable room at a reasonable price in a great location.  Might stay down there Sat, Sun, Mon, returning to Cairo on Tuesday afternoon or evening.  If I can, I’ll book at the Nile Hilton, right next to the Egyptian Museum, which will make it easy to see a good bit of downtown.  Should book flights and accomodations for all of this tomorrow.
 
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