The Eid Holiday is over, and believe me I don't want to eat lamb, beef, or even chicken for at least a month. I've been filling up on fuul (beans) and lots of tamaya (falafel). There is plenty of good food in Egypt that is healthy, just be sure there isn't any fat added, such as butter or ghee (clarified butter). Oh, and stay away from the pastries -- Egyptians are high carb people by nature. I have been feeling quite satisifed throwing out cookies and bread that have gone stale.
I went into work yesterday to prepare the payroll deduction summary for staff, and I in turn got paid as well. In Egypt I get paid in cash and have to count the money and sign for the pay before I take it home. I joke that I'm a good wife of an Egyptian and give my husband all my money (it's only a joke). Historically, Egyptian women do not turn over their paychecks to their husbands, whatever they earn is theirs to keep. The husband is required to provide the home and spending money for the family.
I'm not working for the money, but rather to meet people and interact with others. I can't figure out yet if working is easing the culture shock or throwing it into overdrive; perhaps it's a lot of both.
I am off of work and Mira is off of school until we return on February 5th, which gives me plenty of time on my hands. Hassan watched Mira yesterday and when I got home from work he said "I'm going out with my 'boys' -- Mira is just too much to take care of." Really? I hadn't known that, but I agree.
What do I do with all the free time? Well, for starters there's always laundry - I enjoy doing laundry and now that we have a southern exposure I can do several loads a day. Oh, by the way if you ever want to know if I'm doing laundry, just check the weather report for Cairo, for if there's a cloud on the horizon I must be hanging laundry out to dry - and not just socks and jeans, but sheets and towels. The majority of Egyptians do not have dryers because the sun dries the laundry faster and doesn't heat up the home from April - November. I'm still debating on whether or not to buy a dryer. I have to wait and see what February and March hold in terms of weather. We have yet to enter the sandstorm season. Oh joy.
This brings me back to the time issue. I want to go shopping, but still feel that I am at a disadvantage because of the language barrier. My confidence is a lot better than it was when we moved here, but I am still timid to get out there and shop on my own -- without Hassan.
On or around February 3rd I will probably figure out what to do with all this time on my hands and then scurry to get a month's worth of work completed in two days.