Monday, June 19, 2006

and the days go by...

the mark of a good vacation, for me anyway, is when you've forgotten what day it is. and so, only a few days into the trip, i lose track at least once a day. thank goodness i have my overpriced cheapo swatch watch that i bought in the frankfurt airport because i realized that my cellphone, non-fuctioning outside the 50 states, can no longer double as my watch.

anyway, i'm not going to post anything lengthy now. only posting something because my sleep patterns have been haywire, even though i thought i was over the jet lag quickly. also, i'm enabled by the broadband connection and laptop in the flat where i'm staying (friend of tour guide).

three+ days in egypt and my initial impressions (as go the typical question to any visitor, especially in a land much different from his own) are that a) cairo is a fast-paced city that makes new york and even tokyo seem like small towns. mainly because the speed of things, though roughly the same, is in a more compact and densely populated area, and more importantly (and not unrelated) the chaos factor is x10. also, and related, to know this city is to have been here for a while and have people slowly fill you in on the ways to make it work for you. some cities, like philadelphia, are easily grasped in order to be easily liveable. cairo demands that you work hard, pay *constant* attention and seek wise counsel. without the wonderfully patient and resourceful and good natured tour guide and her hooked-up alexandrian counterpart, i'd be lost. and i'm a pretty good city-goer.

so yeah, sleep now (it's 1am tuesday, 3pm monday for you west coasters, 6pm for you easterners)...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

newviewfinder

finally got the chance to play with the new camera, and tested it by shooting the new view.


and also? fun with the macro...that's some detail...pores and hair and fabric


ok, time to pack.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

countdown to cairo

wow, outta here thursday morning. it's been two years since my last real vacation, and i'm ready.

tour guide has lived up to her billing and has set up a good week. i land friday, which happens to be her birthday, so it's right away to a dinner with a bunch of people. hopefully i won't be too smelly. or tired. saturday is apparently a group trip to alexandria, which should be good fun. during the week there'll also be pyramids, wandering about town, a sinai trip.

the morocco leg of the journey is shaping up well, with some minor itinerary adjustments. no longer will the atlantic coast swing be part of the deal...too much lost travel time. that journey needs a week in and of itself. so that's next year, after a week in spain (barca, madrid, granada, tangier...down the coast...i'm already planning...)

so for now it's fly to casablanca, train straight to rabat. there for a couple of days then train to fes. hang there for a couple of days (well three effectively) then an overnight train to marrakech. two+ days there, then a train to casablanca, for an evening and part of the day. then fly to cairo and back to the usa.

of the guidebooks i've read or bought, the most useful so far has been the lonely planet food guide for morocco. ok, the dk eyewitness travel guide is good as well, but i'd rather read about the food before i get there. mmmm...tajines....

Saturday, June 10, 2006

strange as it may seem, i once had my football dreams

missed yesterday's opening world cup matches, the opener between host germany and costa rica, followed by ecuador-poland. apparently the germans and ticos played an entertaining offensive-minded game, as evidenced by the 4-2 score. poland once again look to be a world cup disappointment. i thought they'd come through 2nd in the group, but doesn't look like it now.

did watch this morning, a couple of matches this morning, england's 1-0 win over paraguay and the 0-0 draw between sweden and trinidad.

sweden should have won. they played a team with much less talent and got a gift when avery john was sent off a minute into the 2nd half for drawing a second yellow on a hard but not bookable foul. at least not bookable when he was already carrying a yellow. but trinidad clamped down as teams often do when down a man. trinidad keeper shaka hislop was outstanding...made a few amazing saves. though i'm danish and thus should nominally be rooting more for sweden, i like trinidad because a) they're major underdogs, and b) i've met lots of folks from trinidad and every one of them are fun people.

the england-paraguay match was kind of eh...blah. england got a gift own-goal early on and never really got an offensive rhythm. paraguay seemed fine with packing the defense and not creating any offense.

the argentina-ivory coast game should be fun, but i've got my own game to play this afternoon.

for what it's worth, i see final 8 matches between germany-argentina, italy-france, england-netherlands and brazil-spain, semis of germany-italy and brazil-england and a germany-brazil final won by brazil. but there are always surprises in the tournament, which is what makes it so much fun.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

your axe belongs to a dying nation, they don't know that we own you

if i had the gumption i'd trek out to amoeba thursday night to see the raconteurs. but seeing as it's gonna be hellaciously crowded, maybe not. or maybe. they will be back, in july at the warfield.

also coming soon? blasts from the past...the church august 20 and mission of burma (shouldn't they now be mission of myanmar?) september 2 at great american. since the clash won't be regrouping, all i need is for culture club to get back together and it'll be like high school all over again for me. only this time i can go to the shows, instead of moping because i'm under 21 and don't have fake id.

Monday, June 05, 2006

here we are in our summer years, living on ice cream and chocolate kisses

Dinner tonight was Platanos. Very good...dishes are tapas style, a Latin fusion vibe. Started with a very spicy ceviche done Peruano style. Perhaps a bit too hot, but very good. The chicken empenaditas were interesting...some savory and sweet going on...savory filling but sugar topping with sweet tomatos on the side. They might have been better served last, not before the tamale puerco which was savory but not too spicy. Last was a cold salmon dish which was not bad. A bit too much sauce so it felt a bit drowned. Nice malbec wine to accompany it.

For whatever reason I can't get this Grandaddy song out of my head. Meow, meow meow meow meow indeed.

Also sticking with me is playful sex, or rather, Asobi Seksu (which translates to playful sex...not that playful sex in and of itself wouldn't stick with me), a Japanese band and their songs New Years and Thursday.

I'd hoped the elves would have come to put away my stuff and store the boxes, but sadly no. The unpacking is left to me, it seems.

And oh my, the World Cup starts Friday. More on that later. Suffice to say that no matter the weather, this Saturday and Sunday will be all about watching the games (well, and playing a game each day).

This is the first WC since 1994 where I won't be able to see a good portion of the matches. The last two happened when I was in grad school and had a job with the flexibility to se my own hours. Now? Not so much. I assume in Morocco and Egypt the games will be on and people will gather in cafes to watch. And normally I would, but I'm not traveling to North Africa to watch soccer.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

bust a move

finally, all my stuff is in the new place. of course, most of it is all over the place in boxes but it's all there. is moving stressful? apparently so. but the worst is over.

a quick plug for cunningham moving. excellent people to deal with...professional, pleasant. the best experience with movers i've ever had. that includes the impressive driving job of negotiating a big truck up and down the incredibly steep street on which i now live. also, amazingly, i was able to get cable and internet hooked up saturday on just a few days notice.

now it's just the unpacking and putting away to be done. and then prep for the trip. though said prep consists mainly of reading the morocco guide book and learning how to use the new digital camera.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

being and nothingness

it's been said many times by almost everyone when they move...i have too much stuff. mostly in the form of books and cds and kitchen stuff.

it's whenever i move that i wish i were illiterate, didn't like music so much, and didn't like to cook.

(yeah, yeah, i know...e-books and an ipod)