Day 3 & 1 & 2
I was going to try and catch up by posting days 1&2 but I figured it would just be a waste of time. So. Alexandria. We arrived on the evening of the 6th, actually, 2am, so it was the 7th. Anyway, Dr. Mohammad abd al-salaam and one other professor was there to greet us with a number of kids from the dorms. The guys headed to the boys dorm, and the girls to theirs, and we stayed up and chatted with the students in our dorm until 5 or so in the morning, then we all went to sleep.
Second day is kind of foggy. We visited the college where we will be taking our classes, and I think that's when we got tested for amiyya and fuSha placement. After that we walked around a shopping part of the city and went to a few banks. I'm kind of mixing up the days here. I'm also fairly sure that that was the day the egypt/algeria match was on. I think I'm going to write a poem or something about that.
Anyway, today we visited the citadel and saw some amazing views of the city. Alexandria is really beautiful. Before today, the first thing I thought of when I thought of Alexandria was the streets. Driving in Alexandria is like driving in India, except you move a lot faster because there are less people. There are road signs, but nobody obeys them, there are lane markers, but nobody sees them. The seemingly reckless driving is perfectly complimented by the added danger of pedestrians. People walking across the streets in Alexandria is one of the strangest things I've ever seen. While cars are weaving in and out of traffic avoiding each other and basically driving erratically, people walk across smooth and slow like butter off a pan. They simply look in the direction of traffic, and judge when to walk across. Once you start walking across the street, you shouldn't stop or run. Just keep going at that same slow pace. Drivers are accustomed to it, and if you change the speed, you will get hit.
After today however, I think I will forever remember Alexandria for the Mediterranean Sea. The bahr al abyad al mutawassat (mediterranean sea) is amazing to look at, the blues are like the color of jewels, a friendly and relaxing picture perfect sea. At night the sea completely changes. I was walking along the cornish this evening and as I looked at the sea, I literaly stopped and turned to take it all in. The first thing I noticed was the color. The sea was the darkest of blues that faded into the Alexandrian night sky like a shadow. After my mind wrapped around the color, I noticed how large the sea actually is. In the day, when you look off in to the sea, your vision is cut off by the horizon. At night, the sea seemed to flow into an abyss of darkness. It was almost suffocating to look at. Ominously beautiful. Just the infinite darkness was awesome. I can't imagine looking at an ocean at night.
Anyway, I'm feeling more and more comfortable using Arabic in casual settings, as that's pretty much what we only speak in the dorm.
So yeah, taking in the sites, speaking arabic, and not getting enough sleep seems to be the program of late. By the way, the title of this post had no connection with anything I have done or written in Alexandria, I was just thinking of Moses.