En route, we stopped to check out the Maadi Community Services centre that is an organization for expats from around the world. They have a variety of fitness areas ranging from cardio to weight machine/free weight training to yoga and Tai Chi. If one is into spas, manicures/pedicures and relaxation rooms or need a physician for blood work or travel shots this is the place to go. Also, drinks are served, food is cooked and, while waiting, one can go into the travel agent and plan the next trip up the Nile or over to the Red Sea. I am sure that at least some of our family members will receive Christmas presents from the numerous boutique shops that are within this compound!
With map in hand (Cynthia) and Google Maps (Bob) we made our way through a maze of streets towards our goal, Road 9. Along the way we saw a range of buildings from lean-to structures made out of every material imaginable to mansions and consulates from different countries. Every once in a while we noticed roadways that were blocked off by concrete barriers and protected by well ‘equipped’ guards. We now have the confidence to explore these areas that often have street businesses such as basket stands, food stands, etc.
Road 9 is a magnet area for both Egyptians and expats. It is a street lined with stores, restaurants and coffee shops. It is possible to buy just about anything in this area. Case in point, we came away with a reading lamp for our bedroom, a scraper for removing the paint that is splattered on our hardwood floor, 4 cans of Stella beer, apples, cheese, olives, tomatoes, and peppers. I joked with one of the store proprietors that my job was like a camel as I carried bags full on these goodies back to Road 233 where we live. I am not sure if he understood but he did laugh at my corny joke as Cynthia rolled her eyes!
In Egypt life happens at a slower pace (except for driving) than in most of Canada. Cynthia and I stopped at a Costa Coffee shop and had iced coffees and muffins and enjoyed the fact that we really had no place to go. We spent more time sitting and talking than we would ever have done at home in Chilliwack. In such a hot climate ‘people activity’ on the street increases in the cooler hours after the sun disappears (around 6:30) and continues until almost midnight. Maybe after four months we will join this nocturnal activity rather being in bed listening to it!
Time will tell …