So I arrived in Egypt safely. Somewhat worse for the wear. It took about 26 hours of travel time, and a mind-boggingly annoying layover in Rome. Let me say this: Italian people are idiots. Also, apparently it is just fine for people in security lines in Italy to cut you if they feel their need to get to their flight is more pressing. This is not something that went over all too well with people (myself included). I cannot even imagine someone trying to pull this kind of shit in American airport. Punches would be thrown. Also, Italians are short and slow. And greasy.
The trip itself wasn't that bad, I got to watch movies on demand on the flight from Newark to Rome thanks to Alitalia. I watched Blood Diamond (amazing) and Stranger than Fiction (also awesome) with Will Ferrell. However, my trip was not marked by any sleep, and since I didn't finish packing until 5:30 AM of the day my trip left. I arrived on Thursday at 4:30 PM having slept approximately 4.5 hours over the past two days.
The airport was fairly hectic, but not nearly as much as the roadways. New York cabbies have NOTHING on the drivers here. The roads are 3 lanes, but the cars drive 5 wide. It's truly an amazing sight. None of us could survive on the roads here, or smell nearly as bad as these cab drivers. Our cab driver made it back to the dorm in about 1/3 of the time it would have taken me. Needless to say, I was impressed, and I committed my first sexual act of the trip on him: a polite hand job.
The architecture is fairly impressive here. Everything is very crowded, and the buildings are all enormous, but they are all aesthetically pleasing (for the most part.) The area around the Nile is beautiful, and me and Menter discovered a few outside bars while walking around this morning that we may hit up tonight.
Still haven't seen much of Cairo, once we got to the dorms and setup shop, Menter and I passed out for about 12-13 hours. Our dorm room is huge though, I'm very pleased. The short stocky Egyptian man who showed us up who smelled like an old shoe also showed great social tact by questioning Menter about his lack of hair. Menter failed to similarly question his foe's lack of deodorant.
So far we've mainly just walked around the dorm area. I picked up a new digital camera (pictures will soon follow) and we finally picked up power plug converters at Radio Shack (yes they have Radio Shack's here). We noticed some semi-swanky looking outdoor bars right along the Nile that had American club-like names (Bora Bora, Sway) that we may check out later. In the meantime we went to some uninteresting cafe along one of the streets that borders the Nile to get some local food and smoke some hookah (called Shisha here). Good times. Apparently everybody here smokes, and you can do it pretty much anywhere. Kind of like Chicago, except not at all.
Downsides: Smelly people, poors, and apparently you can be hung for doing drugs (this is a theory we may test, but a sign at the airport seemed pretty explicit about it).