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Cairo New Year’s Eve!

December 31, 2007

Tom – We arrived in Cairo at 2am (5 hour flight).  It was about 50o – colder than we thought it would be.  Wahlid from our travel agency was there to meet us and help us through customs (0.5 hr).  It was then a long 1.5 hour drive to the west side of Cairo and the Novotel hotel in the city called 6th of October; who would name a city after a date??  Ahmed (who replaced Wahlid) and our driver were clean-cut and dressed in suits. Ahmed described some sights along the route as we drove and helped us check-in.

Helen tried to take a shower and it came apart partially flooding the bathroom.  We could have moved to another room but figured out how to get the shower back together and adjust the water flow so it would not flood.  After 37 hours without sleep, we crashed – slept for 12 hours except for times we were awakened by the muezzins calling the faithful to prayer from the minarets.

Helen’s quote while getting ready for the New Year’s Eve gala was, “Everyone is going to be really dressed up and I’m going to feel naked without my jewelry.  I left it all home except for my earrings, wedding rings, gold charm necklace, and my ironman watch…I guess I’ll just have to buy some jewelry here!”  The gala included an elegant cocktail reception (9pm), DJ, extravagant buffet, belly dancer, singer and then DJ again until 2am.  Our table companions were two young women from Korea.  One had just finished working in Philadelphia and was on her way to Dubai for another business job.  The other had studied/trained with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow for 5 years but had just started a Master’s degree in languages.  The music and entertainment were good and we had a great celebration.

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