Monday, September 26, 2011

Life on The Top Floor


Yet another random architectural wonder from Giza. This peculiar building is on Pyramids Road and I'm honestly not sure what it is other than an amazing waste of space. Will they ever put something on the first...how many?...floors? My daughter suggests that it must be governmental, the wazeeret wazayer? For you non-Arabic speakers that would be the mythical Ministry of Ministries.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ped Xing


I shot this through the front window of my jeep (I wasn't driving!) because I simply couldn't believe the sign. But it is a pretty good representation of the best ways to cross the road in Cairo/Giza.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Something Interesting


I was in a village buying some medicines for my palm trees that are being attacked by palm weevils and I saw this group of men squatting together by the side of the road obviously fascinated by something, but I have no idea what. One of them seems to be a shoeshine guy. After I took the photo, my phone rang and when I looked back up they were all gone. Mysteries!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Interesting!

 

I have no idea whatsoever what these men were finding so fascinating. One seems to be a shoeshine man. I saw them huddled together near my car in a village near home, got the photo, then my phone rang and when I looked up they were gone.

This is another trial of the Picasa/Blogger mix. Hopefully the photo will come through.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Highway Robbery


Horses don't have the same ideas of ownership as we do. To them, a donkey wagon full of fresh green grass is like a tray of canapes being passed around at a cocktail party. What can you do?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sweet Prickliness of Summer

The prickly pear cactus bears its fruit in the summer, flowers giving way to bulbs that ripen to a red yellow on the oval leaves. Farmers harvest them and bring them into the city where they sell them one by one to passersby who want some of the sweet, sticky fruit. The seller peals them for the buyer so that thorns aren't an issue. Interestingly, no one seems to use the leaves in salads as the Mexicans do. One of these days I will collect some leaves to make nopalitos.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hiding Place

I was up until 2 am last night reading Twitter for the news of the protests and the late break in at the Israeli embassy. The embassy is just across the road from Orman Gardens and the Giza Zoo, so fires, bullets and tear gas are quite concerning in the area. There were only a couple of people in the embassy when the protesters broke in and they were promptly turned over to the military. Contrary to Israeli statements there were no Egyptian commandos involved...Jeez. A lot of people were injured especially by over exposure to tear gas, not the least of them were soldiers who kept getting tear gas blown back at them when the security forces fires canisters. So this morning, I'd really like to be sitting in this little boat sipping some ice tea and maybe trying to catch a few of the perch that hang out in the canal. Someplace quiet and far, far away of the confusion that is Cairo right now.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not Really My Machine

This is a photo of an industrial sewing machine that is used for making equestrian equipment. I'd been talking to my daughter the other day about how it would be nice to have one to repair bridles and such around the farm, but honestly, I never wanted this particular machine. It used to belong to my friend and saddle maker Mohamed Ibrahim el Said. He's about 42 years old. He'd gone to get papers for his brother who was shot during the revolution by the police. This was just before Ramadan. He'd just been to my farm to talk about making me a new lovely harness for my donkeys. No one has seen him since and no one knows where he is. His wife asked if I wanted to buy the machine because she needs money and most people were offering her peanuts for it. I gave her a decent price and told her that if Mohamed comes back he can get it back from me. I really don't want it. I want Mohamed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Family Motorcycle

Motorcycles are becoming more and more common here as life is more expensive and cars and gas move out of reach of many families. There isn't much point in worrying about safety when you see a family of four on a motorbike. At least the girls are wearing baseball caps to keep the sun off.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Road To Hell


I went to Sakkara Country Club with a friend today to arrange a stay for him and his wife next weekend. While there the manager opened his drapes and waved at a dark line in the desert next to the Club. Apparently last night a group of local sand and gravel miners trucked in tons of clay to construct a road coming in from the asphalt road to the Giza dump to the north, along the edge of the desert and then up the hills just behind the Club. Apparently the goal is to mine and truck away the hills behind the Club that hid the sight and considerable stench of the Giza dump from the rest of us. And this is on antiquities land. The dump is not but the road most certainly is, and it's highly probable that the workers on this endeavor will enjoy a bit of moonlight archaeology. So who are they paying off? The Army or Antiquities? Or both?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weighing Okra


On a hot day during Ramadan we were riding along the canal and came to some trees where a primitive scale was set up for the weighing of the okra crop, one of our summer crops. The buyer wasn't there yet so the farmers chatted and dreamed lazily while waiting for him.