Monday, February 19, 2007

No, I'm no dead

Well, there's no excuse for me not blogging for so long, but there is a reason, and that reason is


I've dreaded each post for the 1-2 lines of insipid Arabic that I've had to write, so I've decided to put it on hold for a while, at least until I start learning Arabic in earnest. The truth is I'm definitely improving my Arabic, but the focus has mostly been on comprehension, communication, and reading rather than on writing. So for now the Arabic section goes to the wayside.


The pyramids

I finally saw the pyramids on Friday, and they are awesome. I will be posting a load of wonderful pyramid pictures later today when I go to someplace with a high speed connection.

Sex, Politics, and Religion

...these are the three topics that we are not allowed to discuss with our students in our lessons or tutoring. This seemed pretty straightforward to me. Even in the US these are not really recommended topics unless you are actually teaching Sex, Politics, or Religion. However, many students didn't seem to get it. They were especially confused as to why students didn't discuss these topics and why they weren't taught in school. What Khaled finally had to say was, "What you have to remember is that Egypt is basically a developing country."

What you have to remember is that Egypt is basically a developing country

If you just visited Egypt as a tourist--and even if you're here as a student like me--it is very hard to take in just how poor Egypt really is. Sure, everything seems to be breaking down, it's a lot less clean than places in the West, but they have restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, and nearly everything else that you'd expect to see in a Western country.
This perspective changes when you are told that the average salary for an Egyptian teacher is around 800LE a month, or $160. And this is a pretty good salary; many Egyptians make only 400LE per month, or $80.
Fortunately for Egyptians (and, incidentally, the odd expat) prices for most things in Egypt are really, really cheap.
Cheapest of all in Alexandria is the tram, which costs just 25 piasters (quarter of an Egyptian pound, or $.05). Felafel is very cheap too -- you can get a very filing lunch of 2 felafel sandwiches for just 1LE, or $.20.
However, not everything can be cheap. If you compare what % of a monthly salary other things cost, Egypt becomes very expensive indeed.

No comments: