Arabic?again sometime soon. I will have pictures of my school (special surprise for Toby) and some pictures of my apartment up tomorrow or Wednesday, as well as a nice description of what my neighborhood is like.
For right now, when it comes to my neighborhood it's enough to know that
You can't always get what you need, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you can get what you want
Basically, my neighborhood is less than ideal when it comes to buying essentials. Okay, so not essentials, essentials -- things like bread, water, and other groceries are easily obtainable, as are decent (if somewhat expensive) fruit and vegetables). The problem is my area is a relatively wealthy area, which means you're not going to find places to buy the things you need -- particularly when starting out in a new apartment. I've wandered through the neighborhood looking in vain for a hardware store or just someplace I can buy a workable kitchen knife, a set of kitchen towels, and some pots. You can, however, get an awful lot of jewelry or silver. You're screwed if all you want are some basic socks or underwear, but in luck if you're looking for high fashion, or the Egyptian knock-off fascimile thereof. I also haven't managed to find any kind of local markets. There are two vegetable/fruit shops just below me. One is overpriced and has sick looking produce (and no, not "sick" in a cool, hip way) and the other is moderately overpriced with slightly better produce. Neither one is anything to write home about, and neither one has decently priced eggs.
For the longest time I had resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to buy my stuff at the local supermarket, getting products that were not always as good and cost a lot more, or making the 15-25 minute (even longer during busy rush hour) taxi ride to Islamic Cairo where there are loads of markets and stores. Today, however, I finally discovered Agouza, this awesome neighborhood in Cairo around 15-20 minutes away on foot. Loaded with outdoor markets, cool food stalls, and about a gazillion ahwas (Egyptian coffeehouses), this is my kind of place. I will return there often.