Isolated in Heliopolis

We moved to the hotels in Heliopolis two days ago. This was not, as far as I can tell, a good thing.

We live in an area of Heliopolis that is completely surrounded by military installations. The hotel is in a gated compound. Its actually a very pretty building with a sparkling pool surrounded by palm trees. I'm not allowed to take a picture of it though, because its military.

Its sweltering here. It would be so wonderful to just jump into the pool, regardless of whether or not I'm in a swimsuit or fully clothed. However, women are not allowed to swim in Egypt unless they're under twelve years old. None of us fit that description, and a lot of the American girls are pissed, mostly because they talked up the pools in the emailed descriptions of the hotel we got in August.

The online pictures looked small, but not bad. They were obviously taken from very creative angles, because the room is tiny. It has a small balcony, from which Kelly says she could hit the mosque next door with a softball if she tried.

This is a bad thing because the call to prayer is broadcast loudly on a speaker at 4 A.M. every morning.

I sent an email full of woe to my parents yesterday after spending two hours trying to connect to the internet, listing every single thing I hated about the hotels and AUC's lack of utter communication about everything important. Secondary among my concerns: my room has two electrical outlets. One that is being used for the fridge and one for the TV. Kelly is (once again) my randomly assigned roommate. We both have computers, cell phones, camera chargers...first on my list of things to buy once I find my way out of the military compound is a power strip.

The primary problem with the hotels so far is the lack of reliable internet connection. Its a little bit better today. I was actually able to load BBCNews and read an article about McCain's VP choice (which I didn't find out about until late Saturday night, thank you horrible internets). At this point I can read my email and thats about it. I'm not even sure what I'm writing right now is going to load, and by the way, the study lounge which is the only place where the internet is semi okay is not air conditioned. At this point I am so hot and sweaty and dusty from seeing the Pyramids today (!!!!) that more sweat at this point doesn't even matter.

The visit to the Pyramids is another story entirely, as is my first experience taking a black and white taxi. More on that when I can actually upload pictures again. I'm hoping they fix the routers very, very soon. Also that (in'shallah) the dorms are finished earlier than November 1, our scheduled move in date.

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