Wednesday, July 25: Another day of Arabic & Tajweed classes at Al Azhar. After class, I pose in front of the Al Azhar University sign and Lisa snaps a photo.
This afternoon, I get another nearly incoherent email from R.
cn’t cll tdy cz hv Dr. appt n a.m. bt wl wrt asap.
Apparently he’s been busy texting with his grown children and has adopted the method of omitting vowels when writing.
I write back:
Are you still seeing the doc about your spider bite? Or is this some other ailment?
I have one more Arabic class, tomorrow, and the Quran and Tajweed test tomorrow afternooon. Lisa and I are so utterly hopeless, it will be a cruel joke for us to have to take that test. Then the weekend, Fri and Sat, and the final test and a TV crew on Sunday. Monday we’re off to wrap up personal business and pack and then we fly out Tuesday, Insha’allah. I am still not at all sure they have secured our return tickets home.
I guess i will have to break down and study. I have to admit my learning here has been a little less than stellar. Oh well; it was a great time anyway. And I have sooooo many interesting stories to tell (at least to me, although maybe not to anyone else!)
The young Mohammad continues to call and beg me to see him. He’s “in love with me,” I’m “breaking his heart,” etc. I thought I’d never hear from Basim again; however he surprised me by texting me yesterday: “How is the American beauty? Are you still mad at me?”
I’m still sure I’ll never see him, however. I am apparently horrible luck for anyone remotely involved with me. You better watch out if you continue.
Well, not much else here to report. I got a long email from Mike about the boys and Sarah and the family activities. He apparently spent time at Bill and Kema’s in VA Beach last weekend, and spent the night with my dad. I told Basim I thought they were all commiserating about what a horrible, irresponsible woman I am and they were growing their membership in the “Hate Cathy Club.” I think Basim has decided to join that club, as may you in the end.
Well, take care, dear lover, dear friend.
I hope all will be well upon my return.
Oh, btw, I got my security clearance, so I am set for State Dept.
In the evening, I meet Ahmed Seddick, the Egyptologist, for a drink at the Grand Hyatt Cairo. I’ve heard this is a great place to get martinis, accompanied by a great view of the Nile. Ahmed doesn’t drink, but he agrees to meet me so I don’t have to go by myself. It’s really so lovely. While I’m there, I get a call from Basim and he asks if he can pick me up from the Grand Hyatt to spend a little time together.
Basim comes to pick me up and we go back to the Muquttum Corniche, where we sit outside at the Virginian Cafe. I always think this is funny, a Virginian at the Virginian, in Cairo, Egypt. After our fiasco in Alexandria, I find it quite funny that I have developed a greater attraction to this brain surgeon. This is quite the opposite of what I expected.