Thursday, October 19, 2006

Spent the day, just acclimatising myself to this new country (Euphemism for having lazed around the whole day) Woke up late. Finally caught a full 8 hour sleep. Actually finished Jeffery Archers "Cat O Nine Tails" at one sitting. Cant remember when was the last time that I completed an entire book at one sitting. Happily postponing reading the guide books to Egypt that we have bought, because that would get me started on making lists of places to visit & then that will put pressure on me to do something. So I'm enjoying a few days of being in limbo & just chilling for awhile.

Visited a business bigwigs house in the evening as husband had a short meeting & thought he could at least talk to me on the drive to & fro. This was my first visit to a locals house & I must say it took my breath away. The man rears Arabian thoroughbreds & has over 15 prize stallions & mares at his stables near the house. His own tennis courts & swimming pool. I liked the concept of his joint family. Each of his sons has a bungalow on the same property so they are in close quarters but each has their own privacy. Although with a batallion of maids & nannies & drivers & gardeners & stable hands & ..... don't know how much privacy one can have. But this was a much larger property than any I have seen in the US (maybe I wasn't going to the right kinda house {grin} )& worth the visit.

Plus they kept plying us with food. Nuts of varied types are always available on the table in the Reception (Sitting room) Water as soon as we enter, offering of nuts & dates (fresh, dried, stuffed - variety of preparations) then an assortment of light tea cakes & biscuits & a few spicy mixes (what we called chiwda) In the meanwhile an aerated beverage was served. Before we could even sip at it, we were served Arabic Coffee (light decoction of coffee, no sugar, no milk) which is drunk in transparent glasses by alternating it with a date for sweetness. Before this was finished we were offerred a variety of teas (they only use tea bags, I havent seen tea leaves or tea powder available anywhere in the stores) & tea was made individually for each of us. All this in barely an hour. The hospitality of the Egyptians is amazing.

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