Saturday, May 30, 2009

Giza Zoo - A Cultural Experience

A few months back (yes, I'm still that behind...) two of my fellow interns and I visited the Giza Zoo. Here are some pictures from that trip.

It will soon be very apparent that I just downloaded an image framing program and I love playing around with it. The raw power of these lions is palpable, even when they are locked up in such horrific cages.

From this angle, this rhino looks kind of small. It was not.


I won't get into the animal cruelty issues here, since its been said many times before (google it), but using the horse pen as a garbage dump is cruel and very sad to see.

The day we went to the zoo, there was a huge party atmosphere and the place was completely packed.

No one knew why there were so many Scream masks at the zoo.


This was absolutely the highlight of the trip. COME SEE THE FEARSOME WOLF DOG! This exotic, fierce animal turned out to be...

...this! A house pet. It had an area covering more than all of the lion cages combined! I've been in Cairo for nine months now, but things like this still make me stop and scratch my head.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New Cairo Campus in HDR

Here are some shots of AUC's New Cairo Campus, where I work, in full HDR.

AUC Library

Sky view from my office's balcony

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

View across the courtyard from the balcony next to my office

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cairo's Friday Market

Welcome to the Friday Market!

Need a severed camel foot? You can get it here.

Need a new, colorful comforter? Get it here (although it might smell like a camel foot).

Need a specific faucet head to match your sink?

In case you get hungry, there's always...lunch?

Need a new toilet from the garbage pile in the street? Everything has a price.

On January 16, a friend of mine and I went down to the weekly Friday Market in Islamic Cairo. Held in the middle of the City of the Dead, it is a market where you can find nearly anything you want (as long as you aren't looking for something made more recently than 1974).

He didn't seem to mean too much harm with this gesture...

Check below for some HDR images from the Friday Market.

Cairo's Friday Market in HDR

See above post for info and non-HDRs of the Friday Market.

Here is a steamroller that I came across while wandering around the market - it looks considerably more impressive in HDR.

The first in a series of HDR images of the horrifically unsafe Egyptian amusement park-esque rides for kids.

These would certainly fail every safety check in many other countries.

I don't even understand this one. It looks like a very tiny, very dangerous Egyptian take on the ferris wheel.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cairo Bar Crawl

A week or so after climbing the tower, my friends and I decided to go barhopping in downtown Cairo.

I was dismayed after reading this article, so we set out to determine if there was still a legitimate downtown bar scene.

The Baladi Bar website shows a variety of choices for bars downtown, of which we picked three to check out.

The first place (seen above) was nice, mainly for its history and location (right on one of the main streets and corners in downtown Cairo), but it looked more like the cafeteria of an insane asylum (think Cuckoo's Nest, minus Nurse Ratchet).

Dinner and a dessert

Window display on the street between the first and second bar

Our second stop was a "bar" called El Muriaz. I put that in quotation marks because it can only be referred to as a bar in the sense that it was an enclosed space in which alcohol was served. Upon entering, we were led upstairs, to what can only be described as a brothel for 60-year-old men. I don't think I need to explain why I didn't take pictures inside. We tolerated the horrific "karaoke" (of which we were expected to tip, of course), the 40-year-old overweight dancers and the Dutch-Egyptian businessman with terrible breath, but what we couldn't stand was getting swindled on the bill.

For twenty minutes after we asked for the bill, we watched them try to figure out how to rip us off.  When the bill came, the beer was more expensive than it was in the nicest places in Cairo, and on top of that, there was a curious $5 charge for "TORISM."  After some vehement protesting, we paid about a third of what they initially wanted us to pay and finally escaped.  

Still a little shell-shocked from that cultural experience, we headed off to our favorite downtown bar, Horreyya, to finish off the night well and joke about the ridiculousness of El Muriaz.