World through my eyes

Sunday 26th September

I met everyone else Monique Petitdidier, Christine Le Mezaudier, Luc Lame and Mikhail Zhizhin for breakfast (yogurt, one egg omelet, bread, strawberry jam, cheese in Kraft type triangles, milk in a carton, and guava juice) at 8:00am. The guava sachets resisted all attempts to open until Christine Mazaudier produced a tiny pair of scissors from her travel kit. We made our way to the lecture rooms by car at 9:00am. The University is pretty new, started in 1975 and huge with over 125,000 students in 16 faculties. In the institute I was in there are 2:1 females:male students. Most women students had a head scarf and robe to the floor, if no robe then a dress but with jeans underneath and always long sleeves showing no skins except hands and face. About 15% had a black robe and probably about 3% had a full veil. It must be terribly hot. All the men had short hair to assist with cooling I suppose. Must remember next time I am in a hot place to get my hair cut short. The only long hairs were Luc, Mikhail and me. I only saw 1 female student without a head scarf. In town later we saw more women but not a lot, without head scarves. My first lecture on the history of the Internet started at 9:30pm. This was followed by a break at 10:30am, followed by another lecture on how the Internet is performing today. This ran from 11:00am to 12:30pm. This was followed by a light lunch in a box.  In the afternoon I got online and worked to get a hotel booking at London Heathrow for Monday evening October 4th at the Ibis hotel. The rate at the Holiday Inn that I stayed in on the Friday evening had doubled from what I paid, and the Ibis hotel close by was close to what I had paid. Although they have Internet access it is not “free” as the Holiday Inn likes to advertize. I also worked with one of the locals to set up the trip to the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, about 400 miles to the South, on Sunday 3rd October. Mikhail will be coming with me which is good, since we get on well together. We will fly from Cairo at about 7:40am arriving at Luxor an hour later, to be met by a guide and taken on a tour of the tombs etc. We return in the evening at 9:25pm and stay again at the university guest house. On Monday October 4th I fly back from Cairo at 9:35am via Geneva to London Heathrow, where I will spend the night, before catching the 2:10pm flight from Heathrow to SFO on Tuesday 5th October. I missed the afternoon lectures and we returned to the Guest House at 6:30pm. Unfortunately the guest house has no Internet access in our rooms. Dinner was at 7:30pm and was basically a re-creation of breakfast except the omelet was replaced with a boiled egg. After dinner we planned what we would be able to see of Cairo and later on an atheistic friend of Luc Dame, one of the lecturers, came by with cans of beer and we sat around and talked.

 

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