Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Have Found A Nice Apartment to Stay

Today is my sixth day in Cairo and I have found myself a nice apartment to stay for the next four months. Over the weekend, which is the Friday and Saturday in Egypt, I moved my stuff from the Nabila Hotel over to the apartment with the help of my property agent Tarit. Although the apartment is quite well furnished and equipped with crockery and utensils, I still need to get my daily essentials such as shampoo, soap, dish cleanser, bottled water and sustenance like bread, biscuits and jam. So I was running to and fro the Metro Supermarket nearby to get things ready.

I must say that I am quite lucky to find this apartment. It’s located at the junction of Mahruqi St and Gol Gamal away from the busy roads jammed with honking cars and yet it is only about 10 minutes walk from the places I will need to frequent – the language centre, supermarket, laundry shop, computer mart etc. While it is quite a walk from my office, about 30 minutes walk away, I can easily commute by taxi. Yesterday, I finally took a taxi by myself and I managed to get home simply muttering out “Gol Gamal” and “Muhruqi”. I don’t think I will have a problem flagging taxis along the roads as long as I can name the place I wish to go.

Besides the convenient location, I also have a pair of really nice old couple as my landlord. The landlady, Nadia, speaks some English and we were able to make some interesting small talk. I believe that in choosing a place to rent, the friendliness of the landlord is also an important factor to consider. If you get a good landlord like Nadia, or my landlady for almost four years in Taipei, you will have a blissful stay. Nadia helped me called up the laundry man to pick up my clothes, got her driver to show me to the laundry shop, asked her son-in-law to subscribe a broadband line that will be ready in two weeks time, referred a part-time domestic help to come in once a week to clean up the place for EGP40 (about S$12) and even buy me brand new frying pans. Here are some photos of this nice apartment to share. I will find an opportunity to take a photo with my landlady and post it on as well.

Now, my one and only goal is to learn Arabic as quickly as I can so that I can converse with Nadia in her mother tongue and perhaps have a few exchanges with the taxi drivers during my rides around the city. The second day of my lessons will start in about two hour time. I have a lot to memorise and practice so I will end here for today.

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