Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lingerie and a Cool Refreshing Drink

My dear friend L is leaving in a week. My apartment has become the way station for items being donated to charity as well as the repository for food that she didn't get a chance to eat, so we spent time on Friday getting things from her apartment to mine and then doing a last chance shopping expedition. Now my apartment looks even more chaotic than usual.

It has finally really hit that we will be leaving soon too. We've found (fingers crossed) a temporary apartment in Maryland, altho the paperwork hasn't been finalized. We now have dates for our packout and we've learned we get a small, quick (well, 3 weeks) shipment to our temp apartment, which means I can have my sewing machine - woohoo. It needs such a thorough cleaning after living here in Cairo and it will be wonderful to be able to sew, even if it is only there for a couple of weeks before it has to get shipped off again.

Saturday, went to the Khan al Khalili (the big souq) with friends for a chance to do some "exit shopping" of my own (which I'll probably end up doing several more times before I actually leave). We walked through the clothes market before ending up at Tentmakers' Street. These clothes stalls sell to the locals, rather than tourists.

I'm always fascinated by the underwear. Displays of racy lingerie being sold to women who are completely swathed in fabric so that maybe only their face or eyes show. We were walking through here quickly, so I didn't have time to really take photos, but I did my best.




This next picture shows a couple of dressy gallabiyas - the robe like garment traditional here in Egypt - as well as a drinks cart. I'm not quite sure what is in each of these containers, tho I think that's water on the left.

This is a different cart. That looks like ice tea on the right, except that's not something that's popular here except among expats. Maybe soda? I don't know what's in that container on the left other than maybe water and herbs.

I've never seen these carts in the touristy areas, altho they're certainly picturesque. Any foreigner drinking from here would probably suffer all sorts of dire/uncomfortable side effects.

The temperature was 94 degrees but it didn't feel bad at all until we were waiting and waiting inside of a stuffy shop and then it was miserable. The air quality has been atrocious - I always come home after being out absolutely sure I have caught a cold because my throat is so sore and my head is stuffy. But it's never a cold and it goes away within a day.

Unfortunately I have all sorts of work (and fun) that needs to be done that doesn't include quilting or blogs. I will attempt to keep posting and commenting, but there will definitely be gaps.

10 comments:

Kathie said...

How interesting. You're fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience all of this. It's great to be able to get to the places the tourists don't go. Forgive a dumb question, but do you have to be veiled when you go out?

joyce said...

THe market looks so colorful. Interesting what these women wear under all those dark robes. What a waste to buy fantastic colored clothes and then hide them, but I guess we do that with lingerie too. (Not that mine is fantastic, more likely embarassing if it were seen, Lol).

Katie said...

Enjoy the lots of fun to do first and then do the lots of work. Thinking of you. Katie

Finn said...

what fun photos...stuff we'd never see otherwise.

Great idea to do the exit shopping..might as well take advantage..*S* I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the newly found apartment in Maryland. Sure would be nice to know what is going to be your home for a few weeks..*VBS* Happy packing,I'll keep watching for your appearances in blogland. Hugs, Finn

Fiona said...

You're right, those drinks carts are picturesque - I like the signwritten words on them. I love markets, better than a department store anyday.

Susan said...

Thanks for the view! I loved shopping in the local markets when I was in Okinawa. It's where I learned that pigs aren't always pink, or little! Maybe that underwear is night-use only? =)

Judy said...

Who knows what's under all those layers of cloth and what the men like their wives to wear for only them. It's the same reason american men flock to Victoria's Secret for "presents".

The pictures are really interesting to say the least!?! You will be probably be exceptionally busy for quite a while. I think everyone here will take as much or as little of you as we can get! Take all the time you need!

ForestJane said...

Inquiring minds want to know if the men's undies were silky and colorful like the women's? And what sort of unmentionables did YOU come home with?

:)

Sassenach said...

So....conservative religous or cultural values don't preclude a little passion within a marriage? How about that......

Dawn said...

Well now, what an interesting thought - all that fancy underwear under fully clothed women! I would never have thought about that! And the drink carts are so fun to look at. The colors and designs - oh I just love your tours!