As Ronit and I approach our week anniversary here in Cairo, we have many things to be thankful for. For one, I’m able to email this from home. While it reaches you via a glacially slow dial-up connection, there is still a connection. I am also thankful that all of our bags arrived here, albeit one suitcase took a minor detour in Frankfurt to see the sites, but I am happy he decided to join us (especially since all of our dress clothes were inside). Speaking of dress clothes, we shall don our finest this evening for the Cairo Hasher’s Ball, which will take place on a Nile cruise boat, our first venture into the chartered green waters. For those unfamiliar with the Hashers, they are described as a “drinking group with a running problem.” Between Ronit’s running and my drinking, we should fit in just fine.
I am also thankful that I have a job in the works, as the Community Liaison Officer (CLO), which will keep me from pulling my hair out with cabin fever, once I actually get started. I’m told this will happen upon passing my security clearance, tentatively Sept 18th. Apparently I am helping to break the gender barrier with this job, as the position mostly goes to 40-year-old soccer moms. This new phenomenon has prompted many in the embassy community to say things like, “Ah, Mr. CLO,” or “Oh, so you’re the Man CLO,” or “I’ll have to take a picture to send to my friends to show them what a male CLO looks like,” or “we’ll have to get a sign for your door to say ‘The Man CLO is in,” or any number of degrading comments aimed at making people chuckle with great enthusiasm while I smile politely at my shoes. Still, I’m quite happy to be a pioneer for male rights everywhere, and I’ll be even happier when I can get started with the job.
I’ve been studying some Arabic; learning the greetings, the numbers and some basic vocabulary. The welcome packet has come with some great resources. I’m also working my way around our neighborhood, learning where the guitar shop and the restaurants are.
Finally, I’m quite thankful that there is never a shortage of things to do in this city. With all of the history and culture here, the next two weeks should give me a chance to explore a little before I start my job.
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