Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Amsterdam thus far.

It should be a sin to be sitting at a computer writing a blog with at least 4 hours of daylight remaining. But it is already dark in Egypt (thanks to those wishing to cheat on the upcoming Ramadan festivities) and here in Amsterdam there in little hope of the sun setting on the year's longest day...wishful thinking on my part.

Our escape from Egypt went pretty smooth with the exception of the heavy traffic jam on the way out of Alex. We booked three nights at the red room in a building owned by Hans. Hans was at one time a famous fashion photographer turned eccentric artist who likes to unite the different cultures of the world under his roof. The red room boasts that we are sleeping 250 feet from Rembrandt's painting Night Watch at the Rijks Museum across the street. If that wasn't enough of a selling point, The Van Gogh Museum is a few steps further. 

Rembrandt's Night Watch
The good news is that we aren't near the infamous Red Light District, "Coffee Shops", or party central...nope we're too lame for that...and let that thought be solidified by where we had dinner tonight. First, we were seated for dinner by 6 pm (lunch by Egyptian and Spaniard standards); next we held the title for being the youngest people in the restaurant. I told Ana that it felt like we were at the Chicken Pie Shop in San Diego...a favorite amongst the post depression era crowd. It can be said if we were Dutch we'd be dining with our grandparents. The eatery is called Hap-Hmm (lit. Delicious Bite) and it was exactly that. The tiny family owned restaurant opened in 1935 and it is all local and so were the prices. We could have spent double on a more touristic meal in a more saturated part of the city. But for 30 Euros we pigged out main courses, dessert, and beverages. The fare was a simple plate of meat, potatoes, and veggies-my dad would have loved it.

Bar 22. Hans made a bar in his home, and has a DJ and musicians show up at random times.

The garden leading out from the bar.

My meal at Hap Hmm
Ana's meal.

Ice cream

Raspberry, whip cream, and custard.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Post 100-The cutting room floor

Welcome to post number 100 of Camels and Tacos. No theme here, just some outtakes that never made it on other posts. Enjoy. 

New painting 
Another new painting
Yet another...
I call this the jenga building. After the revolution, the owner tore down the old one and built this eyesore that overlooks our campus. 
ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) is a song by the UK Oi/punk band The 4 Skins. I've seen Green magic associated with a soccer club...not sure how the dynamite fits in.
Summer is starting and the beach is already getting packed at 7:15 am when I rode past this. 
Guy out on the rock fishing.

Is the store for virgins or is the lengerie virgin?

New math.

The charcoal store is cool.
The white walls in my clay classroom needed a little doctoring.
toothbrush, toilet plunger, etc... 
My War Side 2, damn straight!

The PE teacher found a sheesha/hooka pipe made from an AIDS medicine bottle for a couple of bucks at shop on the street. For display purposes only.
One of my student's father is an established Egyptian artist. I was invited to his studio on a farm outside the city and spent an afternoon going through his paintings. 

The day we were evacuated, there was a collection of destroyed cars and tuk-tuks littered near our rendezvous.

A really bad photo of camels and sheep just outside the airport.

Prague airport. Teacher and one of our favorite students, both bacon deprived.  
No comment and more importantly none of your damn business.
You can't stop the dance party.
The complaining neighbors.
Our dear friend Knut. After 9 years of living in Alex he's on his way to Geneva for a new gig.

Not everyone is keen on Muslims and Christians getting along. 

Wall modifications were quite popular after the uprising. 

Ironically Paypal isn't accepted in Egypt. 

I'm not sure what this is, but I like it.

Egyptians are hardly camera shy, these boys demanded a photo and who was I to deny them. 

Madame Lobna (the French Teacher) has the greatest house/museum. She is always very giving and kind to us. I will do a blog on her and her house next year because it rich in Alexandrian history.

Album cover to my new Egyptian Oi band. 

The other side to the mural above.

Cycle Egypt is a NGO that hosts a weekly Friday morning bike ride. 30 EGP ($5) gets you a bike rental for the journey. 

Not exactly critical mass, but it floats my boat.

There I am in the back

More murals.

The junior prom for grades 6-8. Here is grade 6.

Grade 7 boys looking at the pterodactyls overhead.

My new bike.

Huck Finn showing off his new car.

Your new favorite outdoor pool hall. It looks mighty scary with the dragon, vampire skulls, and elephant cobra. This is of course a BYOB (Bring you own balls) place. 

Party time.

New project ideas just keep falling on my lap.

Many buildings are made without windows and adding one is a costly option. 

Stuffed baby lambs and a monkey with banana in hand trapped in garden of flowers, handbags, and mannequins...cutting edge window dressing right here in Alex. 

Nothing sells a dress like a vicious animal.

Free delivery.

I went to a wedding with the Director and Lower School Principal. We arrived late and stayed 10-minutes.

Fine Arts Night-some student artwork. 

Taken the first few weeks of school. My surfing pal Mohammed took 4 of us to a cool beach community late one night during Ramadan. 

Ana lawn bowling at the sporting club

Election posters, if you can''t tear them down, just get a bucket of black paint and brush a big ol' X on the face.

Donald Duck in drag picking up a couple of items at the market. 
Bumper stickers-not here my friend, we glue posters on our cars.

The night of the Taxi race at the first stop...The Library.
Eyes and teeth.
Not happy to be a reindeer.