Tuesday, 1 January 2013

With apologies to Karen Carpenter

Unfortunately, when the working week starts on a Sunday and precipitation comes in 15 second "do you feel something?" batches, she was wrong on both counts.  That being said, it has been a long month and a bit since I posted here.  This blog became as dusty as my apartment once I was able to leave the windows open on a regular basis.  The lifespan of a mopped floor in Cairo is about 9 days - by day 10 the frequently walked paths in my apartment are easily discerned.

If there were a teaching equivalent to baseball's 'dog days of summer', that would be an ideal description for my November.  When I returned to university, there always came a time around week seven when I just wanted the class to be over.  It wasn't close enough to the end for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the novelty of the subject had long worn off.  Well I found myself feeling the same way as a teacher.  The daily routine of the class and the roles of each member were well-defined and lacked originality (including my own), and my sense of humour had evaporated.  Looking back now, I know exactly why the downturn occurred.  And during that stretch, at least I had been warned that you should never contemplate quitting during your first two years or I would have wandered down that path with foolish abandon.

In retrospect, I can give myself a gentle kick in the butt.  For those of you that don't know, I enjoy sleep apnea on a nightly basis, which means the joys of a CPAP machine.  Let's just say that someone forgot to check his machine's humidity level.  Along with that oversight, the dust in the apartment had helped clog the filter beyond belief.  Add a month's sleep deprivation to everything and yeah ... it was a long month.  At least it's over now.  I'm thrilled to say farewell to the depression-like symptoms and that overall feeling of bleech.

In the interim, my sweetie has come and gone and we had a fantastic couple of weeks together.  In many ways, she helped restore my enjoyment of living here I was once again able to remember my initial views of Cairo through her eyes.  Yes, there will be a few vignettes posted from our pre-vacation week along with one or two describing the cruise.  We only took about 500 pictures during the couple weeks (and I dread the thought of tagging and cropping them already).  I've increased my stock of Egyptian attraction ticket stubs fourfold and we enjoyed a ton of highs and lows during the cruise.  I'll throw in a few teasers now to whet your appetites:

"five star ... I wonder who was counting"
"you picked a fine time to leave me Lucille's"
"impressive handcrafted workmanship.  The Nefertiti statues even had the same flaws."
"how many camels did she cost you"
"Canada dry never die"

In closing, x-mas occurred while I was silent.  In the category of strangest associations, my step-mother always insisted on including her Boney M Christmas album in the mix.  So, despite it not being included in the compilation, the song below will always be associated with x-mas in my mind.  I hope that you all had fantastic holidays and (family members only), Shannon is returning with gifts in hand.

1970s baroque at its finest

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