Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's over, it's over the 6th of October

I've quickly learned important dates in Egypt because many big roads are named after them: 15th of May Bridge, 26th of July Street, and of course, 6th of October Bridge.

Yesterday was 6th of October (more endearingly known as Armed Forces Day)--a day commemorating Egypt's successful crossing of the Suez Canal, starting the October or Yom Kippur or choose-from-3-other-politically-charged-names War. And you know the date is really important when the government names a whole district in Cairo after it too. It's big enough of a deal that the day is not only a bridge and a district but also a public holiday. Which means no work (which I haven't blogged about at all (yet) but it exists).

I didn't do much the first half of 6th of October but I made sure to celebrate Armed Force in style during the evening. I, along with two friends, went to the Marriott hotel in the district of Zamalek. Zamalek is an area known for being nice (read: rich and relatively clean) and filled with ex-patriots. The two might be linked.

Two things were going on tonight in Marriott land. The first was Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest in Egypt: Men wearing suspenders, beer, sausage, and all the sauerkraut you could hope for. I really wanted to go but I quickly found out that everything about this Marriott is extravagantly ridiculous. The minimum price was 245 pounds so I settled for pictures from outside:

A band and buffet

Welcome to Oktoberfest

The other thing that was going on at the Marriott (and the rest of Egypt) was the big little soccer game. Currently, Egypt is hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup. It's an annual World Cup for players under 20 years old. Egypt had advanced to the second round which is do-or-die. We died. Against Costa Rica. I wasn't too invested in the game but I was sad to see the Lil' Pharaohs lose. But at least I got to see them in style. Fitting in nicely with the rest of the Marriott's extravagance was the gigantic screen we were watching the game on.

It was dark and on the roof. (Also the title of my first novel)

The view below, hidden by the giant screen. Pretty.

Also, I ate a massive Marriott double cheeseburger because absolutely everything at the Marriott is large.

It's been a full day since I ate this and it's still stuck somewhere between my mouth and my stomach.

All in all, it was a fun 6th of October. The ball's in your court, 15th of May and 26th of July.

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