Today was orientation day, in which we sat through a lot of lectures. However, all that was rendered far more bearable by breakfast. Every morning we get a lovely breakfast at “Omar’s Café”, another of the restaurants on site (in the palace section):
where we are confronted with a buffet containing rolls, fruit (certified non-toxic to Americans), custom-made omelets and waffles, flatbread with a choice of hummus, tahini, and baba ghanoush (actually the condiments were located nowhere near the flatbread. Inexplicably, they were by the sushi.) There was wonderful honey dripping from the actual comb – I wondered if the bees had even missed it yet. There were little chicken and cheese sandwiches on tortillas, or something indistinguishable. There were even leftover honey-soaked dessert squares presumably from the evening before. After a breakfast like that, lectures are not a problem. Consciousness, maybe…
Also, more precious than fine gold, each place was set with a 20-oz bottled water to take with us. [At the time, we had no idea how focused we would become on our own state of hydration. In a hot country where we were forbidden to drink the tap water, we soon became mildly obsessed with having water with us at all times. Fortunately this was made very easy. In addition to the water at breakfast, all the drivers on the buses had these little fridges up front, and they would sell you two bottles of water for a dollar. These guys must have taken home fistfuls of dollar bills each evening.]
This afternoon, the Egyptian Museum!