I am an eternal optimist. I've been labeled an idealist, a nut, and just plain wrong but I can't help being optimistic about my general surroundings.

So now I'm in Egypt. And Egypt is not an easy place to be optimistic. For one thing, nothing is done quickly. Everything that is done quickly is done in rapid fire Arabic. But as a friend of mine has begun to say (mocking me for my TIA comment), TIE, This Is Egypt. And then there's the crude things said on the street. But whatever.

Cairo is just, different from anywhere else I've ever been...but at the same time, sort of like Cleveland in its monotony.

Alexandria, however, is beautiful. Me and a posse of 6 other Americans, one Greek and one French went on a journey last weekend. I have learned not to travel in groups of 9, I get frustrated, and feel a little embarrassed to be that transparently out of place. Not that I would fit in if it was just me. Maybe if I covered my head, but right now, I'm a sore thumb. I have short hair and show off my arms (short sleeves at the most) and my ankles (roll up the pants, it's hot out) let alone my neck which is totally visible given the lack of hair covering it. Either way, though, even if I wouldn't blend in on my own, a group of 9 foreigners...no one wants to run into that...

"Cause, everybody hates a tourist" - William Shatner, Common People (the Pixies wrote the song, but Shatners version is hysterical)

The water in the mediterranean is crystal clear. We saw a 3 year old driving a four wheeler. A man was carrying a gun with a dead bird in his hand. I didn't get burned, no one did, the sun wasn't in the burning kind of mood.

Went to the Library of Alexandria (or Alex as the locals call it). That was cool. Even if it's not the same, the principle is still there.

Thinking of hitchhiking through Europe if I get this grant done (no class till October 3). Any suggestions?