Tuesday, February 24, 2015

beliefs (1)

In the first house, this was the easy way to tell if it was raining:

stand in front of window, reasonable distance
focus both eyes on the barn falling apart across the street
rain drops pressed against background of darkness popped immediately and
I knew their speed, slant, worth.

You grow up. Then you start doing the same, pressing yourself to things
from the other side of the street/wall/scene. A reasonable-sudden-unreasonable
distance. Ghosts ain't weather. The wrong starts.

Friday, February 20, 2015

mena house, part 3

The Mena House food experience continued into the next morning before our return to the city with the always adored breakfast buffet. You'd have to pry my cold, rigor'd hands off any/all buffet set-ups--I am so down with strange combinations of foods in whatever order I can imagine them. I like a seemingly limitless amount of boiled eggs and potatoes. Mena had a wonderful breakfast, complete with my favorite honey receptacle ever: a giant slice of fresh honeycomb in a glass rectangle, suspended so the honey can drip down a tiny slide into a receiving bowl. Here is a visual for what I'm talking about:

Other wonders at the buffet: the always classic omelette station, a cereal station, fava bean and vermicelli pots(with a platter of lime, sugar, chili powder, curry powder and peppers in between them), freshly squeezed juices including hibiscus, an impressive array of breads/grains, and strawberry coolis so cute that I almost couldn't stand to eat it(almost). They were so delicious that I ended up eating three of them.

We did a little bit more roaming around before check-out...

this is outside the fanciest restroom I have ever experienced

pie slice chairs

lounge area

Until next time, pyramids!

Pretty soon we were back in the thick of traffic, city bound and then home as if we never left it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

on the inward hammer/chisel

It is today but I've got my mind on tomorrow. I have my second therapy appointment and I'm already feeling unnecessary nerves about it. Here is where I pause and debate my use of "unnecessary." Is it useless to be anxious about spending a concentrated hour on working on myself, or is this anxious feeling completely justified? Is it completely normal to feel nervous about it? Am I thinking too much on this? Probably.

I am grateful to find the assistance I need while living in another country. I am grateful for the time and space to unpack some shit and get some things right. Last week I left my first session completely exhausted, and I know this exhaustion--I know it is a good kind of tired. It means I'm working. I'd like to think I work on myself on a daily basis--but the heavy duty stuff is extra tiring. Plus in session I feel this brand new pressure to explain myself and what I am struggling with.

The part of me that is anxious about tomorrow is also the part of me that whispers ignorance is bliss, this dark dark bit of me that would rather stay unwell and out of touch with myself because that is what I am used to and, therefore, "comfortable" with. Quotes are necessary here because it is not real comfort. There is no comfort in the depth of depression--there is familiarity, and that is what is comfortable. The negative builds a groove, too. It takes effort and desire and skill to bump yourself out of that rut and forge a new path--one that is positive, and healthy. It takes repetition and time and it requires accepting that it will involve discomfort.

I'm not sure why I'm making a post about this, other than needing to, and this overwhelming desire to be honest about what I want from myself. Exploring and being in this new place/country is very exciting and inspiring, and I want to share that. But I know my internal work(the work on myself) must continue, and a change of scenery doesn't nullify that at all. If anything, it shoves the internal into a spotlight. Who I really am becomes much more apparent in an entirely different country. I am more surrounded by the unfamiliar than the familiar, and this inspires me to try new things mentally/emotionally too. It also provokes more retreating into the mind, more desire for what is familiar and safe, and if that place(my mind) doesn't feel safe, then...what does? I knew that coming to Egypt would mean facing myself in a brand new way.

Wherever you go there you are. It's so true right now it's frightening.

I'll wrap this up here. I'm going to focus on today for as long as it lasts, and decide to worry about tomorrow when it comes. And when it is tomorrow, I'd like to twist that worry into excitement, because I am worth the time and the effort. I am not a scary place.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mena House, part 2

I loved exploring Mena House. I felt like a kid again--climbing steps not knowing where they went, peeking around corners to find more hallways to navigate. Elaborate yet delicate decor, perfect colors and floral arrangements(including lots of stunning birds of paradise)--our never-ending oohs and ahhs coupled with a flurry of alternating "come-look-at-this-habibi."

This is the hotel lobby:

photo from: tripadvisor

a bowl of fresh rose blooms in water

There is so much in the picture above...I feel that it captures a bit of what I'm saying about the Mena House atmosphere. That jellyfish chandelier! That alone is enough to marvel at. But take note of the walls. Even the ceilings at Mena are incredible(and worth the neck cramps).

After our indoor exploring we hurried back outside to catch the sun set...

We went back to our room, getting all gussied up while listening to Nas. And then dinner. Many people have referred to The Moghul Room as THE best indian in all of Egypt. This restaurant is in the hotel and we were eager to find out if all the reviews and rumors were true. I was a little nervous--I've abstained from indian cuisine since my last trip, when I ended up getting quite sick from an indian restaurant here in Zamalek. The amazing mezza from earlier felt like a good sign though, so I was all in for some grub at Mogul.

And boy oh boy oh boy oh boy was it incredibly, outstandingly(probably not a word, don't care) delicious.

I tried pickled lemons for the first time and fell head over feet for them. I couldn't suss out if it was okay to eat the rind, since the entire thing was pickled(I reconciled by eating most of the rind, figuring what the hell). The chana masala was the best I've ever had. The basmati rice with vegetables was fragrant and colorful and downright perfection. The fact that I typed the phrase "downright perfection" and completely mean it says something here. I don't like to talk like that, but there is no other phrase for it. If lovin' you is wrong I don't want to be right.

J had the lamb vindaloo(pictured above in the pot on the upper right). He told me it was incredibly spicy but in just the right way--the color alone was incredible, a deep deep red. I've had some wonderful indian food in my life, but nothing touches food at the Moghul Room. I now understand that exceptional food brings forth two feelings for me: first I get mad at all meals I've had before it, and then I feel moved to tears. I barely had room in my belly for the entire dish but I forced myself to make room, which meant leaving with a bit of a waddle and a belly that hurt. Ah well. Worth it. The hostess handed out a single rose to every woman leaving the dining room for valentine's day.

We ended the night back in our room with extended bellies and the television on. The hotel's directory channel had a small sequence on the history of the Mena House--hilarious to listen to because the narrator was a computer generated lady voice. We flipped through a bollywood movie and music videos(I love how the videos here always end with movie-style credits). You cannot beat a middle eastern music video.

I'll wrap up the Mena House in my next entry, part three--our day of departure/heading back to Zamalek.

mena house, part 1

Our weekend adventure = a night at The Mena House.

the view from our room's balcony. whaaaaaaaaaat.

Ah, Mena House. A few things:

The Mena House was built in 1869 and was first used as a hunting lodge. Ownership switched hands in 1886 and the grounds were used as a hotel(apparently a few years later they built Egypt's first swimming pool). The hotel was converted into a hospital near the end of World War I.

photo source: Irene Victoria Read papers, pictorial material and relics, 1839-1951, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Over the years, the Mena House went through various renovations and hosted an impressive list of visitors(Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon, Winston Churchill to name a few).

J and I drove out there on Saturday afternoon. It's been a year since we've been out to Giza/the pyramids. On clear days/from certain areas in Cairo you can see the pyramids in the distance, but it is nothing like being in Giza, right next to them. Our route included busy roads lined by newer buildings(J noted even 10 years ago none of the buildings were there, just farmland). From most windows you could see laundry hanging out to dry. Colorful garments weighing down the lines, each long sleeved shirt with arms raised upside down. Traffic was a little heavy once we entered town, but I didn't mind--thick traffic means plenty of time to look around and people watch a bit.

We couldn't wait to get in our room and check out the view from our balcony(as pictured above). The room was absurdly nice--an open plan, new fixtures and a darker finish on the wood.

sitting area just inside our balcony doors

We had a late day snack in the bar area--there were tables outdoors next to the reflecting pool, which reflected the pyramids beautifully. The air was chilly and that coupled with my general excitement made me shiver a bit. I couldn't help it. The moment felt so extraordinary and surreal and this is my life are you serious? We watched other guests of the hotel filter in around us. So far we appeared to be the only americans.

And when I tell you that I had the BEST mezza I have ever, ever experienced in all my 33 years of life, I am not kidding. We ordered the mezza to share and at first I quietly wondered why it was taking a while to get to our table(forgive me, I was hungry). Ah, but once it arrived I understood the delay. Every single bit of the dish was fresh fresh fresh.

Here is where I pause to stare at that photo and let my heart skip a couple beats.



That tabbouleh? UNREAL. Just plucked and chopped, fresher than fresh. I don't eat cheese but I took J's word for it when he said the cheese was incredible. The grape leaves were perfectly marinated and wrapped immaculate. I couldn't stop eating the hummus. There were bits of falafel stuffed with walnut and warm pita bread. This meal made us mad at all other food we've had in the past.

view from our table:

After going to heaven via mezza, we decided to walk around and explore the grounds a bit.

path to the main building were we checked in, also where private/more expensive suites are located

Mena House adventure to be continued in next entry(part deux)...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

a walkabout

Yesterday, Friday, was Egypt's Saturday. The work week here runs Sunday to Thursday instead of Monday to Friday. I'm still adjusting to this. J and I took full advantage of his day off and went to his gym to sign me up for a membership. Last time I was in town, I worked out in the unisex area--yesterday I tried the women's room(most gyms have a women only area) and was delighted to be the only one in there for an entire hour. I decided to do a leg day--I rode the bike and did reps on all of the leg machines. Tomorrow I'll sweat it up in the spin class.

After lunch and a shower J and I decided to take an epic Zamalek walk, from one end of the island to the other. It was a beautiful day to navigate the phenomenal streets of my new neighborhood.

We took a little break at the Rooftop Bar to devour some cupcakes...

A bit about where I live, Zamalek:

Zamalek is located on Gezira Island in the Nile. Three bridges connect the island with the mainland, so it's a fairly easy cab ride away from downtown Cairo. There are a lot of international embassies here, as well as residential blocks. The streets are mostly tree lined(it's nice to have access to so much greenery here in the desert). Plus you can always find a great view of the water. I never get tired of exploring my neighborhood--you can cut one block in from your usual route and find a brand new labyrinth of narrow street and small shops. There are plenty of markets, pharmacies, and restaurants--from italian to thai to lebanese. It's a comfortable place to live and play. Of course there are plenty of opportunities to venture out into Cairo, Maadi, beyond, but it's fairly easy to stay in the bubble of Zamalek(residents of Maadi often mention staying in the same sort of "bubble" in their area).

recycling pick-up...note the still-dusted car from the sandstorm

And now I'll wrap this entry up...the car will be here shortly to pick us up for another adventure. More soon.
I'm quite happy to say I've conquered my jet lag. I'm now rolling out of bed at a reasonable hour, instead of 3am. This morning I've been sitting at the dining room table, writing and listening to a podcast with some coffee and cereal. The sky is blue, sun is out. It already feels like a fantastic day. Conquering jet lag also partially explains my lack of posting here. Now that I'm not sleeping all the time, I'm getting out more.

Some updates:

The sandstorm is gone! After three days of a sepia tone life, the wind settled down and with it the dust. Here is a shot of J cleaning up our balcony in the aftermath.

And the sky above his sweeping, no longer an old-timey photo:

Yesterday was the first day that outdoors felt comfortable, so traffic on the island was fairly intense. We took a ride to Maadi so that I could meet with a therapist. Maadi is in the southern part of Cairo, about an hour's drive from Zamalek. The Surpreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Cairo American College, and Cairo Rugby Club are located here. A lot of ex-pats reside in Maadi due to the location of schools and embassies located in the area. Here is a picture of the Supreme Court, which we passed on the Corniche. The building is impressive:

photo source: Egypt Independent

Maadi felt a little like Zamalek, but a bit more...fabricated? That word kept bobbing to the top when I searched my brain for a descriptive term. The area was planned in 1905, according to my research, so it is still fairly "new." Apparently they do have a vegan restaurant there, which I'm excited to try.

J and I did our first grocery store haul. The most fascinating section to me is the produce section--in the US, fruits and veggies are straight from a picture book. Perfect shades of purples and reds and yellows, bruise-free, perfected curves of the pear, compass-drawn sphere of an orange. This is not the case in Egypt. Real produce is imperfect. I stood among the fruits and veggies for a long time and marveled at all of the uniqueness in front of me. I found some cucumbers, a knob of ginger root, garlic, some peppers. Yesterday I made some couscous for lunch and made the entire kitchen smell like said garlic, and it was wonderful and felt like home.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

a sepia sorta day

Despite half a sleeping pill, I woke up wide awake at 3am again. 3 hours of sleep before that, plus one more fitful one after the sun came up, plus a two hour nap this afternoon. Oof. Jet lag has not been kind to me this trip. Hopefully my schedule rights itself soon.

Today in Cairo we have a sandstorm. The weather on my phone reads 61 degrees, with a single word beneath it: dust.

I snapped this photo from our balcony a few hours ago. It doesn't do current conditions any justice. The wind is blowing hard, and dust covers everything. Even the leaves on the trees have a layer of dust on them. Everything is more brown than usual, and hazy as hell. I told J it's like we're living in sepia tone. According to the news, the Cairo International Airport is shut down due to the conditions. Here is a shot of Cairo from tnnegypt:

Putin is also currently visiting Egypt from Russia, which explains the plethora of low flying helicopters last night.

J went to work, and a few hours later the doorbell rang. The gas man came to read our meter. I fumbled a bit with understanding him at the end of his visit, when he wanted payment. I was able to make the transaction easily enough, but felt a little frustrated in the aftermath. I know it will take some time for me to get used to how things are done here, from the big to the small. A part of me wishes I knew how to do everything already, without misstep. It's part of the process of being somewhere entirely different. A great reminder that I need to continue practicing patience with myself.

Time to study some Arabic before venturing out for dinner.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Every night since my arrival I've heard the rapid thunder of fireworks here in Cairo. I asked J what's the occasion, to which he responded, "it's Egypt." Tonight I was sitting out on the balcony listening to music as the booms began their echo, and this time I saw them just over the buildings--flared palm trees of bursting light, greens and whites and reds above the Nile. It is a Monday night. What is the occasion? It is Egypt.

Often my mind drifts back to all those restless days in Pittsburgh...days of pacing the apartment, of knees bouncing together in the writing room, my cat purring around ankles. I was buzzing with an electricity that had no place to go, nothing to absorb it but my own time and thought. Restless is the word I use because restless is what I was. Restless at the office, restless at home. I found pockets of placement for that energy--expelling her on bike rides through the city, trees and streets ticking by as I climbed and climbed the hills or coasted down them. Every morning I rode across the same small bridge on my way to work, acknowledging whatever current season by the color of leaves or debris in my path. I threw random salutes to the sun, to spring or remnants of snow. I piled on my layers or shed them willingly as the sweat started to roll. I filled myself with the act of movement as brain vibrated in her holster. At night I would lay in bed and hear my neighbor snore, or a woman laugh at the bus stop across the street. I'd walk to a friends house or get take out alone. I paid my rent. I loved my city, I showed up to events. Still, restless in that space where muscle and bone meet. Restless in a way bound to end, as things never stay the same even when you're preoccupied with wondering if they will ever change.

I knew that time would pass, even then. Knew there would be a day when I looked back at it with a sense of pride and wonder, a little bit of sadness too. I've always done that. In any given moment a part of me might stretch beyond it and try to see it from a future point--what would I remember most, what of the memory might last. I am now there, looking back, feeling a bit protective. And I know someday I will see this moment too...my first week living in Cairo, hearing fireworks every night mixed in with low flying helicopters, music from passing taxis, the image of a woman carrying a case of water on her shoulder on the street below. I stay somehow slightly split in my moments, the present that only/never exists.

There are times I get caught up in my head, in thoughts negative and forceful, thoughts that insist my life is half lived and not paid enough attention. That I must be doing something more, even if I have no definition for it. Perhaps we all find ourselves there from time to time, stuck in our heads, denying our current. Living is such a strong and fragile thing. Today's meaningless task or quick-scrawled journal entry might be the one thing we can recall best about an era once lived.

I did not expect to fall in love, even though it grew into the most natural feeling. I did not think I was capable of something long distance--in theory thinking the miles might destroy me, might atrophy my heart. But even nothing is something, and the miles taught me more about presence than I was ever really prepared to know. All those days alone in Pittsburgh, buzzing electric and impatient, contained more growth than I could be aware of in the moment. Now over my shoulder I see it. Even those evenings I would come home from work and lay on my bed in tears, with my coat still on and my bag on my shoulder--those painful moments of uncertainty and frustration and sadness...they are a part of me that I cannot/will not tear from the book. They were as necessary as the sun and warmth.

All this to say I'm thankful for this life, for its wicked and unexpected trajectory. For all that leads me to wherever I may go. For this heart that never rotted, but instead grew extra rooms. For this moment, and that one too.

the done soup drag of jet lag

These are the jet lag days.

The rule is take 1 day for every hour. That's how long it takes to adjust/shake loose the effects of traveling through time zones. Ohio to Cairo is 7 apart, which means I have a full week to work through it. I'm on day 5. And I'm feeling it.

The first night I crashed due to sheer exhaustion. The second night I woke up, wide awake, at 2am. The past few days have involved collapsing into bed for a heavy duty nap in the middle of the day. All pistons are firing by 5pm. My goal today? Resist the nap.

Due to the general warbly-ness of my current state/time confusion, things have been pretty low-key. J is back to work, and when I'm not napping I'm doing yoga or listening to the echo of my baby arabic here in the flat. Yesterday I memorized how to say "I have tissues," and "I am lost." Last night we met up with a few people at the Flamenco and had some drinks. One television blared news from the soccer riot in Heliopolis while the other two televisions played a different match. Speaking of, I found out there is a group that plays soccer regularly at the British embassy. I'm hoping to make an appearance on the pitch soon. Sidenote: the local market sells soccer balls on the third floor. Give me all the futbol, all the time please and thank you.

It's slowly sinking in that this time I'm not just visiting. I remind myself often that this is where I live now, especially as I find myself frustrated with my jet lag. My body wants to sleep and my brain is slightly soup, but I know this will pass. I do yoga with the balcony doors open and feel a little bit stronger every day. J and I are enjoying the fact that we are finally having conversations in the same room/time zone/city. Distance has taught me not to take such a thing for granted. I'm hoping the mind clears a bit more today so I can get some writing/editing done.

It's a beautiful 66 degrees here in Zamalek. Which means right now it's time to get dressed for a walk and procure some coffee. More soon.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Hooray I'm here, in Cairo! Pretty darn jet lagged, but here.

Trip from Ohio to Egypt wasn't too bad at all. When you're traveling such a distance, it's best to expect a hiccup or two. Don't assume to the point of ruining yourself, but don't be surprised by any bumps along the way. Luckily mine were fairly manageable.

My first flight was delayed by just under two hours. I sent a whirlwind of texts to J all starting with "what happens if." I had a tight layover in Dulles and with each extended delay I knew my chance of making the connection was becoming slim. Gosh bless J for being the epitome of patience with me and my concerns. If I missed my flight, I could catch the next one at 9:50.

Which is what I ended up doing. I putzed around Dulles for a few hours, walked laps in the terminal and had dinner at a little place called Potbelly. They put tiny sugar cookies on their straws when you order a smoothie. I did tons of people watching, which is so satisfying in a place like the airport. My imagination spun out of control as I tried to imagine where the family across from me was going next. Each of them had a portable device of some sort, all with cords and plugs jammed in the charging station next to them. I wanted so badly to be fluent in German so that I could cut up with the two giggling german guys on my flight. Traveling has the ability to make you feel completely isolated but also a part of some bigger journey. J refers to traveling this sort of distance as "getting on the human conveyor belt." And it's true. Each airport is a little different but you learn to navigate the basics. Drink lots of water, be polite to everyone, and try to sleep when the sun goes down.

I get anxious for the long flights. Dulles to Frankfort was just under 8 hours. I stuck to my plan: eat dinner then get half a sleeping pill in me and try to snooze for the bulk of it, since it was overnight. I had the window, with an empty seat between me and the next person, so that as added perk--extra breathing/wiggle room always counts on those long hauls. I slept fitfully as I always do on planes. At least I didn't feel like complete hell waking up. I popped my contacts in as the breakfast cart made its round down the aisle.

Frankfurt was easy to navigate and soon I was sitting at my gate, surrounded by the beautiful sound of the arabic language. I felt calm and ready for my last stretch. The plane was completely full with passengers struggling to find space for their carry-ons. I shoved my own beneath the seat in front of me as well as under my own. I had the middle seat this time, and our plane was smaller so the seat backs didn't have screens. I'm glad I loaded my iPod up with comedy podcasts before leaving--that carried me through the flight start to finish. I was also constantly entertained by the egyptian man who just could not stand sitting down when the seatbelt sign was on. He tried, multiple times, to sneak into standing to tuck something away in the overhead bin. Each time the flight attendant, secure in her own seat, would hiss "Sir sit down, please," and the man would snap the overhead bin shut and sit down quickly. He could not stop trying it, which was cracking me up.

Our flight pulled into Terminal 3, undoubtedly the nicest of all the terminals at the Cairo airport. There were no busses needed to take us from plane to building--this time we had a walkway direct from the door to terminal. I know the routine at Cairo quite well at this point, so I hustled past slow walking travelers to get to the bank, buy my visa, and stand in line for immigration. Then its off to baggage claim, where I waited.

And waited. And waited. Until all the bags were cleared off the belt and I was still standing there.

Ah, of course. Here was my big ol bump in the road. It can happen if you get switched to a different flight. My bags didn't travel with me to Cairo, or Frankfurt as far as I knew. I gave my information to the baggage services and walked through customs feeling quite empty-handed with my backpack and laptop bag.

Just outside the door was chaos, per usual. People pressed together looking for their arrivals, as well as drivers asking if you need a taxi. La shukran, quick and polite. I found J with a big smile and a giant bouquet of flowers. They were a beautiful mix of maroons and whites and yellows wrapped in a bit of a burlap. My bags didn't make it, I told him. In my head I kept thinking of things that were in my luggage. Clothes, toiletries. Nothing life threatening or dire, which helped me calm down about it.

The traffic was madness getting back to Zamalek, per usual on a Thursday night(Egypt's weeks run Sunday to Thursday). J and I went to the Flamenco for one drink and then I crashed pretty hard at the flat. I think I slept 11 hours.

good morning, cairo

J had my favorite cereal and I devoured it as we caught up on Broad City and discussed the plan for the day. I was stuck in the clothes I traveled in, so we walked to Mobaco Cottons to find me a pair of pants and shirt to rotate into. I had to try on a few, but we found a pair. We also had lunch at Zooba, koshary for J and ta'amia(Egyptian falafel) for me. It was so very very nice to eat outdoors, in warm sunshine, especially after being in Ohio winter.

After errands we went back to the flat, and that evening had a great dinner with Maya. Unfortunately I woke up wide awake at 2am thanks to jet lag's grand entrance. Today included a 3 hour nap(much needed)

And would ya look what showed up today?

Hooray my bags!

More soon. But I'm here, I'm happy, and it's good.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

travel essential

During my time(s) in Egypt, I've been given a small scarab beetle twice. Once from a shop worker near J's flat. We were picking up something small for my dad, and the man has seen J often and made small talk with us. He gave us both a scarab beetle--one white, one blue. J kept the white one. I received my other scarab in the Khan El-Khalili market, a massive souk in Cairo. J and I met a seller who made us laugh every time we saw him. I stopped in and bought some things as he talked life and spirituality with J("It's kind of like that movie with Will Smith and the dog..."). He handed me the beetle before we parted ways, saying "for good luck."

Side note here on the scarab beetle in Egyptian history: scarab talismans were often found in tombs as symbols of eternal life and protection. It is also seen as a symbol of the sun:

The Scarab beetle symbolized the sun because the ancient Egyptians saw a likeness between the scarab beetle rolling the dung and the sun god rolling the sun, making it shine on Earth. In ancient Egyptian religion the scarab was also a symbol of immortality, resurrection, transformation and protection much used in funerary art. The life of the scarab beetle revolved around the dung balls that the beetles consumed, laid their eggs in, and fed their young represented a cycle of rebirth. When the eggs hatched the scarab beetle would seem to appear from nowhere, making it a symbol of spontaneous creation, resurrection, and transformation. A scarab amulet provided the wearer with protection and confidence in the certain knowledge of reincarnation. (landofthepyramids.org)

Whenever I travel, this little guy comes with me. When I am nervous during a flight, I take it out and rub it between my finger and thumb.

As is evident on the underbelly, where I've worn its blue away.

Tomorrow I bid farewell to Ohio with my little beetle bud in palm. Onward I go. Onward to Cairo.