Monday, September 02, 2013

Night Life

There's no way to sugarcoat it. It is hot here in the the city. Whilst we're not a desert exactly we are right next to one that loves to blow its sand our way. So, between the cloudless skies, the hot pavement and the relentless heat, people here have adapted.

P.S. What prompted me to write this was twofold:

1. Everyone here seemed to be so loud late into the night and I was a little flummoxed

2. In Egypt they instituted a 7pm curfew during the latest disturbances. I'm only able to fully appreciate the import and inconvenience of that curfew because of how people live here.

First let me say that fans and A/C do exist here, but A/C can be pricey and fans only push around heated air. Also, the houses are built to minimize the heat inside with high ceilings and lots of windows (obviously a problem in the winter). There also seems to be a fairly consistent breeze blowing through the city on any given day. The inside, while not always extremely cool, is better than walking around outside or sitting in a hot taxi.
Their solution is that, unless absolutely necessary, stay home and sleep in during the cool of the morning.
Get up around 10 or 11 am and have breakfast.
Then there's a nap time.
Get up and eat lunch between 3:30 and 6
Get the family out of the house for errands. Maybe take the kids to the park.
Eat dinner between 8 and 10
Let the kids play outside while you socialize until midnight or so.
Wash, rinse, repeat and stay outta the heat.

Our kids have started school and there's is no way that I would let them stay up past 9 even if it's hot and there are people out socializing. We all just have to learn how to ignore the noise and go to sleep at a reasonable (for us) time. I don't think I appreciated the logic behind their environmental adaptation last year. This year I understand their reason for the differing hours. It's not one our family can do though with our 8-12 and 8-3 school hours.

So, Egyptian people, I understand now why a 7pm curfew would be so hard. Neighbors, I now understand why our hours of eating and sleeping confuse you.

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