Monday, December 24, 2007

things i learned from my trip to the desert

- the beauty of God's nature
- why the toyota landcruiser is the only car suitable for the desert
- how quite it can be
- how cold it gets
- how underrated water heaters are
- the effect of listening to your echo bouncing between the mountains of a completely vacant desert
- how much the full moon glows at night
- how colorful the oasis looks in the midst of a monochrome environment
- how cozy and relaxing it is to sit beside a fire in a cold winter night
- how soothing and relieving it is to sit in a hut lit by candles
- how entertaining it is to play a tight game of Estimation (cards).
- how rewarding it feels to look at the vast desert from a new perspective after spending 2 hours climbing a large rocky mountain

Friday, December 07, 2007

sony ericsson k810i

i'm loving my new phone. the camera in particular is really great.

also, my graduation party was yesterday. it was nice seeing my college friends again, and ofcourse celebrating graduation is something i can never get tired from.

special note to Deee:
i can't seem to post a comment on ur latest entry. i'm so sorry for ur loss. rabbena yer7amo we yeskeno fasee7 gannato insha2Allah.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Heya Fawda

Great movie.  The movie was amazing on all levels: directing, acting, writing, and even the poster was extraordinary (unfortunately i couldn't find a copy of it on the internet).

Khaled Saleh is going to have a hard time topping this performance.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

stupid errands

i can sense if it's gonna be a bad day the minute i wake up in the morning.

today i woke up all grumpy. i was supposed to do some errands before i go to work. i hate going to work late, the manager keeps giving me these looks like i'm not a hard worker and stuff..and i guess he has every right to do that, but i'm only late for work to do some work-related errands like finish my military papers, or like today : finish my insurance papers.

apparently they need something at work called "ka3b 3amal", which i think could be translated to "work slip" if it makes any sense. supposedly, i should first go get my insurance identification number from the insurance facility then i should give that number to the people at the human resources facility. simple. everyone i know tells me they did the whole procedure in 3o minutes max.

ofcourse with me, everything has to go wrong....

on my way there in the morning i was driving too fast again, which caused my license to be taken. after i've arrived to the insurance facility i spent 20 minutes waiting for my turn...then the lady sitting on the computer (which by the way is reaaaaally old) asks for my ID. After examining it she tells me that i should go to the other insurance facility in maadi since that's the one my address follows.

so i spent almost an hour trying to find the damn place. after i finally found it i spent another hour waiting inside because the computer wasn't working and i had to wait for it to get fixed. ofcourse if i knew the wait was gonna be an hour long in the beginning i would've went to work and returned to them in the morning, but they kept telling me that it's only gonna take 10 minutes.

finally the computer's fixed, so i asked the lady for my insurance number and she started searching on the computer's database for my name. she didn't find it and she told me to give her a photocopy of my birth certificate and my ID card and come back to see her tomorrow.

so i went back to work at around 1:00 pm after having a very hard time finding a parking space.

word of advice: if you ever think of going to Garden City during work hours TAKE A TAXI to save yourself the torture i go through nearly every day.

i hope i get this over with tomorrow.

Tagged Deeee again:)

ok, here goes:

blog name: a greyscale perspective

reason:well grey is my favourite color obviously, but i've never aliased my self as greyscale before in my life. i just chose the name the moment i created the blog, without too much thinking.

blog photo: none. but if i did have one it probably would've been a sketch for one of the projects i designed during college.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Talal is the name of a barber shop in Saudi Arabia. My dad and i where going to the mall one night when i was around 4 years old. He parked the car in a dark street and he told me to remember the name of the nearest shop so we could find the car easily when we return. Talal's Barber. On our way back to the car i proudly anounced that i remember the shop's name and my dad acted like if i hadn't remembered it we would've never found the car. He kept telling me that night that i've got an amazing memory and that i was special. For years later, i would remind him every once in a while that i still remember the shop's name, and he would always act like it was a big deal. It's amazing how the smallest action from the parent can influence a child. This incident has affected me till today actually, it gave me confidence that i was a smart guy throughout my childhood.

why am i blogging this? no particular reason. just a random thought that crossed my mind recently.

what i've been up to in the past few weeks:

* i switched to a new job as a junior architect in an italian/egyptian architecture firm. the work is very exhausting, but the people here are very friendly...they made me feel at home from the first day there. overall, i'm loving it here.

* had an accident with my car, took around 2 weeks to repair it...then had another accident just 2 days ago. no injuries whatsoever, thank God... i think i need to take driving lessons again.

*got exempted from the military service...which is the best news i've heard since graduation:)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Happy Eid

Happy Eid to all you bloggers out there :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ramadan kareem

*as you might have noticed, i've got very little time to blog in ramadan. it's just that most of the time there's always something more useful to do.

i'm not comfortable in my new job. too much routine. i actually expected that it would be like this before i started but since it was the leading architectural firm in egypt i was willing to give it a shot. i figured i was lucky enough to get this opportunity so before i throw it away i should at least try. however, i'll probably wait until ramadan's over so that i'll have completed one full month...enough time to make the decision.

also, today i excused myself from work to go have an interview in another company. i prefer companies over private firms, they seem to have a more professional environment and a better administrative system. i did quite good in the interview, the guy seemed to be impressed...i hope i get the job.

*my cousin, who i spend most of my free time with is leaving to the States soon. he'll be staying there for 6 months doing a course. 6 months is a long time. the afternoon shisha with him has been an almost daily tradition for at least 7 years now. oh well.

* did anyone notice the new trick some beggars use to manipulate you into giving them money? many people i know, and myself, have seen beggars crying on the sidewalk with a smashed up carton of eggs lying next to them on the street. one of my friends gave the beggar 5LE, the guy kept crying and pleading for 16LE which is the cost of the egg carton. after feeling sorry for him, my friend gave him the money he asked hour later my friend returned to the same road and he found the beggar still there. he got out of the car and went to ask him why he's still sitting there after he got the money that moment, he was surprised to see another beggar come up to him from behind with a knife, telling him to get out of there. fortunately my friend did what's safe and got back into his car.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

my first day at work

i'm now working in a leading architecture firm in mohandeseen. today was my first day. i arrived at 8:45 and i spent 5 full hours doing absolutely nothing because there weren't any free computers. they assured me that this problem is only temporary.

anyways, they finally gave me something to do at around 3:00pm but there was no time i was going to be able to finish it by 6:00pm. i ended up staying until 9:30 and now i'm exhausted.

Friday, August 24, 2007

long day

yesterday was a looong whole family is in "sa7el" at the moment, so i try to spend the least time possible at home because it gets too boring...i was outdoors from 8:00 am till 4:30 am.

my day was pretty much normal until around 9:00pm - doing some errands in the morning, hanging out with friends in the afternoon.

i got a phone call from my dad at 9:00pm asking me to go home and look for some important papers.. i was in nasr city at the time.

the 6th of october bridge was jam packed. it usually isn't so crowded on wednesday nights but i guess there was an accident or something. my car's engine started to heat up, which usually happens in high traffic, but within the "normal" range.

only later did it exceed this level and i started to get worried.. i was about to stop the car before the temperature reaches the red zone, but i was too late... something exploded...steam was bursting out of the engine...alot of steam...i couldn't see through the windshield.

i got out of the car and i saw looks of sympathy on the people's faces. no less than 7 people in 4 different cars have stopped their cars, got out, came up to me and offered their help. i was amazed, no where else in the world would you find this helping attitude. unfortunately, there was little they could do.. the car's cooling system had burst...all the water in the car had either been spilled on the floor or evaporated...and i can't add more water obviously because it would all just leak instantly. they offered to give me a ride to my destination but i declined claiming that i can't just leave my car like that in the middle of the bridge. i thanked them anyways, telling them that their kind gesture meant alot to me.

so now i was left standing in the middle of a crowded bridge, not knowing what to do.
the car won't start because the engine is too hot, i can't call anyone to help because they won't be able to reach me in such crowded traffic, and i can't just leave the car and go home with a taxi (although i did consider that option seriously at one point.)

i finally decided to wait for 10 minutes until the car cools down a bit, take it off the bridge, then see what my options are.

as i was waiting, this police guy came up to me and told me to move my car since it was obstructing traffic...i flipped out and i started shouting my head off telling him to get the hell out of my face. after realizing how pissed off i was, he apologized and tried to cool me down..he then offered to push the car for me, which i declined..we were too far away from any exit... it would be too exhausting.

after 10 minutes of waiting i tried the ignition and it the car is now moving without any water in it, which is really dangerous since it's going to heat up much faster than before...especially in this awful traffic. as i was driving towards the nearest exit i found the temperature approaching the red zone again..luckily i found an emergency parking space ahead of me so i decided to park my car their until the traffic eases up. i considered leaving my car there until the next morning but i was afraid of it being towed by the police and i would have a really hard time finding it after that.

i waited for over 3 hours. the car had cooled down and the bridge now looked much better. i drove the car for over 15 minutes before it died on me again. .i was now 20 minutes away from home (remember i live in the 6th of Octboer city), so i had to stop the car and wait again...i waited for another hour this time... i repeated this process once more before i reached home feeling exhausted.

now that the situation is over, i think i learned something new about myself: i'm not comfortable asking for help.

i should have called any friend to come tow the car with me after the 6th of October bridge had cleared up, but instead i kept convincing myself that i could handle the situation on my own, without disturbing anyone.

P.S. i'm gonna be out of town starting saturday for around 12 days. probably won't have internet access.

Friday, August 17, 2007

my brilliant idea

as i was checking out my new website : i suddenly felt inspired...i found the most amazing idea for a business. Following the trend of private beaches in the north coast, you find La Plage, yashmak, and Oxygen among others... but no one had thought before of my million dollar idea:


you can only wear speedo swim suits inside and there would be tons of fun activities like wrestling tournaments and stuff..loads of fun!!

the Sunni's and gays will make an excellent combination.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


i went to visit my newly-wed brother today along with our neighbors. they're a young couple with a 4 year old kid who is the most energetic creature i've seen in a long time... the kid spent the whole night running around the house.

i noticed, however, that the father had the hardest time controlling his son. whenever he'd ask the kid to keep his shoes off the couch the kid would punch him in the face.

- " we won't take you to the zoo with us if you don't behave"
- "i don't care, i already went to the zoo"

i was laughing my head off the whole time, which i think encouraged the kid even more...but i couldn't help it.

his parents were trying everything to make him behave...shouting, threatening to go home, threatening to leave him with his grandfather all alone in the dark, no cinema, no cartoons, etc....nothing worked.

i know MY dad would've beat me as a last resort, but the kid's father apparently was against that. i'm not sure i agree with him though, spanking ur kid or beating him is a very useful way in making him behave himself. ofcourse too much beating will give the kid some issues regarding his character and lack of confidence. but u can't just leave the kid not knowing his limits.

towards the end i got fed up. he stained my brother's new couch with juice and he was running around pulling the veil off his mom's head. i told him to play hide and seek with me, he should hide and i would count to 50. it worked, i spent the rest of the evening counting as slow as i could..until it was time for them to leave.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

my sister(apparently solving a crossword puzzle or something): hey, i bet you can't name an animal that starts with "U".

me: you.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

things that happened in the past few weeks

- went to sa7el with friends...had a great time
- grades came out - i have now officially graduated ahl :) i could write ALOT about how i feel right now, but i'll save you the headache. "happy and proud" should do for now.
- had an interview with a leading architecture firm...i impressed them and they were willing to hire me, but i wasn't happy with the conditions...they improved the offer and i declined again. my family and friends think i made a mistake.
- my sister got married, beautiful outdoor wedding. now spending her honeymoon in Paris and Venice.
- trying to learn Interior Designing on my own through books and internet while searching for available courses in cairo.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


i'm done. after 7 years of torture i finally finished college.

how much time do u think is appropriate before i start looking for a job? keep in mind that i apply for the military service next january. so during these 5 months any job i take will not be with a contract.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

treat urself with some stand up comedy

found these guys on youtube, apparently they're a bunch of arab guys trying to improve our image in the states through stand up comedy. really funny stuff.

Monday, July 09, 2007

nope, not done yet.

they gave us an extra week to work on the project, so the final due date is next friday. only 4 days to go.

i got another phone call from this lady asking me to work in her firm as soon as i'm done with the project. i had already made up my mind that i didn't want to work in an architectural firm, at least not in egypt. so instead of excusing myself politely and thanking her for the opportunity (which would be the mature/responsible way of handling the situation) i decided to have a little fun and and let her have second thoughts about hiring me. childish and stupid? probably. but it felt like it would be something that would cheer me up at the time.

normally when someone is applying for a job he tries to give the impression that he's really eager to work, and that he can do anything they ask for. i did the exact opposite of that.

this is how the phone call went:

her: "introducing herself and politely asking if i needed help with my project"

me: thank you. so if i do work for you, what exactly will i be doing? working drawings, designing, photoshop, 3d modeling?

her: a little bit of everything.

me: ok will i be working inside the office? or will i be supervising the project's construction in the field??

her: both. you'll visit the field every once in a while to see how everything's going.

(here's when i started having second thoughts - it sounds like an awesome job : tons of experience and a flexible job description.....but if you know me at all, u'll know that i don't miss a chance to have a little fun. especially if i'm not hurting i decided to stick to my plan)

me: ok but you should know that i'm still technically a student, and my main objective would be to gain experience about the architectural practice in egypt, and ur firm would be helping me alot in that. so i'll be more like an intern rather than an architect.

her: uuuhh- well we all need a little help at first. that's perfectly normal.

me: great. so when do u expect me to start?

her: well ofcourse ur gonna need a vacation after ur done..

me: (interrupting) yeah, i'm gonna need like 2 months or so...i've spent alot of time in college and i need some time to relax - feel like i graduated.

her: 2 months?! ummm..(i could feel the disappointment in her voice) well that's fair i guess. but if you feel like you want to drop by at anytime during the vacation just to see what the environment is like, feel free to do so.

me: (really surprised at her tolerance) yeah sure, i'll do that definitely...thanks again for this great opportunity, and i'm looking forward to seeing you soon.

her: great! and if you want, u can bring a friend or two to work here as well.

ok so that phone call showed how cool that lady is. i felt like a complete idiot afterwards. she actually got me seriously thinking about working for her.

i hopefully will visit the firm as soon as i'm done, and if i like the place and if the pay is good enough i probably will be working there after i graduate. just because of that lady- seems like she would make a good, understanding boss.

Monday, June 25, 2007

don't need the money

if you've been through the 26th of July bridge/me7war in the past 2 weeks you would've seen a huge billboard that says:

Dr.Tamer Something
Soon To Leave the Bachelor World

i'm sorry i do not have its picture, but i'll try to take a photo of it soon.

why would someone do that? a billboard that size on that road would cost alot of money - around 100,000 LE a year. which means that if he rented it for only a month that would be around 8000 LE.

not only that, he rented 2 billboards, so that you could see it if you're going to the 6th of October City, or the other direction - to mohandeseen. which means he spent at least 16000 LE to let people know he's getting married.


unless this is some creative way of advertising a new product or something, which i doubt because i don't see how they can make a connection, then i'm afraid something's wrong with this fellow.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

lots of stuff going on.

i was able to keep my word this time and not smoke sheesha for one full month... i know i'll eventually get back to it (i can't imagine summer without smoking sheesha), but it's good to know that i still have some determination left in me when i need it.

in the past few weeks i got like 4 different job offers and i didn't even graduate yet...i didn't apply anywhere either, i get these phone calls from a friend's friend or a distant relative's acquaintance telling me that as soon as i'm done with the graduation project i should go and work in their architectural firm. cool. but that doesn't change the fact that i'm still gonna be spending A LOT of time considering which career i'm going to get myself into first.

my brother's wedding is tonight. he wants me to give a small speech/toast in the wedding. i don't know what i'm gonna say. also the whole dancing bit i talked about before in my earlier posts is making me nervous.

my graduation project is turning into a nightmare. we were supposed to submit our pre-final phase a week ago, and i didn't. i'm really falling behind in the project. the professor gave me a final chance to submit it next saturday. that gives me thursday and friday to work on it. and as you already know i can't work today because it's my brother's wedding. so that leaves me tomorrow only to finish up my whole project. sort of an impossible task but i'll do my best.

ok gotta run.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

random thoughts

- i feel safer with a tank full of gas than with a pocket full of money
maybe that's because i live far away from the city... maybe it's because i own a credit card.

- i've been told several times that using credit cards to borrow money via ATMs is considered "7aram", yet i still use it occasionally.

- five years ago, i would spend most of my free time watching tv... now i only watch tv once a week or so, and it's only to see Amr adib's "el qahira al youm" or "el 3ashera masa2an" on dream tv...

- i enjoyed watching the interview with naguib sawiris in "el 3ashera masa2an" a couple of days ago..i was surprised to see him shed tears in front of the camera.

- i'm 3 weeks away from graduation and i'm not excited. i hate college, but i'm afraid of the responsibility of achieving my dreams...i don't want to be another "mowazaf" who waits till the first day of the month to get his paycheck and goes home to his routine-saturated life.

- i'm worried i'll get called to do the military services after i graduate which will waste another 1-3 years of my life.

- i'm bored

Thursday, May 31, 2007


i finally joined facebook to see what all the fuss is about.

not impressed so far.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

i hate it when this happens

i get a missed call on my cell phone from a friend of mine, so i call back to see what's up.

me: alo
him: aywa yabni ezayak
me: tammam ahl, eh el akhbar?
him: enta fel beet?
me: aywa
him: tab kallemny 3al beet delwa2ty
me: tab wenta matkallemtesh 3al beet mel awel leh?
him: makontesh 3aref enak fel beet
me: tayeb.

i call him at home.

him: aywa ba2ollak, hateegy el koleya bokra?
me: isa
him : tab ok..c u there isa..

and this is normally where i slam the phone down in his face.
he couldn't have just said these three words on the cell phone and got it over with??!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


yesterday was a big day. i woke up to a phone call from my cousin telling me he's in haram and he doesn't have a car, begging me to go pick him up since he's in no mood to go to home (heliopolis) using public transportation.

after i brought him back home with me we stayed for lunch then we started preparing ourselves for what we thought was going to be the highlight of the day: my sister was gonna be competing in the Virgin Megastore Treasure Hunt. if she wins she's gonna get a shopping voucher worth 10,000 LE to use in Virgin.

the competition was tight, she was going up against 2 other people, a boy and a girl, both around her age. to win the competition you have to know everything about virgin megastore (how the products are sorted out inside the store) so that if they ask you to find the Superman DVD you should do so in the least time possible. i of course predicted that the boy was going to win it easily since he would be a faster runner and he would probably have had alot of time to memorize the place. we live in the 6th of october city, so my sister didn't have any chance to go to city stars just to look around...the boy on the other hand probably went there everyday.

when the competition started the guy was running all over the place like sister and the other girl looked very lost. Fortunately, the guy did lose some time looking for a specific dvd. my sister was looking for the ricky martin cd and i found it right in front of me, so of course i showed her where it was which made the Virgin guys give me a few words about how unfair that it is and that i shouldn't let it happen again. of course the competition was far from over but that little tip i gave her probably had a lot to do with the final outcome.

my sister ended up winning:)

it turns out that she's not allowed to use the voucher to buy laptop computers, mobile phones, or big-screen tv's. she had to choose between PS3's, ipods, home theaters, dvds, books, music cds......

i was trying to stay away from her and let her make all the decisions, and her fiance was doing the same....everyone else (we were 9 people all together) was giving her all these suggestions that made her really confused...

she ended up getting 2 ipods (one ipod video for her and another ipod nano for yours truly) , PS2, all seasons of Dawsons Creek on dvd (she loves that show), 7 books or so, some music cds, and tons of accessories for the ipods and PS2.

she was really hesitating on whether she should get the PS3 or not but she decided not too since its too expensive and it would mean she would have to get much fewer books and dvd's...

surprisingly, that was not the highlight of my day.

on my way home i was driving too fast as usual. apparently i made a sudden move which caused another car to almost have a major accident....the guy caught up with me and he started giving me these gestures with his hand...he wasn't doing anything rude, it was more like a "what the hell are you doing?!" kind of gesture. i was confused since i didn't remember doing anything extra dangerous so i asked him to stop by the road to see what he was talking about... the guy (in his late 20's) seemed really tense and he started explaining to me that if he hadn't pushed the brakes i would probably be dead now. he gave me a lesson about how i should be considerate about other people's feelings including my parents.

i got the message. i apologized and got into my car, as i took off i saw him sitting inside his car with his friend all shocked and speechless.

i'll definitely drive more carefully in the future.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

i'm back

no i wasn't in alex all this time. but i've been in a pretty bad mood since i came back. 2 funerals, almost no progress in the graduation project and an aching tooth that makes me want to kill myself, are some of the main reasons why i haven't been blogging.

i'm not the kind of guy that likes to share my feelings when i'm feeling down. i'm trying to change that a bit through blogging, but it's not as easy as i thought.

on the bright side, the past few days weren't so bad. in college we're celebrating our final year by organizing all kinds of activities for the whole class to attend together.
there was a 5 day trip to luxor and aswan ( didn't go ), a prom (didn't go to that either), and a fun day in college where we all wear the same t-shirts (designed by us) and we go around crashing lectures with the assistance of oriental instruments, trumpets, and of course our chanting voices. i was determined not to miss this one since i always felt jealous in my previous years when i saw the older students celebrating that day.

also yesterday one of our female colleagues was kind enough to invite us over for lunch at her home. we were about 15 students all together. after lunch we sat down in a circle and each one of us started imagining what the other students will be like in 10 years time. surprisingly, they all agreed that i was going to be some sort of bill gates. and they all agreed that i wasn't going to work in the architectural field at all. i guess they're right about that part, i don't feel like the architectural work environment in egypt is suitable for me. too much routine.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

to clear my mind

need to relax....

off to alex for a couple of days.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

graduation project

i'm currently working on my graduation project which is the rehabilitation and re-designing of any part of egypt that consists of a beautiful, valuable building with a poor surrounding environment. lots of those around, eh? the pyramids, the train station in ramses square, the temples in luxor, etc..

i chose to work on the region surrounding Salah el Din's citadel. that place is packed with beautiful islamic monuments but is also a home to a very poor sector of the egyptian public. supposedly my plan will be to remove those homes and move them to a new bigger, cleaner, better planned neighborhood in one of the new cities in cairo like 6th of october or 10th of ramadan....then i'm going to use the empty land that's left to make some sort of big project that suits the region and acts as a high-class tourist attraction. i'm still not sure what exactly the project will be but i'm thinking about maybe a large islamic museum but not a typical that shows the lifestyle of the egyptian people in that period of time, sort of like the pharoanic village we have now but islamic instead....of course any better ideas are highly appreciated but please keep in mind that the project does have to suit the surrounding enviroment which means that i can't go and build an olympic stadium there for example...the place is very historic and rich with beautiful mosques and stuff...

looking forward to your suggestions and ideas!

UPDATE: the pictures weren't uploaded correctly the first time, when i come back from alex i'll try posting them again.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

who do you hate more?

if you had the choice to ban either the people driving too fast or those who drive too slow, who would you choose?

i would definitely ban all the very slow drivers.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

laziness no more

i own a '97 opel corsa. i love my car but i do little to show it. little things keep getting worn out and i'm always too lazy to fix them. i always brag about loving my car despite it being the least classy of all five cars we own. whenever given the option to take any of our other cars to do an errand i always prefer taking my own car. because i love driving it. because i love hatchback cars. because i love how stable it is. because i love its control.

i'm the most lazy person i know. yesterday i woke up and decided to change that. i decided not to go to college and instead go to the mechanic and spend the day there fixing the millions of things i needed to fix in my car.

here's a list of some of the things that needed fixing:
  • the cooling system was leaking
  • the cooling system was all rusty and needed to get cleaned
  • the wipers were worn out
  • the water pump that supplies the wipers wasn't working
  • the right rear-end lights weren't working
  • the a/c wasn't working
  • the cassette player wasn't working (only fm)
  • the handbrake was weak
  • the suspension system needed to be checked on
so after spending more than 8 hours with the mechanic here's what i did get fixed:
  • cooling system fixed
  • cooling system cleaned and changed coolant
  • rear lights
  • a/c
  • suspension system
  • handbrake
i didn't fix the wipers because there wasn't a near-by shop that sells them. the water pump needs to be replaced too but i won't do that anytime soon probably because winter's practically over and i could use the money.

the cassette player needs replacement too but i'm thinking of buying an mp3 player instead and hooking it up with the car speakers.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

national champs

sorry for the slow blogging lately. after i came back from monofeya i had one day to rest then i started the National Chess Championships.

yes, you read right..the big took place in nasr city and over 200 players participated, all very strong. The competition was 11 rounds in 12 days (1 rest day) and it just finished today.

its my first time participating in this event so i wasn't expecting any big results. overall i played some good chess but my results could've been better...i always had to do some mistake at the end of the game due to time trouble or just plain lack of concentration.

i ended up with a score of 6 out of 11 (4 wins, 4 draws, and 3 losses) which puts me in the the top 50 players of the tournament.

the tournament was very exhausting and i'm glad it's over. enough chess ba2a, two big chess tournaments in a row can't be good for my health. or mental stability.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

3rd place

i spent the past week in monofeya participating in the universities championship. it was like an Olympics between the egyptian universities in all sports. i was participating as part of the chess team. team chess is no different than single player chess except that 3 players from each team play each other seperately and then the scores are added up. win = 1 point, draw = 0.5, and loss = 0. so the maximum score you could get in a match is 3 and if your team loses all its games you get zero.

before i went there i was expecting a poor city, bad bathrooms, small rooms and "prison" food....

i was optimistic.

the city sucks. the streets are a mess and there are more donkeys walking around than people.
the bathrooms were the worst i've seen in my life. there's no warm water and they actually have those "hole" toilets instead of the normal ones...these things are really disgusting and i'm yet to learn how to use them..whenever i would really have to use the bathroom i would come back home to cairo ( monofeya is only an hour away from cairo).
the rooms were tiny. 3 bunk beds cramped up in the smallest bedrooms i've ever seen...yes, that's SIX of us in a single room.
the food was terrible, serving badly cooked vegetables for lunch and potato chips with cheese sandwiches for dinner. breakfast was beans (fool) of course.

you'll be surprised to know that overall i enjoyed the experience. the competition was really exciting to play and it was a tight race for first. we were doing really good until we lost from our main competitor with a score of 2.5-0.5 which forced us to win our remaining games hoping that the first and second place teams would fall.

unfortunately they didn't and we finished up in 3rd place but only half a point behind them.

personally i played some good games, i remained undefeated throughout the tournament and i only conceded 1 draw. i wasn't playing in the match we lost as i had returned to cairo to take an exam in college that day. i think i would've made a difference since i am a stronger player than the substitute.

so like i said, i enjoyed the company and the whole spirit of the competition. we had some good laughs and i watched some beautiful chess games being played.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

made me laugh



i've just finished watching a documentary on the 9-11 events...i'm not going to go into any specific details but you HAVE to watch this...i downloaded it off Ares (a p2p program like emule and bearshare). i was looking for season 3- episode 7 of Lost and i found this camouflaging under its name... strangely enough, after watching it i looked for it under the names "september, 9-11, documentary, etc..." but found nothing...

to find it type "lost 7 in sight" in the search panel...the file size is around 510 MB, and it's 54 minutes long...

they're providing convincing evidence that usama bin laden wasn't the one who did the attacks...

this is a must see, really.

the documentary wasn't done by arabs, it was done by this american production company called Power Hour Productions.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

thanks Deeee, this is my first tag ever..

ok, five things you don't know about me:

1. i love tea (especially Earl Grey) but hate coffee...nescafe is favorite potato chips flavor is Vinegar.

2. i hate science fiction movies...i'm a realist.

3. i prefer samsung over nokia mobile phones but my current phone is a nokia because my samsung one is getting fixed (and has been for the past 2 months)

4. my favorite sitcom is Mad About You.

5. i have been listening to Om Kalthoum daily for the past week after a friend of mine made me listen to "amal hayaty" i'm hooked on "enta 3omri, amal hayaty, fakaroony, and my favorite: seeret el hob"

sorry i'm not in the mood to do the handwriting thing now.

i'm tagging: palo-girl, jannah, zee puppette, egyptiandust, and anyone else who feels like doing it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

the police incident

this is the disturbing incident that i was referring to in a previous post.

a few days ago i was working on a group project with my colleagues every day for more than a week. we used to stay at the girl's house from 8:00 am to around 1:00 am every night with the exeption of the last night where we spent the whole night there.

when i arrived there in the morning i found the perfect parking spot...under a tree and right infront of her house...and everyone knows how hard it is to find a parking space in heliopolis.

after a long and hectic day, i finished work at around 1:30 am... when i reached my car i found that some dude has parked his car next to mine (raken saff tany) blocking the way for me to get out...and he had the handbrakes pulled..

what really pissed me off is the way he parked his wasn't parallel to mine, it was rather slanted towards the front end of my car completely ruling out any chance of me squeezing my way out.

then i realized he had broken my left mirror.

i originally thought there were 2 possible reasons for him to act this way:
1- he was pissed because i took his spot even though there were no signs showing that it belonged to him...and he wanted me to suffer for that.

2- he/she don't know how to park the car in the first place...they suck at driving and they don't know that when ur parking in the second row you leave the handbrakes down so that ur car could be pushed.. and they don't have the manners of leaving me a note apologizing for the broken mirror.

i was more convinced that it was reason 1.

i live in the 6th of October city..more than an hour away from heliopolis and taking a cab to home would cost too much and besides i didn't want to leave that guy without any punishment for what he did to me.

i started asking around for the owner of the car and no one knew who it was...then a man in a nearby shop told me that there was a 60% chance that it was the guy living in the first floor of the building in front of me.

i wasn't ready to go knocking on strange people's doors in the middle of the night asking for something they might have done..if i was sure it was him i would've done it instantly but i personally wouldn't want to be woken up in the middle of the night for something i had nothing to do with..

i then decided to call my cousin who happens to work for the police and i asked him if i filed a complaint (3amalt ma7dar) at the police station, would they send a tow truck to remove the car....he replied that it's a possibility.

so i took a taxi to the nearest police station and the minute you set foot there you find all these nosy men that demand to know what your complain is about before leading you to the way of the officer...really pisses me off..i didn't want to satisfy their curiousity so i just told them my cell phone got stolen.

after finally reaching the officer i told him what the real story was and i added that all i cared about was to go home and rest. the officer said "sure thing, we'll just finish up some paper work, ask you some questions, then see what we could do about it"...he then pulled out a pen and paper and began the "who, what, when, where, and why" questions...he then asked me this incredibly stupid question: "is the car with you now, outside the station?" and my face immediately turned all red and i could feel a little smoke coming out of my ears.

anyways...after signing on the paper he went inside the room for a few minutes and came back telling me that he's sorry there's no one with the authority to send someone and go make a report about the incident now ( ya3mel mo3ayna) ...

"the head officer is at home and i can't give that order myself"
"so what am i supposed to do now?"
"come back in the morning, we'll be more than willing to help"
"in the morning the guy is gonna be gone without being punished...and how am i supposed to go home now??"
"no we already have the guy's car number, we'll bring him here and interrogate him"
"ofcourse he'll deny all this and there's nothing to prove what i'm saying"
"i'm sorry, i feel sympathy for you but i really can't do anything about it"

i then called my cousin again and told him what happened...he asked to talk to the officer.
they chatted for around 5 minutes on the phone and then the officer immediately sent a small police guy to go make the report...

"why didn't you say that (A) is your cousin from the beginning?? da 7abeeby men zaman!!"

i thanked him anyways (but i really felt like beating him up) for his efforts, got on the motorcycle with the police dude (yes first time on a motorcycle in my life...kinda fun actually, but freezing) and when we finally got to the "crime" scene i found my cousin there waiting for me..

ofcourse the police guy filed a report that was very much in my favour just because my cousin was there...and after that we started thinking of what to do with the other guy's car since unfortunately there are no tow trucks available in the middle of the night.

my cousin suggested we brake his mirrors and front glass because he caused me financial damage too...i was surprisingly in a less aggressive mood than him, despite all that's happened..

we ended up dragging the car and blocking the road with it so that no other cars could pass through..the next morning at 7:00 am i called the police department and told them that a car was blocking the road and i can't get to work...two hours later they came and took it.

i didn't get to meet the guy unfortunately, i wanted to find out the real reasons behind his stupid act.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

small things that make me comfortable

here's a list of some of the small things i keep at home that make my life easier to handle:

1. My Ugly Mat

its colours are hideous i know, but man its comfortable!! its made of this spongy material that is soooo soft...sometimes in the summer i prefer sleeping on it instead of my bed. also the blue praying mat is the one i prefer praying on ever since i bought it last ramadan from Mecca...its the small kind, made for children, but what the hell...whatever keeps me comfortable.

2. The Slippers

everyone's got slippers i know...but i just wanted to say that whoever made these black egyptian Onda slippers is a genius...not only are they made in egypt, but also they are as comfortable as any slippers can get...without any "fazlaka"..

and the brown ones on the left are the ones i bought from El Madina el Monawara last ramadan...also very comfortable but i prefer the black Onda slippers when i'm at home.

2. Transparencies & Red Coal Pencil

nothing is more irritating than having a nice idea for a building and forgetting it later on because you forgot to draw it when you had the chance... these transparencies have made life much easier for architects because they enable you to improve your work without completely re-doing the drawing, you just add another layer of transparencies and fix the previous errors...

and the red pencil just runs on the transparencies like no other pencil pulls ideas out of your head by being so smooth on the paper (because it's made of coal ofcourse, not because its red :p)

3. My Chess Bag

consists of the following (clockwise starting with the black bag):

black bag - carries the rest of the stuff obviously

scoresheets - when playing official games you have to write down the moves in these scoresheets, i keep them for the record and they're helpful when trying to learn from my mistakes

clipboard & pen - useful when analyzing games with a friend or solving chess puzzles

photocopy of a chess puzzles book - useful when practicing for a tournament

digital chess clock - i have two chess other analog one is broken and i can't find anyone that fixes chess clocks in cairo. chess clocks are used to time games so that players don't use too much time when it's their turn to's basically used in official tournaments only

large portable paper board - good because it's portable and big, bad because it's paper and doesn't live that long...there are other leather ones but i'm waiting till this one's done before i buy another one

old brown leather bag - perfect size to fit all the chess pieces in.

4. The Little Red Cup

costs only 1 LE...and can carry the exact amount of water that i need to drink any given time...i hate it when the glass is too big, plus i love the color.
also water coolers are much more comfortable than normal bottles...we stopped using the normal tap water after the janitor (in our old home in maadi) found a dead cat in the water reservoir of the building...that incident had a bad psychological effect on us and we started using bottled water until we got this cooler.

5. Heat Insulated Cup

i bought this cup 2 years ago when "On the Run" had this offer that i could save 20% off the hot drinks from there as long as i buy this cup from them and use it...and since i stop by that shop every time i go to college to drink the morning nescafe, i thought of it as a good deal....i think i'm the only person still showing up there asking for a discount with the refill.

6. Cappuccino Maker

this gadget is a work of art! i got it as a gift a couple of days ago and i've been hooked ever makes the nescafe all foamy like cappuccinos...what's the difference between nescafe with alot of foam and cappuccino by the way?? anyone know?