Friday, March 26, 2010

Expat Lifestyle Might Not Make It!*


I went out last night with a great group of expats- American Fulbrights, Italians, Libyans, Lebanese, Aussies, etc. We started the festivities at L'Aubergine (★ 1/2 based only on the bar experience and not the restaurant) in Zamelak. L'Aubergine is a chic vegetarian restaurant with a bar on the second level, reservations are necessary. It caters to the expat and AUC's wealthy Egyptian-type crowd. Thus, the dress code was fashionably casual. I had a good time hanging out with the other expats. Randomly, I  met the African American basketball player that the Mobinil guy mentioned to me earlier this week! We have mutual friends. He was definitely a cool guy. He's played ball around the world and he's married to an Egyptian member of AKA.When I told him about how I'd heard of him, he was quite amused. I also took the opportunity to ask the Libyans about Khadafi. I'd like to report that they were just as bewildered as the rest of us lol.

After L'Aubergine, we went to the Africana Club in Giza. I must admit that I had some reservations about going here. Africana is known for having the best music in Cairo BUT many of the "working" women frequent this spot. Well, honestly Africana did have the best DJ I've heard in a long time! I'm partial to a good mixer and since moving to DC, where the DJ's at the clubs are lackluster at best, my ears have been yearning for some turntable magic. The DJ at Africana expertly blended a variety of R&B, Reggaeton, Reggae, Zouk, Hip Hop and various African tracks like they melted into one another. It was one hot track after another and I could barely sit down before  the music commanded my body to move to the next beat! 

Unfortunately, it was clear that many "working" women were in the club. Clad in gaudy wigs and dresses that left nothing to the imaginations, the ladies did what they had to do to get by while their Egyptian clients sat around basking in their attention. It was truly sad to see African women, the mothers of all humanity, parading around like that...Because of the  the dynamics, it's a good idea to go to Africana with a group or with some male friends to ward of unwanted offers. All in all, Africana is a BLAST!

I didn't get home until almost 6 am this morning from Africana. When I awoke late in the afternoon, my roommates, house-guest, and I went to Lucille's restaurant (★) for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Like Zamalek, Maadi is a really nice area where foreigners live. Compared to downtown, Maadi is quiet, the dress code is noticeably casual, chic cafes and restaurants line the sidewalks, and NO ONE HARASSES YOU IN THE STREET so it's common to see mothers pushing their babies in strollers:) French, German, Italian, English, and other foreign tongues sprinkled the air as pedestrians strolled by me.

According to Time's, in 2007 Lucille's had the best burgers in the world so I of course had one! The BBQ Bacon (yes, that's says bacon, do not adjust your screen. I finally found bacon in Cairo!) Cheeseburger was too big for me to finish in one sitting but it was very good! I can't confirm if it's the best in the world or not though lol. The restaurant has a nice wood and pain-glass decor and serves American diner food. Again, it's a spot filled with expats and rich Egyptians. The food  is relatively expensive. Its about 45 LE ($9) for a meal excluding drinks whereas a burger at an Egyptian joint is about 12 LE and at McDonald's , a meal is 25 LE. You definitely get what you pay for at Lucille's, however. The wait-staff was punctual, well-trained and polite and the atmosphere was clean and quiet.

After eating, we stopped by Diwa Bookstore nearby. Diwa carries books in various language and Arabic translations of various popular American bestsellers. I bought a childrens book that was written in English and Arabic (I'm working my way up to 'Dreams of My Father' completely in Arabic :)

PS- I met someone that reads my blog today and really enjoys it!! I was quite excited! I love comments, questions, praise, and critiques.

*Wasted- Gucci Mane


ohradiogirl said...

I think I've met this basketball player that you mentioned. I can't say that I get the harassment that everyone talks about. Maybe because I just tune them out. Nice blog post.

Frenchie said...

thanks! lol, venture out of Zamalek and you'll get it it

Taxi From Cairo Airport said...

Thats great content,really you had a beautiful experience on Cairo airport. Thanks...

Ayat said...

I'm not an expat myself, but i'm enjoying your blog! :)

i like the way you write down reviews about places and venues.. and thru 1 post i learned about 3 places i knew nothing of though i lived here all my life, LOL! :D

just want to say that it's "Diwan" book store not Diwa... it's written in a font mixing between english and arabic letters, and they wrote the "N" in arabic i think that's why it's not clear for you :)

it's my most favorite bookstore ever too :)

enjoy your stay here, and i hope you find even more interesting ppl\places in Cairo.. Cheers!


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