Saturday, April 21, 2007

Drink like an Egyptian (subtitled "How to forget triple plays")

One day last summer I walked into a store looking for some beer to stick in my magic peanuts for a Nats game. I couldn't believe my eyes when I stumbled across Curve Ball by Pyramid Breweries, a seasonal Kolsch style ale. It's as if the people at the brewery had designed the beer just for me, as my entire life revolves around the Middle East and baseball and not much else these days. I showed it to a good friend of mine last night and he laughed in agreement. I'm drinking one now, pretending that the Reds' offense actually exists.

The label says, "My oh my! This one's not your standard over-the-plate pitch. Our brew boasts a clean, crisp slightly herbal taste and a lighter body in the German Kolsch style. Try swingin' at it on a hot summer day!" Except it's a spring beer and you can't find it when the really hot August days come around! I'd just say it's good beer, and if you're able to find it, give it a try. Here's a close up of people playing baseball in front of the pyramids:

When I went to Cairo for work a couple of years ago, I was very fortunate to have a lot of time for touring. In fact, I think the Cairo office staff thought I had been sent over there to spy on them, because they made sure that they were taking me all over Cairo instead of doing work! I spent a half a day in Giza, where the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx (Abu Hol) are located. Somehow I managed to get my own personal tour guide who got pissed at me because I wouldn't buy anything at these touristy places like the perfume shops and the carpet shops where she kept making the driver stop (it's a scam!) I couldn't get it through her head that just because I held an American passport didn't mean I could afford to buy a $500 rug (which, by the way, I found and haggled for $5 at a market later on!).

Anyway, she finally understood I wasn't going to buy anything and brought me to the pyramids, where she insisted on taking my photo for me in front of them. She tried to make me pose in some Egyptian stance, but I just half did it, and it resulted in this photo. It was quite windy, sunny, and hot, so everything's blowing and I'm squinting, but at least now you know I really exist, even if the Reds offense does not.

I'm pretty pumped because my new boss is going to send me back to Egypt later on in the year. I haven't left the country in over two years - it's high time I travel again.

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