Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Goodbye Cairo, Hello Connecticut

(View from the Mena House.)

Vagabondblogger is returning to the States, this evening, for three months. It's a bit earlier than she had hoped, but apparently, much to her surprise, this is a very busy travel time in Cairo. Vagabondblogger has quite a few Cairene discoveries to write about, and will continue Funkengroovin Wednesdays throughout the duration of her U.S. stay. Vagabondblogger goes from 85 degree F Cairo heat, to a predicted 30 degrees in Connecticut on Thursday night! Yes, she is packing a jacket! In addition, her stay will last about three months, so off she goes from the land of the Pharaohs to a small town in Connecticut, where plays are presented at the local Grange hall.

In approximately one month (actually less) Vagabondblogger will travel to Pennsylvania to pick up a new puppy. For those of you who have followed this blog, you know Vagabondblogger lost Doggie July 17th, and posted a remembrance here. So look forward to some photos, and an announcement Thanksgiving week.

Last Friday, The Boss Man and Vagabondblogger took a trip to Giza for lunch at the Mena House hotel , below the Pyramids (see first photo.) Just as an aside and bit of trivia, Mena Suvari, who is of Greek descent (like yours truly,) and according to, was named after the hotel, sort of:

"Mena, the world traveler: Part Estonian and part Greek, Suvari was named for her godmother, who was born in the Mena House, a hotel at the base of the Pyramids in Egypt."
Lunch there is okay. The Boss Man thinks it's overpriced, but let's all agree: most of the people who eat there are tourists. The shop owners in Maadi all say their prices are higher at the Khan because they get mostly tourists who will visit them only once, whereas in Maadi they can lower prices since they know they're building a relationship with the local expat community (as if that still doesn't prevent them from ripping us all off anyway.)

We talked our driver into taking us around to see the "White Chickens" aka White VW Buses they use as taxis in Giza, before we stopped for lunch. So here's a couple of pics of what we caught (more and better at a later date.) For now, please enjoy a few photos of buses in Giza, and a very nice blue VW Bug we found at the Carrefour parking lot.

And finally, another edition, of the Cairo delivery service - this time it's can recycling via bicycle.

Porsche Seen Likely to Realize VW Merger
The European Court of Justice is expected to strike down the so-called Volkswagen Law, created by Germany’s government to protect the automaker from an unwanted takeover.
TIMELINE: Porsche's generations-old bond with VW

Olympic-themed model beetles on display

The Hippie-German Convergence

Everybody loved the old Volkswagen Beetle. Those who say they don’t love it are lying to themselves and need to come out of the automotive closet on the subject.
He Loves His Bugs

Man brings Camera Van to Austin College
The head turning started when Blank was only 16 years old back in California. He said he was embarrassed by the “blandness of his all-white Volkswagen” and painted a rooster on the driver’s door. The rooster led to other painted items and then to add-ons like flags, flowers, horns and a globe.

Before he knew it, Blank had what is known as an art car. Art cars are generally cars which their owners alter to reflect, in some physical way, the owner’s personality or belief system. Some are merely given wild paint jobs while others are sculpted to look like things like high heel shoes or a banana. Others have things attached to them like the Camera Van or the Brickmobile.

Who Are You? VW, Pete Townsend to Team Up on New Minivan Marketing
(Check out photos on the site)
The Who's beak-schnozed, windmilling wonder Pete Townsend and Volks, says the UK's AutoExpress, will team up on marketing V-dub's new bus, the long-awaited production successor to the 2001 Microbus concept. Expect to be regaled with The Who's "Magic Bus" as VW launches a media blitz for the new minivan, due in 2008, reportedly co-developed with Chrysler. But don't expect it to mimic the concept; word is the new bus has been reconsidered, though still decidedly retro looking.

VW to bring back Camper? - (Photo of another Bus - different color)
Auto Express can also exclusively reveal that it’s likely the band’s
classic single Magic Bus will be the soundtrack for any TV, radio or Internet commercials.

Immediately after its gig in front of 40,000 adoring fans, the supergroup spent time with top VWTownshend revealed he still has at least one ageing VW bus parked in his garage at home. And now, there is a growing possibility that he will be one of the first people to take delivery of a cleaner and safer next-generation version.

As with the Microbus, the redes igned version will have an unashamedly retro look. However, a stripped-out, less is more appearance will help keep costs down and make the vehicle more accessible to buyers on tighter budgets. According to VW, the new Camper will almost certainly be built in the US, and it’s equally likely that it will be badged Bulli – a name that the company has only recently registered to itself.

But bosses admit that unless they can sell at least 100,000 examples of the car worldwide every year, the pro ject may not be financially viable.
executives from Germany and the UK. There, guitarist Pete
VW’s mobile hotel California - But, not in America! - Check out the photos here.
Volkswagen South Africa has extended its lifestyle vehicle line-up with the introduction of the new Volkswagen California. This new van is designed to be a “house on the road,” and Volkswagen claims that it offers all the amenities of home.

A song from The Band that would be quite appropriate at a Grange meeting.

The Band - King Harvest 1970 - Long Black Veil 1970


  1. have a safe trip tid bit on mena suvari

  2. Thanks. Arrived safely, and with little airport harassment, for once.

  3. Hey, welcome to the east coast. Did you miss the snowman? Actually those 3 early winter months are best lived in US or euorope, you know what I mean. I am also going to Penn to have a puppy. You know what? Yorkee. teacup yorkee, imagine! I dont know. I am getting crazy lately. The second crazy thing I am gonna do is really CRAZY. I decided to move to San Diego mid-November. I got an irresistable offer from a Medical foundation in SD. Well, you never know Vagabond, maybe we can find a chance to take dinner together, me and the bossman and you in NYC as you Go on your way to Penn. I would love that, before I move. Discuss it with the Bossman

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  6. He & She: Congratulations on your new job and puppy! Yorkies are adorable! As for dinner in NYC, God knows I live NYC, but while I'm back this next few weeks I have medical appointments coming out the wazoo, car stuff to take care of and as soon as the Boss Man returns, it's Thanksgiving, and then a trip to Cleveland, Ohio. I am not happy about the frantic scheduling personally.

    I'm sure we will stay in touch, the same as we always have. Good luck with all your plans.

  7. He & She: Btw, I apologize for taking so long to reply. I've been running around like a freaking nut lately. Life in Cairo is much slower - at least to me.

  8. zerocool:
    Thanks, trip went without any hitches.

  9. Hey VB, hope you're having a good time at home. Guess what??? We're going to spend a long week end in Cairo at the end of the month. We will be staying at the Meridien Pyramids. Any suggestions on things not to miss. I was thinking the Pyramids (obviously!!), the Museum and a boat trip on the Nile.

  10. elle: Sounds like you have a well planned trip. Since I've avoided any cultural stuff, unless the kids are with me, I'm not exactly an expert.

    I did enjoy The Citadel, which has 3 mosques, a military museum, several other smaller museums, and places to eat / enjoy a snack. It's nice because you get a bit of Islamic history along with the military, and it's also a change from the pharaonic history. On a clear day, you have a great view of Cairo. Actually, I missed several sites the day I visited with my son and husband, and I have considered going back on my own. It's a big place and can easily take up a good portion of your day. The day we went was incredibly hot and we were worn out after just a few hours.

    BTW, if you go to the Giza Pyramids, don't skip out on the boat museum. It is really different, and your kids will probably enjoy it, as well as the cloth shoes they can slide around in. Also, explore the area behind the museum, and off the main spots. You'll find nice little private surprises.

    Your weather should be much better than what we had late July / August. I hope to see a few pics and a blog about this.

    Have fun on your trip!