Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Funkengroovin Wednesday - A Day In The Life

And a day, and a day....

A week or so ago, VB decided to go out for some Italian bread. At first she was going to drop in on the Fino Bakery, but decided, at the last minute to go around the corner and up the street, to the new Italian store, La Bottega Italiana. It's a tiny shop in Degla, located on Road 231, just between Crabs Corner (don't ask) and the Maadi Duty Free. BTW, just a note for those of you living in Maadi, a Subway is opening across from the Duty Free. Ever since the Quiznos on Road 9 closed quite suddenly (Wonder what happened? Maybe something like this.), VB has had a hankering for a subway style sandwich. She doesn't usually eat them in the States, but for some odd reason, craves things that aren't readily available here in Egypt. (When she has money, she can never find anything to buy, and when she's broke everything is appealing. It's that sort of mentality that is ruling VB's desire for a subway sandwich.)

La Bottega Italiana, to quote from the menu: "Il Supermarket dei prodotti italiani D.O.C. Formaggi, panini, colazioni e piatti pronti." Or, from their English translation: "Supermarket of Italian D.O.C. products. Cheese, sandwiches, breakfasts and pre-cooked dishes." Or in VB's words: fresh homemade pizzas, breads, salads, cakes, along with an assortment of pastas, cheeses, and real Italian salamis. VB bought some bread, salami and vegetarian pizzas, as it was a Thursday afternoon. Plus, The Boss Man was supposed to be going out for a beer after work, and he was not sure when he'd be home for dinner. The pizza was good, and able to deal with extra microwave time (melting the cheese), without getting rubbery.

This collection of photos pretty much represents a day in the life of VB, but read beyond, as this day turns into one long weekend.

(Below 3 photos): A VW Bus broke down near VB's apartment.

(Below): After purchasing her goods from La Bottega Italian, VB decided to trek on over to Road 216, where she has seen a silver Beetle parked. On the way she encountered an interesting two-tone Bug.

(Below 3 photos): The silver Beetle - It has two flats, thus the reason why it hasn't moved for awhile. VB has only seen this car while driving by, and wanted a better look at it.

(Below 4 photos): Rather than walk back on Road 216 along Victory College, which is busy, and has a roundabout, VB decided to cut through some side streets. The Brown, and the very dirty, yellow Bug below, are what VB found.

(Below 3 photos): A s the day grew into night, VB spotted this Bug parked near her apartment. She converted the original photo to the "antique" effect offered on iPhoto, as the color came out too dark on the car. It was a very light shade of blue, which distorted under the flash. This actually shows a truer shade.

As VB was taking the photo, a young man walking down the street decided to chime in. It turned out, he was in Cairo for training with a company he just joined. He asked VB if she was married to the black man, from Aswan, wearing a gellabaya, joking with her (the boab). VB was wearing jeans, sneakers, and a sweater. "No," she laughed at this stranger, and they began to chat. It turned out that the stranger was staying nearby, in the same business as The Boss Man, and VB told him to stop by for a visit. As it turns out, the stranger did - the next night, while The Boss Man and VB had just started to watch Burn After Reading. The stranger is German, (from East Germany,) and was very happy with his new job. He will be traveling to London, Dubai, and Huston, Texas just to name a few places. He doesn't drink or smoke, and is a vegetarian. He's pretty new to worldwide business associated travel, and the possibility of moving his family to a new country. We spent the rest of the evening talking with him. His visit was the beginning of our strange weekend.

The next night, while we tried to watch Burn After Reading again, a neighbor stopped by to drop off a piece for a Blaupunkt radio his dad had given The Boss Man earlier in the day (for our Beetle renovation). The radio is an original VW installed Blaupunkt, from the early 60's.

Back to the movie.

Then The East German dude stops by to drop off his business card on his way to the airport.

Back to the movie.

A while later, the doorbell rings. VB thought, "Oh finally - this must be our Nestle water delivery." (We hadn't had a delivery for three weeks.) No it's not the water. A man who speaks no English hands VB a cell phone. The man on the other end, who sounds like he's at wit's end, says, "You are on road number..., building number...yes!" VB (with a totally confused look on her face): "That's right." Caller: "Would you kindly point to the white villa next door, for this man!?" VB turns and points to the villa next door, while wondering if someone is watching. The non-English speaking man nods, takes the phone, and walks away. Since we live on the ground floor, we are often the ones who answer the main doorbell, particularly on Fridays when the boab is off and the main building door is locked; Or it's our doorbell everyone rings because they're looking for someone else (the mailman, delivery people - especially McDonald's for the kids upstairs.) But, this was one of the weirder visits we've received.

Back to the movie - finally!

After getting through, Burn After Reading, we proceeded to finish off the whole weekend with RocknRolla and Bottle Shock. All three are excellent movies. Well, okay - RocknRolla is a typical Guy Ritchie movie. After watching a scene from Bottle Shock, where Alan Rickman eats KFC in his car, we decided we absolutely needed a bucket of greasy, fried chicken to finish off the weekend. (They deliver everywhere, except in the USA.)

(Below): Shots from Bottle Shock, which is set in 1976 and has all sorts of French and American (and a few VW) cars in scenes. (Now if VB could get rid of those noisy rainbow TV lines that show up in the photos.)

(Below): An intern to the winery shows up in a Beetle that looks like it was plucked from the streets of Cairo. She drives in with a flat, a missing headlight, two-toned, and plenty of dents.

(Below): Sorry, I think your axle's bent.

The Beatles -- A Day in the Life


  1. Hello...You've got quite a large list of Volkswagen in here. In my country, this is already some classic and to some, a vintage.

    These babies are great when climbing up the mountains or high places, it's just that most of the time, I get to jump off from my feet hearing the loud popping sound from the engine which up to now still baffles me.

    Where do that sound come from anyway?


  2. Ana: I suspected you were talking about the car backfiring, so I asked a friend. This is what they said: "It's probably a backfire - too much gas is going into the engine without getting burned in the cylinders. On the exhaust stroke, the piston pushes the unburned gasoline into the hot muffler - BOOOM! The gas explodes in the muffler.

    Some people adjust their carburators when they go to higher altitudes to prevent this problem.

    Newer cars and beetles sold in the US after 1977 have fuel injection (FI). The sensors in the FI detect the thinner air in the higher altitudes and then the computer in the FI makes an adjustment to the amount of fuel that is "injected" into the cylinders. After the gas get's burned the exhaust gas sensor measures the exhaust just to be sure that the fuel-air mixture is correct and the computer makes another adjustment.

    These adjustments made by the FI's computer all happen in split second, over and over again.

    Electronic FI is really an amazing and, on top of all that, it gives the car more horsepower and much better gas mileage."

    Hope this helps.

  3. Everybody who knows anything about cars has their own list of the worst cars to buy.

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