Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So once again I am returning to my blog about a week after my last post. Things here in Egypt have been a little hectic with Ramadan coming to a close, and the Eid holiday approaching. Of course everyone here goes away for the Eid holiday, but, am I? No. My father gets to go to the States today until the end of the week >.< but he will really be on planes more than he will be in the country haha.
So last Thursday was very interesting for me. I went home with my friend Bray again and things were a tad bit awkward at first because her new boyfriend came over, and he didnt talk much, and it was kind of like she was talking to me more than she was to him, but at the same time I appreciated the fact that she didn't just like completely ignore me for him. Then a couple of her other friends (whom I quickly became friends with) came over and later we all went to this cute restaurant called Ethos in Maadi. While we were there a bunch of other random people whom I had never met showed up, but they were all super cool, and later we went to Bandar for some sheesha and to hang out.
After Iftar, Bray and Chris (the bf) stayed at Ethos and we ( me and the random new people I met haha) meandered our way over to Bandar. On the way though our numbers which started at like 15 slowly dwindled and by the time we actually got to the place we were down to about six of us including me haha. We were at Bandar for quite awhile, and somewhere in that time our group changed again, and a bunch of kids from one of the other schools (American International School) showed up, and then we all went to a bar called Dragon House. This bar was kind of weird. Like they actually served alcohol and everything and everyone was like Tequila! and im like ew tequilas nasty shit. haha. so instead a had a Tia Maria which is like way sweetend scotch. tres good. after that though I went home for eleven thirty cuz a. that was my curfew and b. I was really tired.
So like its been almost a week, and while I exchanged numbers with all the new people I met on Thursday night, I highly doubted that we would ever actually like get together again, but last night while I was out at the pool with Erika and Eli, a bunch of them texted my phone and were like, "We are at Bandar come now!" haha. All because its Eid holiday here now.
It is so nice being able to sleep in and not having to worry about having to have all my homework done for todays classes. Though I seriously slept till about 9 am today, but when I woke up I thought it was after noon, and I was all mad at myself for sleeping so long until I looked at my clock and I was like oh.... haha.
Oh so I am pretty sure that everyone at school knows my sexuality now. I mean word travels really fast at my school, but like I tried to keep this on the low so to speak because of a. where I am in the world, and b. because I wanted them to get to know for who I am not for who I like to have sex with you know? But overall things have gone well on that front, and all of my friends remain my friends at this point haha, and the cute boys who I really like still talk to me, and seem to not have changed how they feel around me. I mean one I know is completely straight, but the other one? who knows. He is such a rebel though, and it is such a turn on haha. And he doesn't shave everyday (not that I do but we are supposed to) and he looks so sexy with some stubble hahaha.

Here are some pictures from my school's Senior Iftar:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

school and surprises

Sorry I havent posted in a while, but things here have been pretty busy for me. I am having a great time at school. I had set up a get together with a bunch of people from school for Iftar on friday, but it unfortunately was a bust. However my dad made it up to me by taking me out for some sheesha and some coffee at the Katameya clubhouse. It was fun.
The People at the club always gives us a hard time during Ramadan whenever we go for either dinner or sheesha saying that everything is reserved, but the place is always absolutely dead. although it being a friday there were quite a few people there, but we usually go during the week and NO ONE is there haha. So we are always like when you need our table we will leave, but the never need our table lol.
So today I had somewhat of a shock during study hall. I was working on an essay that I have due tomorrow when one of the guys, Kareem, the joker, said to me, "So I have a question for you, and it isnt to be mean or anything I am just curious. I saw something on your facebook this weekend, and, well, are you really gay?" at first I was a little scared of what the reaction I would get when answering him, but I decided it was best to just be honest with him, so I said yes. "wow!" he said "Do your parents know?" of course they do. granted sometimes I think that erika has a hard time accepting me for who I am, but I will get to that a little later. So things with Kareem went well, and the feeling as though I had been shoved back into the closet have lessened. I am glad that someone knows.
So this weekend, before putting Eli to bed, Erika, Eli and I were watching SNL and AFI came on for a performance and when my brother saw the lead singer he was like, " Mom is that a boy or girl?" Now I dont know if you have seen him, but he is very effeminate, he has long hair (like I had up until very recently) a lip piercing, and is wearing tight clothes and make up. So for a nine year old I can understand him asking this question as he doesnt see that kind of thing very often, so naturally I would have expected Erika to use the opportunity to teach him something new.
Instead to my absolute horror she said, "I dont have a clue!" with a look of disgust on her face. I was like what the hell is that supposed to mean? She told me that it was a legitimate question, and that this is reality Im living in. and I felt as though I had been smacked.
I was really upset about it for a while, but I am over it now. So that is all for now as I am at school now so I will add more laters!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

School days

So school here has officially started, and it is great! Granted it is really different from school in the states because people here at this school are alot more serious than seniors that I knew in the states, and well I am taking a rather difficult course load, but I think I can handle it so far haha.

Everyone here is also really really nice! They all immediately tried to involve me in their group of friends which was great because I was the only new senior, whereas everyone here know each other for at least two or three years. Today I was even invited out to Maadi with some kids from school this thursday night after school. I am excited, and I really think that this year is going to go really well.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Love and civil rights

You know, I have to say that I have never been one of the typical teenagers who is obsessed with dating someone. All of my friends back in the states have always had their hearts (and sometimes beds haha) occupied with love for and from another kid from school. But lately (especially far from the possibility) I have come to realize how lonely I am. I mean I am so lucky to be living the life I do. I have many friends who care about me, I have a family who loves me, I am living in Egypt (how many kids can say that?), and I am going to one of the best schools in the world! But. Something is missing. I long that feeling that comes with romance and intimacy with that special person. And now that I am living in a country where up until recently it was illegal for two men to be together, I feel the longing even more. I hope it will happen someday...... I dream....

I came across an article that explains the events of the 2001 arrests made on the Queen Boat here in Egypt. They raided the boat and arrested 55 men accused of breaking obscenity and morality laws due to their sexual orientation.

The original author of this article, Hossam Bahgat, a freelance journalist, was international relations coordinator for the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), referred to in the section, "Going with the Flow." Bahgat was fired from the EOHR one day after this piece appeared on the grounds that he should not criticize his organization in public, and that the piece's byline identifying his place of employment implied that EOHR endorsed the piece's content.

This was very sad to read: "many human rights activists volunteered to express homophobic views to the press, and attacked the international organizations who took more positive positions (one has even decided to write a book about how gay rights are not really human rights)"

Take a look at the article.

Coming out and gay tv kisses

So today I thought that I would bring you all a blog that I came across last night. The author shares her point of view on how gay kisses between characters on national television effect America. I am not entirely sure I agree with her when she says that kissing between two men doesn't even bat eyelashes anymore. I don't know how everyone else feels about this, but when I see two men kissing on prime time television I jump for joy and giggle like a little school girl haha. Here is the link to the blog itself:


And here are some video clips from the Dawson's Creek finale where you see Jack kissing his lover. They did such a great job I think showing all the emotion that is behind these kisses and such.

Here is the video when Jack comes out to everyone including his father who has a hard time accepting him for who he is. I can relate to how Jack came out at school because I did the same thing through an essay that I wrote my freshman year. It was the scariest thing that I have ever done, but it was the best thing that I ever did during my entire highschool career.

Mind you my English teacher was an amazing and supportive woman unlike this teacher you see above

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Uniforms and Zucchini Bread

So we just got back from the school and today was a good day for us! They had every piece of my uniform except my senior polo that I am supposed to wear, but they said that they would get it in by sunday. The pants are icky and too wide in the legs and make my butt look weird though. I am thinking of taking in the legs a little bit though so shhhh.... lol.
I thought that I would also share with you guys one of my other more recent baking adventures.

Heidi's Special Zucchini Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a few to sprinkle on top
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds (optional)
  • zest of two lemons (optional)
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional) (you can also use fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on (squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using)
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)
Note: Heidi calls for you to use two 5x9 inch loaf pans, but i used a bigger pan and made a single loaf

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter the two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment "handles" and lift the zucchini bread right out.

In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds (the only thing that Heidi recommended that I didn't have in my kitchen so it was the one thing that didn't make it in), lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).

Note: Make sure you squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini first!

In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.

By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalized ginger mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.

Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf. Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack. I like to under bake my zucchini bread ever so slightly to ensure it stays moist. Keep in mind it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling - if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.

Makes 2 loaves.

Recipe courtesy of Heidi Swanson at 101CookBooks.

I have made several of Heidi's recipes now including her Baked Polenta Fries, Grilled Pizza, Peanut Butter Cookies, Baked Doughnuts, and I have to say that I have loved every one of her recipes that she has shard with her many fans on her website! She takes a very interesting approach to some very classic recipes to make them more healthy and balanced, and yet she always manages to retain an amazing flavor with every creation. She is one amazing chef, and it is because of her that I have decided to start this blog where I will share the many recipes that I will be making.
I give Heidi Swanson a two thumbs up, and I hope that you all check her out!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

So today was quite the adventure. As Ramadan kicks into full swing over here in Egypt the locals begin to act a little crazy, what with the lack of food, water, sex and smoking for over twelve hours each day.
We went to go pickup my uniform for school today (as previously told that they would have the shirts and pants available for seniors. We have our own "special" uniform that makes us stand out from the lower grades. yipee!), but, you guessed it folks! No uniforms! And why might you ask? Oh well the reasoning they gave us was, "Oh no uniforms because Ramadan." Erika and I just exchange glances and are like, "Fine!" and we leave haha.
This is becoming a little ridiculous. Today was the fourth time that they have told us that we will have to come back another day to pick up a uniform for me, but school starts on Monday!!! And my school is so absolute in their rules that if I don't have a uniform then I will not be allowed into the building! GAH!
As much as I love this country, it has it's downfalls just like all the rest, and one is this month of Ramadan.
As it happens to be we have this little luncheon that we usually go to every week. Just Erika, Eli, and I. However due to the fasting that goes on during the day, everything, let me repeat, EVERYTHING is closed when it comes to food. It took us two hours to find a friggin restaurant we could go and eat at, and then we had chosen it because they said they were doing sheesha (water pipe), but then when we ordered it they were all like oops sorry not for another hour. So Erika was like, " ok we are leaving and we will go to the american restaurant I like across the street instead"
Later on today Eli had a check up for his ear canals as he recently had tubes put in his ears to irrigate and make hearing easier for him. But would you guess that the doctor wouldn't show up because he was too busy praying for forgiveness because he thought about drinking some water during Ramadan!? GAH. Of course I didnt really mind because I spent all the time that Eli and his mom were waiting in one of the local coffee shops called Costa Coffee enjoying some coffee while chatting with some of the french students who live here with their families. I discovered that Costa is their hangout spot, and thanks to my speaking french i had an amazing time and did quite a bit of flirting with several of the boys who were SO good looking hahaha.
All in all Ramadan is just a really crazy time here for everybody. I like all the decorations and everyone is generally in a better mood than usual because they feel that this month is a time where they have to be completely free from sin, which means no evil thoughts lol. So people are nicer, at least I think. Erika was a little put off though because she didnt get things that she wanted done and places that we needed to go were closed (my school supply store closed at 330 and we got there at 345), so to make it up to here for having such a stressful day I made good ol' American nachos for dinner! They were a really big hit as I have my own unique style of making them and everyone loved em!

Good Ol' American Nachos

  • 2 cans of refried beans
  • 3 cups your choice of cheese
  • 1 med. onion
  • 1 1/2 bags Tostitos restaurant style chips
  • 2 jars Salsa
  • 3 chicken breasts (shredded)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F

The first thing you want to do is boil the chicken breasts till they are cooked through and can be shredded easily. Once its cooled shred the chicken into bite size morsels, and set aside.
In the meantime, while your chicken is boiling put the two cans of beans in a pan and set to medium heat until they are fully cooked and can spread more easily. While thats cooking line the bottom of a deep baking dish with the first bag of chips, and shred your cheese, and chop your onion. When the beans are ready spread half of them out over the chips evenly.
Once the chicken is cool enough, and you have shredded it, spead about a handful over the beans. Take your first jar of salsa and spread evenly over the chicken and the beans. Sprinkle about half of your cheese over the chicken and beans (enough so that it will be nice and melty all over the place). When the cheese and the salsa are all hot and bubbly it tastes really good.
Now add another, thinner layer of chips on top of your cheese, followed by more beans then chicken, and salsa. Finally add the remaining cheese, and top everything with your onions. Now pop the whole thing into the oven for about ten minutes until all the cheese is completely melted. I like it a wee bit crispy on the edges as does Erika. You also want to use a fork to lift some of the top layer to check and make sure that the cheese in the middle is melted too!

Haha this is all thats left after a night of munching them down. I leave them out for a little while so that every time I enter the kitchen i can pick off some of the yummy crispy cheese.

Oh I got my hair cut for school today. It's kind of weird having such short hair. For so long my bangs have covered my eyes and then I went down the pathway of hair extensions hahaha. But everyone ( being my immediate family thinks that its cute lol). So here's a picture to show you all my new style.

Next to go is my chin-strap. *tear* The things that I do for school.

Monday, September 1, 2008


So Welcome to my blog! Here you will read all about the romantic and artistic life that I lead here in Egypt. I live here avec my father (Chris) and his wife (Erika) and Erika's son Eli (my brother). Everyday here is an adventure to say the least. From my cooking experiments to my painting, to the little squabbles we have over cleaning and life itself. My name is Cameron (though I generally go by Leon on the internet as my pen name), and this is my blog!