Seeing as most of our time is being spent at home this year, it’s always great to catch up with friends when we’re all in university. We’ve made a habit of spontaneous outings since our first year, usually in the search of food. There are times when we hit the jackpot and find our go-to place until the next one comes along. Or these excursions turn into a bad experience that just becomes a fun story to tell.
Going out for a change of scenery really helps, considering the stress this pandemic has brought on us. It does wonders for your mood and can get you out of an unhealthy mental space. I felt that we’d all been in this rut for too long and with Ramadan coming up, my friends and I decided to go to Zamalek for breakfast.
We have now started the round before the last, which is Ophthalmology. I’m still saddened by the lack of patient interaction and the “hands-on” experience with patients we would’ve had pre-covid. So far, we’ve had three practical classes at the hospital and the rest of the teaching is to be conducted online. We’re also having our first online OSCE exam. That should be interesting.
A flood of memes poking fun at “online medical graduates” have been all over the internet for a while now. Though it is mainly medical students making these jokes about doing medical school “online” – like prescribing NSAIDs to patients with peptic ulcers and renal failure..
The restaurant is located in Club 33 and offers Lebanese food. It has an outdoor seating area with a lovely view of the Nile. We ordered some starters; batates muhammara, shawerma and chips, fried halloumi cheese, muhammara and some cheese-stuffed pitas. Initially, we were waiting on another friend to join us before we ordered some main dishes but realised we were all already full by then. The restaurant had great service and it’s always awesome when they accommodate your request for a place to pray.
Walking around in Zamalek
There are so many parts of Cairo that I’m yet to familiarise myself with. These streets were somewhat quieter than what I was used to. Along with the great weather that morning, and the beautiful view of the Nile along the way – it was a perfect walk. We also happened to see the house of Um Kalthoum which was converted into a hotel. Later in the evening, we went to go see Orman’s Botanical Garden which was running its yearly flower exhibition.
We were back in Zamalek for a quick dinner at Maison Thomas. We ordered four different pizzas; Paul’s special, Jalapeño, Bolognese and Hawaiian. Simple but flavourful thin-crusted pizzas. All were good, but the jalapeño was definitely the winner.
The atmosphere inside was somewhat busy. The kitchen is open to view, so you can see your food being prepped behind you. This doesn’t leave a lot of space, so ventilation is a problem especially with smoking being allowed indoors. Their seating style is also unconventional, with stools and high tables. I guess the memo is to not hang around for too long.
Dara’s Ice cream
We crossed the street over to Dara’s ice cream for some dessert. Recommended by a friend of mine, I decided it was time to try it out. I asked for the salted caramel ice cream and it did not disappoint. They had indoors seating upstairs but it was quite small. Regardless, ever since this pandemic I’ve become a lot more aware of being in tight spaces and how much recirculating air I’m breathing in. So we ended the night with some ice cream and a walk to a very chilly corniche.