Well, my room mate posted her Cairo Top 3 list, so here's mine. Not that anyone asked but here is my Top 5 Cairo (not Egypt as a whole) list thus far, keeping in mind I haven't seen many of the major sites because I'm waiting for my parents to come, and keeping in mind that there are many more things, of varying sizes that I love and appreciate about Cairo:
1. Sitting in an 'ahwa downtown or by the Nile or next to centuries-old buildings, smoking shisha, sipping oversweetened Lipton Yellow-Label Tea, with my boyfriend. This is the time when I feel like there is no where else in the world I want to be.
2. It's cliche, yes, but the people. Cairo people are multifaceted and individual of course, but tend towards the happy, helpful, and mischievous with an earthy sense of humor. They are incredibly hospitable and sociable and determined to refute the bad image the West has of Middle Easterners. They will also feed you until you burst.
3. Hearing the music I love, every day, every where. I love Egyptian music, 'nuff said. It moves me, it speaks to me, and no one in the US gets that really, but everyone gets it here.
4. Ok, this is a bittersweet one, but the belly dance performances. These are the huge names of the dance world and it is riveting to see them perform, and unique, and sad. I'll have to write more about it later clearly and disentangle the conflicting emotions.
5. Hanging out in multi-national groups of people getting to know each other. Cairo is a major hub of education for the Middle East, so we get people coming through from all over the world. We salsa-danced the night away with Egyptians, Canadians, Americans, Germans, and Brits over Thanksgiving and it was a blast!
Probably I'll have to make a Top 10 List before I go home.