Photos in the next post.
In the morning, we went back into Cait's school by bus to meet the teacher who had an apartment for sale. We were told he had a change of schedule and wouldn't be able to meet us until late that afternoon, leaving us disappointed and frustrated, but apparently he found a little time and drove us up to see the apartment. It was a little far and a little dingy, plus, the club that was supposed to be nearby wouldn't let us be members for just 2 months, and only had one swimming pool and some tennis courts, instead of the multiple pools, play area, restaurants and abundant green space of the club in Egyp and that we were thus hoping for.
So we decided to continue the hunt for a better place, returning to Cait's school to meet with the housing specialist again. He set us up with a woman who had an apartment and that she would come and show us at 4:30. So we hung around the school and took a walk down to McDonald's to kill some time. Cait's school is really nice, with a nice little sitting area outside with its own very reasonably priced little restaurant, so even though it might have annoyed the students and the school officials, we let our kids wander around for a long time while we ate some food from the restaurant.
The woman, who ended up being a teenage girl and her English-speaking little brother showed up at the appointed time and we went to look at the apartment. This one was nicer, closer and for the same price, but it was on the seventh floor, had large windows that didn't lock well and had no bars on the outside to keep the kids in, and two balconies whose doors did not lock, making Cait very nervous about how safe it would be for our very curious children. We somewhat committed to it, Cait unwittingly negotiating for a better price in the process, but as we took the bus home, Cait felt worse and worse about it, so we resolved to continue the search the next day.
Cait went back into her school to try to find a better place while Atticus and I hung out around the apartment and wandered the streets some. In the afternoon we walked down to the bazaar and had a nice little lunch of chicken, veggies and couscous at a nice restauant for only 50 durham (which is already starting to seem like a lot, but is, in reality, around $6.50) plus a few Durham to the kid who showed me how to get to the bazaar when I got lost, and it was big enough that we were able to bring a lot of the food home. We spent the rest of the day doing some pretend play and playing in the streets.
Cait, apparently, got the run-around as far as apartment hunting went. Even though she was clear about what she wanted, everything they showed her was either too expensive or too far away. For a lot of the time too, she was sent around with a Moroccan man who didn't speak any English, insisted on walking in the street wherever they went and expected Cait to pay for all the taxis even though she had no cash on her and no opportunity was given to go an ATM to get some out. They also consistently questioned whether she, as the wife, should be making those kind of decisions, and on one apartment in particular, they (her guide and the apartment guy I guess) really pushed her just to "bring her husband" and I would like it and make the decision. Not a great day. She came back exhausted and frustrated.
We had our first experience with the egg sandwich shop down the road and we were surprised by how good they were. They are the type of food that you could get sick of really fast if you ate them too much (I'm looking at you, falafel sandwiches in Egypt), but they a really tasty option for so cheap.
Summary: Two more days of house-hunting and street wandering.