Thursday, January 7, 2016


Once we'd rested, unpacked, and cleaned up, we headed downstairs to check out the ginormous international buffet that our hotel set out each morning. I was surprised that it was still open, but it seems Sudan operates on a very different schedule than we are accustomed to. Everything is much slower-paced, with frequent tea and coffee breaks. Areej said most people just have a hot beverage when they first wake up, perhaps a bite of leftover bread or something sweet, and don't really eat breakfast as we know it. Lunch is the first meal of the day, then there's supper around 4:00PM, and possibly a late dinner after that. Anyhoo, we went to town on that buffet, which had Sudanese dishes, Indian dishes, British favorites, and even a table full of French pastries! My favorite was a made-to-order omelet that was layered over a big flat piece of the spongy Sudanese bread, then rolled up and eaten like a burrito, which I followed with a most excellent chocolate croissant!

Between missing both his Sweetheart and his puppydog, poor Austin was feeling kinda of blue by that time. Luckily, Areej's father Hamid (who actually lives in Bedford, TX, along with her youngest brother Amjad and many of their relatives) showed up right about then, and offered to take us exploring!

Touring the National Museum, and having a bit of trouble figuring out how to keep my head scarf in loose folds, instead of choking me to death! (could be that beaded fringe weighing it down)

Khartoum is located at the confluence of the Blue Nile and the White Nile, where they come together to form the Great Nile River.

Many of the river banks are being farmed, and what we first thought were weeds turned out to be okra plants! (my Cajun relatives can thank Africa for much of their cuisine)

Other sections are lined with park-like areas and floating cafes.

We enjoyed afternoon tea on top of this one, where I broke my own rule about "when in Rome" and had my tea without sugar, instead of doing as the Sudanese do, and adding three or four spoonfuls! We even tried a bit of Sudanese coffee. Surprisingly (since we are not, and have never been, coffee drinkers) it wasn't half bad! One of Areej's relatives in Bedford made it for Austin once -- roasting her own coffee beans and aromatic spices then grinding them herself to make the coffee -- and he has been raving about it ever since! I found a great link here, that talks about how the coffee is made, and explains a bit about how they entertain.

Areej's Daddy (Baba), Hamid

Then we went back to the hotel and crashed again!

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