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Success?

More house hunting yesterday. I was ready to call it quits since so many houses will be coming available in the next month or so that it seemed a little premature to look in earnest now, but my father had asked a cousin to check out some places and it seemed rude not to follow up on the leg work he had done, even if we didn’t think it would lead anywhere. So we went back to Maadi, and after driving around in circles for 45 minutes, we managed to find the agent my cousin had been working with.

The first two places he and his co-worker showed us were a complete bust. Old and dirty appliances, dark, small. It seemed we were on a fool’s errand. Then he showed me two places I had already seen, which was still a waste of time but at least he was moving in the right direction. It was interesting to see that even though an Egyptian had started the search for me, the prices weren’t any better than those that I had been quoted—in fact, the first two places were more expensive and not as nice.

I’d made an appointment at the school so my father could get a look at it, and we were ready to head over when one of the agents asked me if I’d be interested in seeing a villa near the school. “Sure,” I said, and we got back into the car.

As soon as we walked in to the villa, my father and I both fell in love with the place. It was perfect for us. Nice, and spacious, but not too fancy. Some of the other places I’d seen that I thought would work had a ton of marble, which felt a little too much like living in a bank for my taste. This place was wonderful. It was clean and nice without being ostentatious. Two floors, a big living/dining area, downstairs, with a nice kitchen and a little office, and four bedrooms upstairs, not huge, but nice with built-in closets and a balcony. The garden was quite large, and lovely. My dad made the agent an offer, which we both realized was way too low. I’m hoping we can come to some agreement, because I think the boys would be really happy there. Best of all, it’s only two blocks from the school.

Today, though, things are less cheery, although I’m hoping that’s only temporary. It’s Friday, so everyone has the day off, and I am planning on heading to Zamalek to meet my friend R, a colleague from my newspaper days who is living here now, but my grandmother isn’t doing well. Several times this morning she almost fell and a few minutes ago she started moaning and was having a hard time standing up. I called my father, who’s at his cousin’s for breakfast, and he told me to put her to bed with her legs propped up on pillows. She told me she’s feeling terrible. I’d put her on the phone with him and apparently she told him she thinks it’s the end. I sure hope not. I really want my boys to have a chance to get to know her.

Hopefully this will pass and she’ll feel better soon. I realize that at 95 (which she’ll turn next week) she probably doesn’t have a ton of time left, but I will be heartbroken if she’s not around for at least part of our time here in Cairo.

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