Akhh!*banging my hand on my forehead* the laundromat! Now why didn't I think of that? Thank you for your comments and emails about my sewing and bread making questions, everyone.
Today was a very productive day indeed. We finally managed to visit the social security office to get me a new card and we actually didn't forget any papers. So hopefully I'll be getting a new card in the mail within two weeks( inshaAllah) , and hopefully my license right after ( we'll see! Hmph!).
Some quick reflections about American Vs Egyptian Government facilities::
In an American government facility you Can...
Walk in the government building without being shoved by hordes of people.
Believe what the security guard tells you.( where to get a paper with a number to be called)
Just sit there for thirty minutes and actually have a chance to get bored until your number gets called.
See some funky dude walk in blasting his i pod in his ears that it actually gets too loud even for people seated at the very opposite end from him ( us).
Watch an interesting guy borrow a cell phone from a nice old man to try and buy his sister (who has three kids by the way) a dog, because he thinks she doesn't have enough .... to clean. He was pretty loud, even from behind glass doors (cell phone use is prohibited in government facilities, and yes Americans actually do follow rules most of the time!)
Get a decent cup of tea ( or for that matter any cup of tea) while you wait.
Give some random guy ten Egyptian pounds ( about 2 dollars) to run back and forth from one building to the other and do all your paper work for you, as you sit and wait with a nice ice cold bottle of coca cola. ( true story!)
Kill time by running back and forth from one desk, building, street and neighborhood to the other while trying to figure out where in the world you should go to get this paper signed!
Watch other people loosing it and yelling at some poor government employee.
Watch women government employees chopping off vegetables behind their desks to take back home for supper ( talk about multitasking!).
Go back home at the end of the day with nothing done and tears in your eyes ( also a true story)
The one thing they might have truly needed in the American office is some sort of speaker phone. You could barely hear your number, and naturally since it's the social security office a lot of people in there needed to be spoken up to.
Egyptians love their microphones, so we definitely wouldn't be having any shortage in that department. No. Thank you very much!