Title: Barista 30--Letters From Egypt
Season: Season 4 (Finally!)
Spoilers: Nemesis (322), Small Victories (401), The Other Side (402)
Category Gen
Rating: PG

Author's Notes: This Barista is a little different, but hopefully just as enjoyable. The difficulty in writing a long-running series is trying to keep everything fresh ( I do try, really, I do!). Every now and then I'll write from a different character's point of view (do I hear any requests for Stephan?) Or go outside the coffee shop for some comic relief (Walk in the Park, Breakfast at IHOPs) For this story, I decided to write a series of letters between Kira in Cairo and Daniel in Colorado. Season 3 technically ended on March 10th (Nemesis air date) and Season 4 technically began on June 30th (Small Victories), so the letters between Kira and Daniel will be taking place between those dates. Give or take a few weeks. I'm playing it a little loose with The Other Side's airdate as I want Daniel and Kira to talk about it (just a little) before Kira comes home in time for Upgrades. Oh yeah. How can I not write a little something about Upgrades?

The historical bits about the Cairo, Egypt and the Library of Alexandria are based on fact.


  • Baksheesh- basically a tip; often used to grease the wheels so to speak
  • Feluka- Egyptian sailing barge/boat

    March 15, 2000

    Dear Daniel,

    I know it is a bit old fashioned of me to be writing you a letter, but seeing as how you're an Archaeologist and I'm studying ancient History, I'd say we're pretty much old-fashioned type of people! I know email is quicker, but there's just something to be said about writing a friend a handwritten letter. Besides. I don't actually have your email address. (Oops!) I know where you work Daniel, and I do have both Jack's work and cell phone number, but I don't actually have your email address. Isn't that kind of funny?

    So how are you doing? I was told that you would be transferred back to Cheyenne Mountain the next day-how did that go? I still feel a little guilty for hopping a plane to Egypt while you were stuck in a hospital bed. Outside of birth and getting my tonsils out when I was three, I have never been in a hospital. Except to visit friends of course. ;> But wouldn't it be better to have stayed in Denver? At least there, you had a room with a view- not to mention fresh air! Still, I can imagine it was nice to be back on familiar ground with your own doctor again. Daniel, you do realize how completely bizarre it is that that you *have* your own doctor, right? You know, one who can look at you for three seconds and figure out that your electrolytes are low and you really need to get more sleep. (I know you're smiling at this, because you have told me about what a great doctor and friend Janet Fraiser is. Sure, I have gone to the same doctor for three years now, but I see her only once a year, and I doubt she would remember my name if we passed on the street. So trusting that everything is fine and you are now up and around, I am going to move on to.

    Cairo! Oh Daniel, I can so understand how you could fall in love with this country. I mean, not only is it warm and exotic looking, but the smells and languages and history. I think I'm in love! I went to an open market yesterday and bought 100 grams of cinnamon in a cool newspaper cone-like "bag". I love how the spices are wrapped up here! And saffron! Daniel, do you know how much saffron costs at home? Here's it's only a fraction of the price. If I'm not careful, I'm going to have to learn how to cook, if only to find a use for all these gorgeous spices!

    Tomorrow we're headed to Giza and I can't tell you how excited I am to see the ancient pyramids in person. I can't believe they were built nearly 5,000 years ago! Just think how advanced we were back then and how far we must have fallen. I can't help but wonder what went wrong? So, Dr. Jackson, which theory do you proscribe to? Were the pyramids built using ramps, or are you more of the block and lever sort of guy? I am currently reading a book about the pyramids and amazed at how many different theories there are as to how it was built!

    Next week a bunch of us are taking a long weekend and heading south towards Aswan; I can't believe the last real rain they received was over 5 years ago! Whoa. I'm definitely bringing my camelpak with me. I don't care if I look like an American tourist, rather a hydrated American tourist than a sick one. I'm looking forward to taking a train this time, but have been told that it's actually quite cheap to hire a cab to take you around Egypt a la tour guide. Maybe next time!

    I'm afraid I'm as long-winded with the pen as I am in person. Take care of yourself Daniel and give Jack a big hug from me.

    -- Kira

    March 28, 2000

    Hi Kira!

    Glad to hear you are enjoying Cairo and Egyptian countryside. Did you know I was less than a year old the first time I visited the pyramids at Giza? I don't remember it of course, but I do have a photo of my mother and I sitting on a camel in front of the Cheop's Pyramid. Did I tell you that my parents were archaeologists? The first five years of my life were spent mostly in Egypt and Tunsia. Now as to my opinion of how the pyramids were built.well, let's just say that I'm part of the fringe group of archaeologists that believes there might be more to the pyramids than just some really large rocks.

    You're going to love your visit to Aswan and I can't wait to hear all about it. Make sure to check out Elephantine Island. Yes, I know that's mostly an archaeological attraction, but trust me, it's worth it. It's a bit of a ways away, but you would really enjoy a side trip to Nag Hammadi. It might take a bit of baksheesh, but try and find a local to take you to the place the codices were found. It may not be the ancient library of Alexandria, but there is no doubt Nag Hammadi was also a library of some importance. Also, before you leave the country, you must take a feluka ride up the Nile. Just make sure you and the driver have agreed upon everything (food, water, accommodations) up front first. Believe me, you don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a boat operator demanding more money (been there, done that, and don't have the t-shirt, because the damn feluka driver took it from me!)

    I am doing much better and have been released from Dr. Frasier's Hall Of Pain. No, no- Janet is a wonderful doctor and I really do feel pretty much back to normal. Which reminds me.. did I thank you properly yet? Kira, I seriously don't know what I would do without your quick thinking. Jack tells me that if you weren't around, he would seriously consider making me wear one of those kids I.D emergency bracelets every time I left the base. But because I have the good sense to have my "moments" in your presence, he says he'll just trust you to let him know when help is needed. Which reminds me, when did Jack give you his cell phone number?

    Life continues pretty much the same over here in Colorado. We did have a bit of a situation last week, but in the end Jack, Sam and Murray prevailed. It was hard from me not to be with them, and I am pretty certain Janet had airmen following me around to make sure I ate and slept. She denied it of course, but I knew something up when Sgt. Siler invited me to lunch one day. Siler is our electrical specialist and he tends to talk Sam's language more than my own. But the man has a good heart and almost rivals me in being accident-prone!

    Jack is still pestering me to see my scar and I swear he is looking forward to our next field assignment, if only for the chance to see my scar up close. I haven't a clue what you might think of that last sentence, but just to clarify- Usually when Jack, Sam, Murray and I go on a field assignment, I share a tent with Jack. Next week however, I think I'll ask Sam if she's interested in switching bunk mates for the evening. Just to annoy Jack of course! Besides, I am curious if the rumor of Sam's snoring is true.

    I still occasionally go to Victor's for coffee, but I have to tell you that it just isn't the same. Stephan does make a mean mocha, but his blatant flirting with me is kind of hard to take first thing in the morning. Has he met Sam before? I was thinking of asking Sam to pretend to be my girlfriend sometime-maybe then he'd leave me alone.

    Just a thought.

    Take care of yourself Kira and enjoy the marvels of Egypt! I look forward to pictures and stories when you return.


    P.S. I told Jack that you had requested that I give him a big hug, and he just looked at me funny and said, "I don't think so Daniel." He went on to tell me that he'll just collect that hug from you when you return.

    April 16, 2000

    Hi Daniel!

    Thank you so much for your chatty letter! Everyone was envious of me when I was given your letter at lunchtime. I think we (folks my age) have forgotten how much fun it is to get a letter! I betcha at least a few of my classmates headed straight to their rooms after lunch to write their family and friends.

    I am now really curious as to your theory on the pyramids and may try and get you drunk sometime and find out! I have seen your drinking tolerance up close Dr. Jackson, and I do believe I would be able to drink you under the table! Just call me Marion, Indy..

    Both Nag Hammadi and Aswan were amazing-I didn't get your letter until after my trip, but luckily a friend talked me into going to Nag Hammadi with her and I don't regret it at all (despite the long bus ride).

    Least you think I do nothing but tour the countryside, I should tell you a little about my classes. I am taking conversational Arabic (of course) and have even developed a slight Egyptian accent. My Israeli friends make fun of me as their Arabic has a complete different accent. Heck, Standard Arabic is rather different than Egyptian Arabic. Ah, but when in Rome.

    Now learning how to read Arabic is much more difficult! True, it doesn't matter which region you live in, all Arabic is "spelled" the same-but man! It is not easy. Arahmaic is LOADS easier. But then again, there are only a few hundred verbs in Arahmaic and several thousand in modern Arabic.

    I am also taking an Ancient History course, a modern History course and the requisite archaeological course (grin). I adore all my classes, but am surprised by the level of homework I have every evening. How am I supposed to see the country, if I have to be typing up a paper on the Gods and Mythology of Ancient Egypt! Geesh.

    I do have a roommate over here, although she is seldom home. Her name is Helen and she is from England. The first week of school she met an Egyptian boy at a club and they have been inseparable ever since. His name is Mosi and he's super cute! Sorry, I know you don't care if he's cute or not-that just came out. Mosi just invited Helen to meet his parents next weekend and both are looking forward to it. Actually, I take that back. Helen is looking forward to it. Mosi? Well, he's worried about what his parents will think of Helen. Oh, he wants to introduce her to them, it's just that he's never had a Western girlfriend before.

    Dang! It's 11 o'clock already. I still have a translation to do, so I had best say goodnight. Take care of yourself Daniel and write when you can!

    -- Kira

    May 8, 2000

    Dear Kira,

    Reading your letters makes me nostalgic for the sands of Egypt. Or at least an Egypt-like country. I have asked General Hammond if it might be possible for me to visit my father-in-law sometime in the next few months and he's going to see what he can do to get me the time off.

    So how did the meeting go between Mosi (which means 'born first' by the way) and Helen? My first meeting with Kasuf (who later became my father-in-law) was rather interesting and a bit awkward. He too had strong religious beliefs and became alarmed when he discovered that I didn't share in those beliefs. Hopefully Mosi's parents are as open-minded as Kasuf and his people. If all else fails, I find that chocolate tends to be a universal icebreaker.

    Wow, you are taking a full load, aren't you? While it's true that there are many more people who speak Standard Arabic over Egyptian Arabic, you'll find that more of the ancient languages tend to sound more like Egyptian Arabic than standard. And considering you're getting your degree in Ancient History, this could be helpful! You'll have to tell me about your archaeology class! Who's teaching it? What are you studying? Will you go on any digs? Can I come?

    It has been a very boring May for me so far as I developed a minor infection on a trip abroad and Janet won't allow me out of her sight until it clears up. The good news is that it gives me a lot of time to catch up on my cataloging, but I miss being out in the field. Plus, there's the fact that Jack keeps popping by every other hour to ask me a question or show me his latest yo-yo trick. Sam gave him a Game Boy for Christmas last year and he keeps challenging me to play Final Fantasy with him. Still, I suppose it is better than Yugioh Duel Monsters IV.

    Sam is doing well and is actually playing the rebel and growing her hair out! Well, not long or anything, but Jack kinda ribbed her about it the other night at dinner (something about growing her hair out to pick up guys. In Jack's defense [although I know there is very little], we HAD been drinking). Sam just looked at him with that enigmatic look of hers and asked him if her hair length offended him. I believe she said something like, "Sir, do you believe the length of my hair affects my ability to do my job?" And then they shared one of those freaky military moments of theirs before Jack turned away and mumbled something about "No pony tails Major". Murray was highly amused by the conversation, and later I had to draw him a picture of a little girl with pony tails; he was a little confused.

    Continue to have wonderful adventures and I look forward to your next Egyptian installment!


    May 20, 2000

    Dear Daniel,

    Now, don't laugh, but I dropped one of my current history classes to enroll in a 4-week crash course in underwater archaeology. I know what you're going to say, and this does NOT mean I am leaning towards archaeology! All it means is that I have nearly an insatiable desire to know more about the library of Alexandria. As I'm sure you know, the "experts" are still arguing as to who is to blame for Alexandria's demise. But one thing we know for sure, is that sometime in the middle ages, a series of earthquakes and floods caused most of the entire palace area of the North East quarter of the city to submerge. I want to see it with my own two eyes, and the only way I can is if I take this course. I don't doubt there is much to learn archaeologically speaking from exploring the submerged ruins, but my interest in it is purely historical. Really!

    I hope your minor infection has cleared up and you are able to go on field assignments with the rest of your team. Just as long as you be careful! While I still get confused when you come to the shop sporting a tan in the middle of winter, I would rather be befuddled, then see you with your arm in a sling or a black eye. So try and steer clear of trouble, ok?

    Yesterday I took the plunge and visited a Shisha café. While it is true that I don't smoke in the states, I thought I'd try the local thing and see if maybe water pipe smoking tastes/feels better than cigarette smoking; oh how wrong I was! That stuff is just plain nasty! The old men in the café laughed loudly as I felt like I was coughing up my internal organs. Sure, the bubbling hookah pipes look cool, and I (for a brief moment) felt very exotic sitting there in my white linen skirt with an ancient smoking pipe at my side. I could almost pretend like I was in Ancient Egypt, except for the fact that I am a woman and I doubt the ancients allowed their women to smoke with the men out in their tents. No wonder Egyptian women lived longer than men.

    I am sorry to say that the meeting between Helen and Mosi's parents didn't go at all well. I thought only Neo-Nazis and Fundamentalists (pick a religion-they're all a little nuts) were intolerant! Oh Daniel, Mosi's parents were downright rude to Helen. They called her "unclean" (not knowing she understood some Egyptian) and threatened to disown Mosi if he continued seeing her. Mosi assured Helen he still wanted to see her, but their relationship is totally strained and I don't see how it will last. How can people be so close-minded? I know, I know-this is their land and culture and not my own. But still! There is no damn place for bigotry in my world!

    Sorry to get on my soap box there. It feels better to write it down and get it out though.

    Send more chocolate!


    (friend 'love' Daniel- nothing more!)

    June 10, 2000

    Dear Kira,

    Just quick note as I am heading out of town for a few days and want to get this in the mail before I go. I am so sorry to hear about Helen and Mosi. I hope you don't mind, but I read your letter aloud to Jack last night. We had a little bit of a cultural misunderstanding here a few days ago, and you put into words something that both Jack and I can agree on. Jack was a bit of an ass and for a while there (and he would readily admit to this), and at the time I began to wonder if maybe I shouldn't look for a different commanding officer. Not that Jack is actually MY commanding officer. Well.. I guess he is- but I'm not really military. Well, I am WORKING for the military.. Oh- you know what I mean, don't you? Bottom line? Jack and I had a major falling out and I just didn't know if it could be repaired. I could see how .wrong everything was at this place we went to- but.. but Jack couldn't. Words were exchanged and I thought.. Well, I thought our friendship was over Kira.

    Now don't you panic, because if there is one thing I'll say about Jack O'Neill-when he's wrong, he's not afraid to admit it. Actually, I think he's better at admitting fault than I am. Uber education or something I'm sure.

    You coming home soon? Stefan just broke up with his boyfriend and is starting to flirt again.


    June 20, 2000

    Dear Daniel,

    I bet I'll make it home before this letter, but it's a thousand and six degrees out right now and I really don't want to leave this air-conditioned library. I am sad to be leaving Egypt, but am looking forward to heading home. I miss the Rockies and my friends. Travelling has been wonderful, but there's just something to be said about coming home, you know? I even miss Victor and his anal coffee-running ways! I am scheduled to open on Friday June 30th, so IF you get this letter before then, feel free to stop by! I'll be the jet-lagged tan girl standing behind the counter. Uggh- jet lag. I bet you don't miss THAT working for the Air Force.

    Ah the military. I don't know exactly what happened between you and Jack, Daniel, but I am glad you fixed it. Because no matter how much of an ass Jack can be (and I'm sure you have your moments as well), the two of you are really two sides of a coin, and I can't imagine either of your lives without the other. I know I haven't known either one of you all that long, but the friendship you two share is pretty intense and I would hate to see anything break that apart.

    Whoa. Way too serious. Sorry!

    You know Daniel, one of these days you're going to have to tell me what you really do for them. Who knows, maybe I can talk you into giving me a tour of your office! I think next month is "Take your Barista to work day". :> Jack keeps hinting that I should join the Air Force (as if THAT will ever happen), but I wonder, if I DID show an interest, would he take me to his office?

    This is Kira signing off. I'll see you soon Daniel.


    Author's Notes: Because both Kira (and I) are geeky-here's some links if you'd like to read more about Alexandria:


    Completed August 6, 2004

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