Walk Like An Egyptian

Saturday, August 17, 2002
Carla, John and I have been in Egypt for 4 nights now... it's sometimes like stepping into a movie here because you can't believe these things really happen. All the women are really dressed head to toe, loudspeakers tout Muslim prayers in Arabic, and little shops are filled with greasy car parts and cushions. The fast food of Egypt is called Kashari - and we love it! It costs about 50 cents and it tastes so good. So far we haven't found much else that we like to eat so we eat that every day!

Oh, I forgot to mention who John is! We met him on a hash weekend in Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic. We got to talking about our trip and that we were headed to Egypt and he had long been planning a trip back here again. So, at the last minute he booked a flight from London and here the three of us are! It's great, he even speaks a bit of Arabic, which comes in handy for actually getting fair prices on things.

Everyone in Egypt speaks at least one or two sentences in English - and everyone speaks to you as you walk by, "Hello, Welcome Cairo", "Egypt Welcome You", "English! how old are you?". It's entertaining. Sometimes, like at the zoo yesterday, little kids want to hold your hand! We arrived this morning into Aswan on an overnight train and are planning to go to Abu Simbel tomorrow and after that head up to Luxor via a 3 day felucca boat up the Nile. The zoo was bizarre; they had everything from endangered species to cages with domesticated pets (dogs) in them. My favorite exhibit was the guinea pigs. It was a guinea pig heaven in there!! Hundreds of them. It reminded me of my first pet who was a guinea pig. His name was Bruce, may he rest in peace.

On our first day in Cairo we headed over to the Egypt Museum. What a place!! They have basically everything that has ever been dug up in Egypt... and more. It's just sort of haphazardly been throw into the place in whatever spot there was room. There's hardly a sign or label anywhere ... but it's amazing all the same. We got to see Ramses II as a mummy and all that other stuff you read about in history class! On the second day we went to the Pyramids... not much to say about that except that it really is awe inspiring. We spent our nights playing backgammon and drinking Turkish coffee at little sidewalk cafes... where only men usually go, so they got a kick out of Carla and I being there. The first night we actually had an *audience* for our low skill backgammon games. By the second night they were a bit more used to us. So much so that there was only one urinal for men along the back wall... nothing for women. And, I always knew that Muslims didn't drink - but it's true!! Even on a sidewalk cafe there is no alcohol served. Everyone drinks mango juice or Turkish coffee - both good alternatives I might add!!!

Alright, off to the market I go to check out the spices....


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