Published: November 23rd 2012November 8th 2012
My flight was good, I sat next to a lovely Arabic gentleman that was coming back to Egypt to visit his family, he was from the USA. He gave me some very good tips e.g don't go in a cab by yourself, because of rape. Awesome! Lol. However, he said if you sit in the back your fine. He also taught me some basic words, I wrote them on my hand the way i could easily read and pronounce them as closely to the correct way as possible. It's a little bit funny. Hello I wrote as Hababa, thank you is shakran, no is lah, yes is nam.
The other passenger beside him was also lovely. He was a minister, and because I rode shotgun (window seat). He asked me many times to take photos out the window. When I say many, I mean with his camera, then with his iPad, then that not being enough he asked for me to video it as well. I'll be honest - I actually got the best pics on my phone. The minister offered me his number just incase I got into any sort of trouble, very lovely, but my cold heart coat
The money is weird!
50EGP is the same as $10NZD, or for you poms, 5GBP
of London took over and I said "oh no, I'll be fine, I'll be on a tour" ... Really I was just flogging him off.
The other friendly man beside me said he is going to buy an apartment in Cairo. He said he will give me the keys, so that if I ever need somewhere to stay in Egypt, I am more than welcome. Haha. He said I had a magnificent friendly glow and that NZ was at his heart. (I had to show them where NZ was... "Can to drive from nz to London?" Haha.. Oh too cute!
Flying into Cairo was mesmerizing, it was night time now and from what I could see, Cairo is MEGA huge. It looks like massive sparkly spider web at night, imagine a sparkly spider web, where the web is, there is light, but in between the gaps. It's pitch black. I asked my new found friend why it looked like that, his reply. It's much different than home yes.
We landed, the first thing that hits me is the humidity - thankfully not as bad as it was landing in
My Room in Cairo
Room with Character, described as somewhat creepy... lol
Dubai on the way over to London. An Arabic elder woman was in front of me walking down the stairs. She's not very strong, especially holding 5 different bags. She falls forward and I grab her. I think she thanked me, but obviously i just learnt hello etc.. I heard something "Arabic" so I said, no (good one Dayna - try using lah).
We hop on the bus and head to our terminal. There are 3 terminals here. I head inside the doors and looks for the sign with my name on it. With relief I see a lovely gentleman with "Busabout" written on his sign, I'm not entirely sure, but I may have ran to him lol... Lets be honest? We all wish to have some sort of movie entrance into an airport, I'm living mine early other a complete stranger. He speaks perfect English. Yippee!
Let me tell you. The service is amazing, he said "where's your entry visa!?" I said, I checked in London apparently I don't need one if I'm staying less than 15 days. "He says, no no no, you need one even if you
Cairo by night
This view is from my window, pretty lights, heaps of people so much noise!
are staying less than an hour." Oh fuck. Lol. So we hop in this massive line where everyone Is waiting to get their visa, I don't have cash so he stays in the line for me, with my passport and boarding pass while I try to work out the money machine. I come back and he has already skipped to the front of another line. I give him 100egp, which max I get back is like 8 pound or something...He then puts me through customs and gets us to the bag pick up. "Wait here I go get trolley" I said, "no it's only a small bag and has wheels" he Shakes his head and says "i insist" he fetches a trolley to put my small and pointless bag on, then we head out the door, he pushing my trolley. Hells bells, there are so many Egyptian men waiting outside the arrivals door. It's a little bit intimidating. Thank god I have this transfer guy with me! We head outside and walk to our bus.
On the way a youngish gentleman hoops on is bike, you would think he would be wearing a helmet, no not in Egypt! That's not the funniest bit though, as he goes to take off another Egyptian boy runs up and jumps on the back, you think that's it? No... Another and 3rd boy does the same! So all three of these boys are all on a motorbike that is meant for one, no helmets... It was so funny! But even more funny, my transfer guy rams the back of their bike with our luggage trolley, they don't even notice lol. Walking toward the bus my tour dude advises "I have booked us a small bus to pick you up"He giggles, when we arrive at the bus it seats probably 20 people, we both have a laugh because its me, him plus the driver, bit over the top? The driver pops my bag into the pack and off we go.
In Egypt, it's everyone for themselves. They just drive on which ever part of the road they like, there is two sides, but drivers all try to get through the gaps etc. I just don't understand how there is no crashes! They use their horns and lights very often. There are many cars and various vehicles on the side of the road, broken down I presume as they have the bonnets up. All the cars here are very rough. I asked my tour dude if they have to get warrants here, he said "yes yearly" but I think he's talking about rego.
While heading towards my hotel, the stangest truck thing goes past, it's like a square box with one window that has chicken wire over it, but an Egyptian fellow is looking through it with much sadness, poking his fingers through, it was like he was saying "let me out"... There is an open door on the back to, kind of like a milk truck, where I got a better glimpse inside, there were many men in there, all sad looking, some sitting, some standing, wearing normal rough clothing. "That is military" said my tour friend. Nearly at the hotel i take a video of the traffic... then suddenly beside pur vehicle i see the funniest thing, 3 donkeys tied up, I asked of you can hire them, he said yes. Dunno if I want to put that donkey through the pain of dealing with fat ass lol.
I ask my tour friend about tipping, he said its never to be asked for and never refused, but yes it's customary. I really can't get my head around the money, I work out that 50egp is $10nzd/5 pound. But still I don't know how much I amMeant to tip!? Not really keen on giving 50egp! So at the moment, I'm still struggling.
Once at the hotel, my tour friend checks me in and shows me around the hotel. There is a restaurant and bar. Yeah buddy!! I grab out 50egp and tip him for his awesome service. The bell boy takes my bag and I up to my room, the lift doors are weird, they are swing doors that are not attached to the lift wtf? And we have to open them, it's not automatic lol, once in my room he shows me around it, which is a litte unnecessary - because its pretty easy to find my way, then I give him a tip of the coins I had left in my wallet. He looks at it like "ah wtf, where's the rest?!" Off he tots and I first head to my window.
I open one set of windows, then a set of shutters and glare out to the busy bussling city of Cairo downtown. All you can hear is vehicles, honking and the occasional Egyptian speaking below. I stand excited, happy and chuffed as. I'm finally living my life long wish and dream to visit Egypt. Holy S#it!