Cairo, Egypt

Something I’ve come to realize is that there are first world problems and there are third world problems.
Call me wacky but these challenges make me appreciate life more and being comfortable can be really boring. I like honing my survival skills. It reminds I am still alive.

6 Likes

Well said @Amparo, hence why I try my best to travel to third world countries every opportunity I can. It has changed me immensely and really brought me back to earth when I need it most. It humbles you but also gives one a greater understanding of the world outside our own bubble. Give me Cairo to London e.g. any day! (I love London to, just in small doses lol)

2 Likes

Reminds me of growing up and our mom reminding us that we’d be sorry when famine came, if we were picky about food. Even as an adult, I’m grateful for running water, food in the fridge and such, because many folks can’t take such for granted.

My family are immigrants and I once took my parents back to my father’s ancestral village, which remains dirt poor — that was the floor of the shack he’d originally been raised in. Only seven siblings survived to adulthood out of 11.

I consider myself super fortunate, because had they not fled poverty, maybe I’d be making Nikes in a factory or such. Or maybe I would’ve been drowned at birth or given away, as many girls were in my generation. Instead, I got to be the first to go to college, even if I had to work my way through. I’m grateful I was even given the opportunity to choose.

5 Likes

After meeting my host here in Cairo, we took an Uber back to her home in Madinaty, New Cairo about an hour from downtown Cairo. She had many errands to tend and left me to rest in her 3 bedroom apartment whilst her housekeeper cleaned.
Upon her return we had a typical delicious Egyptian meal that she had ordered for us.
Malokhia is a creamy soup made of mallow jute leaves and well seasoned with garlic. It is now one of my favorites.
A very early flight for her, she gave me final instructions and tips and then said she had forgotten to top off her electric meter which is like a prepaid battery system.
The last few days have been rather interesting, a word that barely covers the experiences.
I did not have enough Egyptian cash, nearly everything here is cash only, and two trips on foot in 90-103F to an ATM without cash was quite an adventure. There was only enough for 3-4 days left of power. In efforts to minimize consumption I avoided the AC and literally spent hours in front of the fan whilst contemplating how to get what needed doing done.
Without cash no electricity, no Uber or taxi and no food except for what she kindly had left for me. It was quite the mind f*#*. All manner of negative thoughts kept trying to disrupt my critical thinking and fear was rapidly growing. But I would not be denied. Of course I messaged my host for advice and updates.
Yesterday Mahmoud showed up, a friend of my host who traveled by Uber over an hour to assist me. I had been told he would come but that fear mind was riding fiercely.
He said he would take me to do whatever I needed, not to worry and still as I got into an Uber with him with my passport, USD, credit cards my stomach turned with waves of nausea. Convincing myself it was the heat I said to self, this man is here to help you, trust.
We travelled 22 miles within the Madinaty complex, a massive but private community, to of all things a huge indoor outdoor shopping mall! If not for the language and women in hijabs, I could have been in Orlando!
Finally with Egyptian cash in hand and having not been kidnapped or robbed, I relaxed.
I asked him if he was hungry and offered to buy him a meal. We went to a very nice restaurant with stemware and white tablecloths. “Order anything you like” He looked at the menu and after a few minutes asked if we could go elsewhere.
We went to a burger joint! He ordered for himself, his wife and sister-in-law with my blessing while I inhaled a bottle of water.
Then we went to a huge Mediterranean Walmart type store. What fun! He urged to sample many different things and happily I did.
Back in an Uber, we were both loaded with groceries, smiling and happy.
What a wonderful human being.

7 Likes

Wonderful post Amparo :clap: Egyptian people are extremely friendly and will do anything to help another. I felt similar to you when staying in Alexandria (friends of mine in Oz come from there and have an apartment there). Stuck inside with the fear of God in me, not knowing where to turn. My friends in Oz contacted their friend there and within an hour, I was met at the door by a perfect English speaking man, holding a huge box of Egyptian biscuits (cookies) for me. He took me all around Alexandria showing me all the sites, bought me lunch, and we talked all day. This hospitality continued throughout my stay from other people who showed up to support me also. I am still in touch to this day :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

So happy everything worked out for you, it can definitely be a scary place for a Western woman, completely different to anything you are likely to experience in other countries. Well done girl :100:
Now to get you to Saqqara :crazy_face:

3 Likes

Truly @ziggy I am overwhelmed with gratitude and the kindness and generosity of people who seemingly have nothing.
This, and I am only on day 8 of my trip, is the start of an entirely new path in my adventurous life.
This is indeed my reality show, my own story that I am creating and directing.
And all my happy pets, hosts are all huge characters in the story of my life.
Gas meter man just came, took a while to understand this, let him in, took a reading then handed me a slip and I say “”Shokran”.
He stands about 6 feet away from at the entryway and says “money”. I look at the slip all in Arabic :roll_eyes:. He approaches slowly and points to the two numbers. A whopping 70 cents!
It was so good to have the cash to pay him.
:partying_face:
And yes she had told me he would be coming.

2 Likes

So you can turn on the AC now!

That must be a relief there.

1 Like

@Amparo yes he would have stood at quite a distance to you as it isn’t “halal”, or permissable in Egypt for a Muslim man to be alone in a room with a female that isn’t wife or family so he would have been feeling that. Glad you got the gas, did you get change from a pound? :laughing: Yes, they have nothing but then again, they have everything :sparkling_heart:

1 Like

Shrugs :man_shrugging:t3: who knows? I just took what he returned with a big silly grin bursting with gratitude.
And I am.
I now have everything I need. Kitty and I have bonded well so we can enjoy our time together and I can focus on my writing.

2 Likes