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The Cairo experience - Yin side

Cairo, Egypt


Ok, I need to Yin Amanda's Yang of Cairo. Not that I don't totally
understand it, as we get a lot of attention and women are treated a
bit different here. The culture is far from our own and it can take a lot out
of you. That being said... I am having an awesome time here. After holing
up for a few days in the hotel after our pyramid run the energy
returned.

Getting our Visa's for India has been a test in patience over
that which you cannot control. Sunday (which is like Monday for us) I was
too tired and worn out to go try for our Visa's, decided to go on Monday
instead. So Monday we realised we hadn't gotten our passport size photo's
done so had to get them before we could go to the Indian consulate
office. So to town we go. The owner of the hotel personally drove us into
downtown Cairo and was a really nice gesture. Dropped us off in front of
a Kodak photo center and bid us farewell. The process of getting the
pictures was painless and cheap and we got 8 copies each. Little more
than we needed but hey you never know. It was probably around 10am and
the consulate closed by 11. We figured we wouldn't make it so blew doing
that off til Tuesday. *FYI the Indian consulate office is right around
the corner from the photo shop. who knew? :| Ok so Tuesday we head down
to the Indian consulate office and low and behold... Indian holiday and
they're closed. sigh... Oh well wont let that get us down, we can just
come back tomorrow. Which went quite well, found out we had to wait til
Sunday for the paperwork to go through and to come back then. Amanda is
ready to GTFO of Cairo at this point. I must point out she gets lots of
attention and together well it's almost 2 fold. Wears on us a bit, but
personally I get used to it in doses. So.. I'll skip the boring stuff.
It's now Sunday, Visa's should be done today and all will be golden.
Hurray.

I've been making lots of friends here, everyone is so friendly its hard
not to.

I can't understand everyone but it doesn't really matter. I find
using sounds, hand gestures and a smile works real well. The women who
work here in the hotel tend to talk or hand communicate with me a lot.
It's quite fun "talking" with them.

One in particular, Doaa, whose name I can never say right is pronounced something like Dew Eye but stress the eye with a hint of A. Yeah I can't do it either.

Anyway she speaks a fair amount of English and is always trying to learn more. We use Google's language translator a lot to get our points across. Now she's Muslim, 20,
single and I'm not. Being as I like to flirt... lol things get
interesting. She's an amazing person and Amanda wants to put her in her
pocket and bring her home with us. In the hotel she's very open and able
to be more social with me, in public however she an Amanda hang on to
each other as we walk about and well... I hang by myself. Here the guys
hang together and hold hands and the women stick to themselves and do the
same. It is what is I reckon. No matter we have a great time. Doaa thinks
very highly of Amanda and mirrors her actions. It's very cute.

She has taken us to all the places we would have never found on our own and
personally has made the last few days here perfect for me. From eating at
local restaurants up narrow stairs I wouldn't think of going up to eating
street cooked corn and riding the music party boats on the Nile.

Had some of the bestest chocolate shakes ever while enjoying a licorice shisha.

Also toured the local park that allows you to see most of Cairo and has
really nice cafe's to relax in.

Went to the Khan El Kalili Bazaar which is the largest and I think oldest in the world, showed us how a real Egyptian handles the vendors and just has a good time with herself and us.

I do wish she could be free of her religious boundaries but I respect
them and acknowledge as much as I can. She's pretty lax about them which
is good. We're really going to miss her, I feel she will be a great
addition to the circle of friends.

I must mention then entire hotel staff here at the Arabian Nights. They
go out of their way, are totally caring and very generous people. I feel
more like a friend than some tourist and that means a lot to me. My
journey to Egypt now feels accomplished and I have learned a lot from
them. BTW... These people being scary and bad is total horseshit. These
have been some of the friendliest people ever. They openly welcome us at
every turn and no where else have I ever experienced that to that magnitude. Far as
negatives.. its like any other tourist trap, in those spots it's about
money and how they're going to get it from you and that's anywhere on the
planet. Knowing that and knowing how to say no will save you a lot of
problems. I'll miss this place.
One last note. Riding around here in a taxi or any form of vehicle is
INSANE! I love it, I laugh and laugh and laugh while riding around. The
lanes on the road don't mean anything. There are no traffic cops, they
don't even drive with lights on at night. They use their horns like
they're going out of style and they're headlights are used to get ur
attention. They drive fast and sometimes against on coming traffic. Yet I
haven't seen an accident and I've been riding a lot. Tons of fun!!!

Addendum: Scored a few Shisha pipes that look awesome, Have gone wandering through a large section of the Khan bazaar and the scope of the place is mind boggling. The city has so much history it would take a very extensive amount of time to see it all. I hope I can come back someday to continue seeing it. We're off to Pondicherry India's Auroville and it will probably be a bit before we do another major blog update. Will do our best though.

<3<3<3

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on November 4, 2008 from Cairo, Egypt
from the travel blog: Slade's Elucidation
tagged Cairo, Egypt, AlAzhar, ArabianNights and KhanElKhalili

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AMMMMAAAAZZZIINNNG entry, I'm elated to hear how much you enjoyed it. It is so important to experience and spread the message that our cultural differences are awesome and exciting, and that other parts of the world contain people just like us. If everyone on Earth could go through what you just did, so much blind hate, misunderstanding, and conflict would end overnight. Bless you two for doing this whole trip 5000% :)

permalink written by  W. on November 13, 2008

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