AfricaEgyptCairo

Getting to know Cairo

Cairo Travel Blog

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al alzhar minaret
    I spent a lot of this day feeling EXHAUSTED. I'm one of those people who, once I wake up, wants to just get up and do it. My roomate was the antithesis of "get up and do it". Because our personal driver would just sit and wait, for sometimes up to an hour for her, I would sit on the stairs with the doorman and practice arabic or chat with my host mother. The doorman of the apartment building made $20 a month, and slept in a room with a small mat and TV. When I was bringing home groceries he insisted on carrying them, even though I was 100% capable, definetly something I could never get used to.
    Staying with a host parent/family is such a different experience from staying at a hotel, or even hostel. It's such intense culture shock, really understanding how the locals live.
I love cairo. I love the khan al khalili.
I always was on my toes to not offend her, but it was seeminly impossible.
    Today we visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was fun - we all got dressed up and asked questions to the Ambassador. It was so formal and interesting. I asked about the widening gaps in the classes and the dissolving of the middle class. She was clearing trying doing her best PR for us.
    We all ate at a Egyptian fast food place - GAD - and talked about morals. In America morality spans a spectrum, but in Egypt there is a more unified sense of what "morality" is. It's so weird to me that a huge majority of adults don't drink alcohol, or teenagers that haven't ever been on a date. I appreciate the differences, and find them very interesting.
inside the al-azhar mosque!

    After our lunch we headed to three coptic churches, the Ben Ezra synagogue, and two mosques! A lot of ground in one day. We had an amazing guide, a friend of Amideast who showed the 16 of us around at all the places with great humor. It was incredibly hot that day, somewhere well above 100. When walking to a church or mosque there was a market owner who was trying to get us to buy water - i was tempted - and he kept yelling "water 5 pound!" and i was looking at some scarves and he said "scarf 5 pound!" and then i pet the dirty cat at my feet and he yelled "cat 5 pound!"
    At the Al-Azhar mosque, despite the stories I had read about it being a very bad mosquest for Americans, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I borrowed a dress like outfit, took of my shoes, and put on my headscarf, and sad on the cool tile, and by the tapestries for half an hour. I felt at peace for the first time in a week. it was one of the best moments of my life
    we dashed across the street to the khan al khalili and ate rice pudding and laughed. Om Ali's are the best desserts in the world....in the khan i got called at many different ways, "hey spicy girls!!!!" and "for you, beautiful, it is egyptian price!".
    I LOVE EGYPT
sassyblackburn says:
I see in one of your picturesnthat you are wearing short sleeves. How did this effect the way you were treated. Christine
Posted on: Mar 02, 2007
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al alzhar minaret
al alzhar minaret
I love cairo. I love the khan al k…
I love cairo. I love the khan al …
inside the al-azhar mosque!
inside the al-azhar mosque!
half of the nile. this is one of t…
half of the nile. this is one of …
a petit mosque with a billboard.
a petit mosque with a billboard.
In front of a coptic church.
In front of a coptic church.
A taxi and the lush surrounding of…
A taxi and the lush surrounding o…
bad photo, but a typical pita sell…
bad photo, but a typical pita sel…
outside a mosque
outside a mosque
in khan al khalili
in khan al khalili
AMIDEAST!!!!!! I LOVE YOU. they ha…
AMIDEAST!!!!!! I LOVE YOU. they h…
the side of a mosque
the side of a mosque
light cairo traffic
light cairo traffic
Cairo
photo by: vulindlela