Thursday, 14 January 2010

Notes from Egypt

I've been back for over a week now and I'm actually really missing Egypt and its adventures. So, what did I learn while I was there? Well for one, I learned that despite the lack of social services, the low wages, and various other terrible living conditions suffered in Egypt, the Egyptian people, unlike my people (known to be the most negative, yet most hospitable), always have a sense of humour and are friendly.

  • We realized that no matter what country you are from, you are "ahsan nas" (the best people) according to Egyptians. We also noticed that Egyptians cannot tell the difference between the Syrian, Palestinian or Lebanese accent and requested that we speak in the Egyptian dialect because they were having troubling understanding us. Hehe.
  • Furthermore, Egyptian stray cats are much healthier than the ones in other Arab countries.
  • The Alexandria library, despite being huge, is missing books. Where are they?
The library, Alexandria
Manar, I'm using this photo sans permission
Stray cat sits at a café
Stray cats sleep at the newspaper vendors place, Alexandria
Gaza or Egypt?

Everything is delivered here
You can sell everything too
Tea spots wherever, whenever
Suzanne Mubarak can be found behind every book, reminding us that reading is important

People who don't smoke will start smoking. Except this guy, he's a smoker.
This is how dirty the Nile is

Political t-shirts were de rigueur:
Svaria (Sweden)

La France

  • We signed a declaration, one you should sign too. DO IT, THE YUPPIE COMMANDS YOU!
  • I'm a different type of "tourist." I don't really look up places to go visit them, I hear about things, remember places I read about (various mosques, libraries), I see things while in the taxi (Ottoman era Mohammed Ali mosque) and then I want to go discover them. In nine days, I managed to see practically all the historical aspects Egypt has to offer. Of all the places I went to see, I paid the foreigner price once (at the pyramids), otherwise, it was local and Arab people prices (which do not exceed 2EGP). Furthermore, I was able to never get ripped off in a cab again.
  • We sang "El Hantour" one too many times (dirigin dirigin), we played George Wassouf to the police, and we performed versions of "Linda, Linda".
This is how popular we were at the pyramids:
One of the gifts we received from Edward at the photo shop:
Total Gs. Gaddafi, pre-insanity and drag Queen status

The French delegation was by far the best on this trip, a true inspiration. Here's a video they sent our way:
You can watch more here.
At the French embassy
Our best friends for a week
Bandage courtesy of Egyptian police

Manar's torn Fred Perry zip-up courtesy of Egyptian police
Train station, Alexandria
Kids playing soccer, Alexandria
Distant view of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi mosque, Alexandria
A view from Citadel of Qaitbay, Alexandria

Something epic: I met Max in Cairo. I attended his birthday. Max is awesome, he does things like this:
Max adds me to Facebook, he asks me if I'm the Yuppie Activist because he's a huge fan of the blog. I am absolutely flattered, but what's even crazier is that he discovered the blog a little while back by searching the words "yuppie" and "activist". If I learned anything significant from this trip is that it's such a small world.

1 comment:

  1. Curiously, the only time I have run across the amazing picture of the Palestinian flag on the pyramid is here. Odd that such an interesting visual statement would be so overlooked (?) by the media.

    Dr. Strangelove
    University of Ottawa