Day 10: Final Thoughts

We woke up on time. Salman and I had different departures and I was leaving first. Grabbed some last sips of my Nescafe, and met our taxi driver. Did I mention he was the only honest cabbie in Cairo? I wish I had gotten his information so everyone could call him.

The only honest cabbie in Egypt. Find him if you can.
The only honest cabbie in Egypt. Find him if you can.

This trip was nice. It was eye-opening. I really had a wonderful time in Luxor and Sharm el-Sheikh despite the run ins with the locals. Seeing the historic monuments shook my heart and really humbled me. These people were so powerful and mighty at one time, and now all their ruins lay in crumbles as a reminder for the rest of humanity. For me that reminder is: Never be arrogant and always thank you Creator for everything you recieve. For you that reminder may be something completely different, and what matters most is that we each take something home from our trips so they are not just pure fun, but affect our hearts in one way or another.

What you need to know about Egypt:

1. Everyone is constantly yelling. Egyptians are a passionate people. If they are yelling they are talking normally. If they are spitting in your face they are actually yelling. If they are shoving, it’s just another day. Don’t be surprised if you see yell matches every street corner at all times of the day. It’s Egypt.

2. Everyone and their mom wants ‘baksheesh’. Baksheesh is Egyptian for “tip me even if I say hello to you”. Adults and especially children will literally and shamelessly put their hands out and say “BAKSHEESH” until you give in. It’s a part of normal life over there, and giving baksheesh to a kid who eats one maybe two meals a day and lives in a shack is not a big deal at all. Just comply and make the intention that you are donating the money rather than giving baksheesh.

3. The sandwich stalls aren’t the greatest. Don’t expect good food on the side of the road. Get your food from a restaurant and you won’t be disappointed.

4. Everyone will try to rip you off. Go to Egypt with that understanding and you won’t get so upset or annoyed.

5. If you can fake an accent then do it. Have a cover story. We told them we are from Karachi, Pakistan on holiday and our prices were significantly lowered.

6. Keep your wallet in your front pocket at all times.

7. Bargain like crazy. If they say 100 pounds for a shirt, you say 25 pounds is all you have and bargain to a fair price, BUT keep in mind what is the most you’ll pay for that item otherwise you’ll be swindled faster than you can blink. Have a plan.

8. If you see the police or the tourist police doing something inhumane, don’t cry out for justice… just walk away. It’s not your business and it’s not your country. They’ll beat you, throw you in jail, and then the embassy will have to come fetch you. The Egyptian regime is one of the most tyrannical in the world, and they love tourists, until the tourists interfere in their business.

9. If the police question your religion, your looks, and start to hassle you and you are from the West, say you country name loud and clear so they walk away. If you’re not from the West, try to walk away, and if that doesn’t work, take out your wallet and hand them a 50 or a 100 note. It’s not worth the hassle.

10. Plan your trip well and ahead of time. It’s a beautiful country with much to see and lots to eat. You’ll have fun if you are well prepared.

Enjoy!

DSC06550 DSC06551 Smoking Kills

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