Friday, August 29, 2008

When Matt Levin was in Egypt land.....let my people go!

And I'm Israel.

I made it through 4 days of Egypt without getting kidnapped or shot at....I was prayed at a fair amount though. They have the call to prayer blasted over the city's loud speakers 5 times a day, the first one at 5AM (Yeah, I get it, its always time to pray).

Once again, I never, for a second, felt unsafe. In fact, I would definitely feel more comfortable walking around Cairo at 4AM than I would Chicago. There are literally two police officers at every single corner in the main area of the city all night long. Plus, the city really seems to never sleep. Most people don't go out until at least midnight and stay out until 6AM. So, at all hours of the night, there are plenty of people and cars in the downtown area.

One suggestion I do have for those visiting Cairo is to bring pants. I didn't bring any pants. I left my main suitcase at my cousins and only brought shorts with me. The problem with this is the fact that most of the nightlife revolves around the 5-star hotels in the city. Surprisingly, these 5-star hotels are not very fond of shorts and I couldn't do much of anything. Eventually, I became so frustrated that I went out looking for pants at 12:30 AM one night. Apparently, they are ready for this situation because I found the late night pants selling district quite easily. After trying on a few pairs of the "latest fashion", I found one that the street vendor assured me I was getting a great deal on.

During the days, I did the typical Cairo touristy things. I went to the pyramids, and saw the Sphinx. These things took 20 years to build, with 100,000 people working on them, just so some king could feel powerful (That's some self-confidence issues). Inside the pyramid, was not as impressive. After walking through a tiny crawl space for a good deal of time, all that you get to, is a tiny room where the tomb is kept. There is no ventilation inside and there is about 200% humidity.

The Nile was another highlight of Cairo. It runs right through the center of the city, and is the only reason life exists in the whole region in general. Every night there are thousands of people walking up and down its banks, just hanging out.

The last night I was in Cairo, I went on a Nile Cruise, complete with buffet dinner and a belly dancing show. The first dancer to come out was a little strange. I never did ask what was going on with this.

But then the belly dancer came on and everything was OK.

Overall, I am very glad I went to Cairo, but I don't have a need to go back. Everything seems very conservative, from the all out Muslim outfits, to the attitude towards non married couples
showing any affection (they are against it). It is certainly not a city to party in, but who needs to party, they just sit around and smoke sheesha.