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[Entry 13] Egypt summary type thing.

13 December 201001:42PMepic-triptravel

I'm sitting in a Starbucks-wannabe in Cairo airport. It's 3:30 AM and our flight to Florence leaves in about an hour and a half. Normally I'd be trying to hurry dad up and get through as early as possible, but we're literally outside the gate and there's still a delayed flight to Casablanca waiting there, I don't even think our flight has landed yet. Our drive across the city at 1am is the nicest I've ever seen Cairo. It was a clear night, and I mean totally clear, which is impossible for the Cairo I've seen, especially considering that there was a massive dust storm yesterday. The city is actually beautiful at night. The dark hides all the grime and junk, and they light up all the monuments like the mosque in the citadel (and actually a lot of the other mosques in the city) and the effect is really pretty.

So now that I'm back in the shapeless uniformity of airportland, I thought I'd reflect on Egypt a bit, specifically a few anecdotes I forgot in the day log thingies. You know the good stories are the ones you want to tell someone when you call home, and talking to Matt the other night made me write down a couple.

So that's that. The tour group we were on was really great. I'll stick this photo in again, and label it.

So, from left to right:

Also, my mum emailed me the other day asking what koshari was. So because our flight still isn't boarding, I'm going to do a little sort of glossary.

Koshari is An Egyptian dish. Very common, and very cheap - 2-5 pounds (40c-$1) in a local restaurant. Enjoyed by poor people and rich people alike. It's a mix of rice, pasta, fried onions, beans and lentils, covered in tomato sauce. If you're at a fancy restaurant they'll bring out (very very) hot sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. If you're in a street restaurant they'll have exactly the same thing but in grimy old tin jugs and bowls, instead of bottles. Delicious. Baksheesh is a cross between a tip and a bribe. You generally have to baksheesh if you want to get anything done in Egypt, and often even if you don't want anything done. Everything from taking someone's photo to using the toilet has baksheesh associated with it.

Okay, flight's boarding. Glossary over. In fact, post over. In fact, Egypt over.

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