Africa, Destinations, Middle East, Travel Tips

Egypt 101

February 18, 2009 • By

Just a few helpful hints for those of you planning your Egyptian getaway:

  • Fuul: it’s not fuel and only foul to some and you’ll most definitely be full after you eat it.  An Egyptian specialty consisting of porridge looking bean grub, you simply must try adding your favorite veggies or Egyptian spices.
  • No Smoking: forget about it and enjoy the second hand smoke.
  • Being blonde is one thing; being uncovered and blonde means earth girls are easy.  Use your imagination.
  • The English language: Egyptians know it and they speak it but it’s like most married men–They only hear what they want to hear.
  • The Nile Cruise and all that it entails: it’s magic, natural beauty and cheese all wrapped in 3-5 days. Keep your fingers crossed they don’t play bingo or board games on your cruise.
    Noise:  if you are sensitive to sound or value your hearing, bring ear plugs to Cairo.
  • Females: if you are single, this is the place to find a soul mate/husband.  If you are married (and unhappy), it’s a great place to leave your husband.
  • No Tipsy?  You better hope you don’t hear these words. They will be uttered when you “forget” to tip on top of the 12% service tax that apparently doesn’t really include service. (All lies.)
  • Baksheesh:  another scary word. Beside the marriage proposals, you will hear this more than anything in Egypt. Remember toilets and directions are NEVER free.
  • PSSST:  my personal favorite. This is what happens to single, uncovered women whenever they walk passed a Egyptian man.  It is done very quietly but loud enough for the intended victim to hear. I call it the Muslim sexual innuendo and find it quite annoying.
  • This is not Black Africa.
  • When you ask the taxi driver the fare and he says, “as you like.”  He really means, “hey sucker you pay what I want.”
  • Wake up calls:  they are not necessary. You have big brother on the megaphone calling you to prayer at 5 am.
  • “You’re Welcome:” this is used at will.  They think it means you are welcome (to Egypt). Ie.  “Is this your first time to Egypt?”  Yes, it is.  “Your welcome.”  Did you like your dinner?  Yes, it was good. “Your welcome.”  I didn’t say thank you. Oh well.
  • When single and trying to enjoy your meal don’t do anything but eat. Otherwise, every male service person will say to you without fail, “I should like to escort you.”  I never stayed long enough to figure out where my escort would lead but my advice is make friends fast.
  • “You come to my shop?  No buy!” This means you can come to my store and I will show you 80 rugs, 50 perfume fragrances and lie to you about the price. When you don’t buy, I’ll stomp up and down and give you dirty looks.
  • Originating from Ancient Egypt we have modern words and phrases like: Keep one eye opened, Nemesis, key to life.
  • Egyptian men are sly dogs and Egyptian women don’t think anyone knows they are wearing tight jeans and lingerie under those conservative dresses.
  • When all else fails and you can’t cross the street, either take a cab or hold on to an old lady.
  • Lastly, the Chinese tourists have replaced the Japanese; the Russian’s have replaced the French and Italian. The English are hanging on and the rest are naively afraid to visit an amazing country rich with history, beauty and culture.