Monday, January 25, 2010

Egypt 2010!

The sphynx and pyramids! I went inside a pyramid... It's all rock. Hahaa

Yes that's a baby crocodile on my head

I write this as I sit on the top deck on the River Nile cruise we’ve been on for a couple of days now. The wind in Egypt is surprisingly chilly today, even though yesterday it was a sweltering 30 degrees. IT was soo hot that I think my brain expanded and couldn’t contract for the next few hours, leaving me with a throbbing headache and a runny nose.

Egypt is EXTREMELY exciting. How so you might ask?

1) There are NO traffic rules in Egypt. The only one the guide suggested was, when it’s a red light, you go. When it’s a green light, you go faster. There are no lanes whatsoever. I never thought I’d see a city road with no car lanes! And signalling is practically redundant because the horning never stops. People just horn for every single reason, whether it’s to say ‘hey move faster’ or ‘hey there’s a cat on the street’ or ‘hey, my horn sounds cool’. They just NEVER stop horning. So can you imagine how my mum and I crossed the road? IT took us a full 5 minutes to make our way across a couple of large roads without getting killed!

2) Touts are EVERYWHERE. We get the same phrase said to us about 200 times a day which goes somewhat like this:

‘Hello, Japanese?’ –no- ‘Chinese?’ – no- ‘Korean?’ –no-

Or some helpful stranger will kindly help you cross the road or point you in the right direction, but not actually bring you to where you wanna go before pulling you to their shop or their father’s shop or their brother’s wife’s nephew’s friend’s shop. I think my mum and I have been pulled into these kind of shops about 3 times in 2 days. I must say though, they are extremely hospitable by nature. Not that it’s always about the sales. But because of all the ripping off that goes about, tourists aren’t brave enough to trust them, which is the sad part about this awesome country. Prices they quote you are about 10 times more than what the goods are worth. However, I did get a couple of free perfume bottles because the guy was really nice. I think we were supposed to tip him or at least return the favour by buying something, but I’m thick skinned enough to not fall into this social pressure and just accept the gift without reciprocating. Well, I did let the guy kiss my hands and cheeks like 200 times though.

3) There’re LOADS of funny animals in Egypt! I got to ride a camel (yes, it was quite pricey, $14 for 10minutes of ass wobbling walking) But it was SO fun. I would do it again without hesitation. I would even take the camel around the pyramids if I could!! It was that fun. Because camels are SO tall, you really get a different view of everything around you. I also got to hold a 6 month old baby crocodile! What’s more, I got to put it on my head!! Well, the guy put it on my head. But how cool is that??? And there were adorable kittens an puppies all over. I haven’t seen strays is ages, both in Singapore and in Brisbane. Sad that these little guys were a little scrawny and mangly though.

4) Walking around Cairo or the suburbs of Cairo itself can be exciting on it’s own cos you never know when you may die. Nah I’m kidding. It’s just really different to see confusing alleys, bad sewage and flies in hordes of 100 million at a time.

And of course Egyptian history is fascinating. =)

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