03.01.2012 - 04.01.2012 17 °C
Am writing this from Doha, Qatar.....the home of international soccer apparently....what a joke. Anyway, we are now on our way home and waiting for our connecting flight to Melbourne.
The last couple of days have been spent soaking up another half day of sun at Sharm and brushing off for a night at Cairo. This time we stayed closer to the airport, at the Fairmont. Really nice hotel and huge. It has squash courts (well played Sam but beaten by a better player on the day), tennis courts, a lot of restaurants, 3 pools, lounges and plenty more.
The girls spent the last day in Egypt shopping. They caught the complimentary 39 seat bus....just the 3 of them on it. Fortunately, they weren't able to fill it up with purchases. I visited the Heliopolis War Cemetery via a Cairo Cabbie....I figured later that I probably should have told him that I was only visiting the cemetery, and I was expecting to return to the hotel. Geez, the way he was driving, I reckon he was trying to put me there permanently!
On my return, in an effort to settle my nerves, Sam and I had a few games of squash which was a good way to finish the trip.
So I suppose this is it. What did we learn about Egypt???
1. Pedestrian crossings in Egypt are not for walking on they are there for cars to pick an easy target.
2. No smoking tables are tables without an ashtray. The table next to you will have an ashtray though, and the smoke will settle nicely over your meal.
3. When the traders want you to buy something, they will assume that the only reason that you are saying "no", is due to the price. There is no way that you actually don't want the piece of shit.
4. Sakkara King, at 10% alcohol, is not a beer. It is a mallet that comes in a 500ml can. Nothing but a mallet can cause the damage that the King can! Nothing! If you spill a can of this stuff, Emergency Services arrive with sirens, hoses, and full body suits.
5. When going to a public toilet, it is BYO toilet paper. It can be purchased by the sheet at the door.....but there is no point haggling. You have poor negotiating posture when your eyes, toes and knees are crossed.
6. Do not try to hire a car in Cairo. Psychiatric hospitals are full of foreigners who have tried.
7. Sakkara King......you know the drill.
8. In Egypt that have all kinds of food. Beef Kebabs, Chicken Kebabs, Lamb Kebabs, Pooch Kebabs, and probably Camel Kebabs. Learn to like Kebabs when traveling through Egypt.
9. Hibiscus Juice. Never heard of it? Come here and see how it is offered to you at every place you shop, eat, or sleep.
10. Unwanted optional extras on Cairo cars include, indicators, tail lights, and windscreen wipers. White lines on roads are totally ignored, as are traffic lights.
11. The media should get out a bit and stop trying to redo the same stories and add the amount of mayo that they do to their stories. Egypt's two main exports are Petroleum and Tourism. We found that 99% of the places and people were really hurting due to lack of tourists, and this is all due to the quality of the media coverage. Sure there are spots to find trouble if you are looking for it, but most tourism sites were many miles from trouble.
12. A "Little Girl" is worth more around Cairo than what they are further south. This could be because the guys in Cairo are full of crap, and the guys down south will deliver. It would appear that a "Little girl" is worth somewhere between 2 chickens and 5kg of bananas, and 5 Ferraris, 2 Hummers (with a full tank of petrol), and 200 camels. Will get back to you on the dollar figure.
All in all, we have had a great time in Egypt. Many laughs, many places that photos cannot do justice to (have had a crack though, 1500+ photos). We won't be having a slide night, it will be a slide week! Excited??????