Egyptian currency ??

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Sep 1st, 2000, 10:56 AM
  #1
Charlie
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Egyptian currency ??

One of my pet peeves is being hassled and that's the reason I would never return to Jamaica(baggered to the point of not being able to enjoy your surroundings).We are leaving on a 10 day tour of Egypt on the 15th and I've read numerous stories about "baksheesh"and how it's part of the Muslim culture and belief that those that have it should pass it around.I certainly hope that its not as bad as I've been reading however I intend grin and bear it and reward a job well done.Now for my question,I've read in a number of sources that small denominations of Egyptian currency are hard to acquire in quanity and it's difficult to make change for larger bills in many places,I've also read that one can not bring Egyptian currency into Egypt,so does anyone have first hand info and/or advice currency exchanges,difficulty in getting small bills and "baksheesh" in general. Thanks in afvance.
 
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Sep 1st, 2000, 11:55 AM
  #2
Patricia
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I'm not going until November, but have learned (on this site) that you will pass an exchange bank after leaving your plane in Cairo airport (before you get to Customs) and you can get your Egyptian currency there. Baksheesh can be handled by carrying lots of one pound (30 cents) and 50 piastre(?) 15 cents)notes. And get the rest in mostly 5 and 10 pound notes. Then you don't have the problem of getting change back. Egyptian pound is slightly more than 3 to a dollar, so divide pounds by 3 to figure U.S. currency. I was advised (many times) to take inexpensive ballpoint pens and given those to children as baksheesh instead of money.
At any rate, 15-30 cents (50 piastres or 1 pound) are sufficient for requests for baksheesh.
See the message about "Cairo safe at night?" further down and check out "crelly" (Alice) for her tips. I found them very helpful.
 
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Sep 1st, 2000, 11:58 AM
  #3
Patricia
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Oops! That site I told you to check is "Egypt--Arrival safe at night."
 
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Sep 1st, 2000, 12:08 PM
  #4
Charlie
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Thanks for the reply Patricia.My main concern was the difficulty in acquiring the 1 pound and smaller notes.I'm lead to beleive that they are hard(in quantity) to get even at the airport.
 
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Sep 8th, 2000, 11:46 AM
  #5
Ashley
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Hi. The small pound and piaster (like cents) notes are very coveted. We had to ask specifically for them from the bank. Many times stores don't want to make change - even though you know they have it. We had a wallet full of big money and a wallet full of "backsheesh" money (small bills). Think of the backsheesh thing as fun - that way it won't iritate you as much. One Egyptian pound is only like 27 cents so its not like you are going to go broke giving one away.
 
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Sep 8th, 2000, 01:11 PM
  #6
carol
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I've heard that Egyptians will often act disappointed at the small amount of a tip, hoping for more. Is this true most of the time or only occasionally? How much is a reasonable tip for a guide or taxi driver or someone helping with bags?
 
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Sep 9th, 2000, 08:44 AM
  #7
Myriam
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Carol,
It is indeed so that they often act disappointed and they may even become rude. We have encountered this attitude especially at the carriage rides in Edfu and Luxor.
 
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Sep 10th, 2000, 07:30 AM
  #8
Dianne
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When I tipped someone (usually 1 pound), I just gave it and turned and walked away. No one ever called after me and asked for more. If you tip and then stand and wait for a reaction, maybe they think you might give more. I carried a pound in each pocket so I wouldn't have to pull out my wallet each time and flash all my money. I didn't mind the tipping in Egypt because I received such excellent service that, at times, I felt like visiting royalty! People were extremely hospitable.

Before I left Canada, I ordered some Egyptian currency from my bank and asked for some 1 pound notes to get me started.
 
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Sep 10th, 2000, 01:42 PM
  #9
Rudy
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Is there anyone else who is annoyed at this practise? I finally held myself in long enough. I was in Egypt in May, and had an enjoyable two weeks, spoiled only by the continual hands out of the Egyptians we came in contact with. It gave me a negative, and I know inaccurate, view of Egyptians. I know they are poor, and we are rich by comparison, but I would imagine that most Egypians have far too much dignity to do this. Somehow, to me, handing out ballpoint pens to kids, no matter how much *they* ask for them, is demeaning to them, and strikes me as much more of a *rich* American thing to do than not responding. It is certainly not helpful to these kids in the long run. I was even asked by tourist policemen for ballpoint pens. While we were in Egypt, we gave tips to people who provided us with services, the same as we would do in any country. And before I get labeled as an uncaring rich American, I would like to say that both my wife and I have worked in African countries among the poor for a church agency. Both of us have just retired from non-profit service organizations, and we give generously and sacrificially to world hunger organizations, and church organizations that seek to *help* people of the third world. This is not a troll. That is my correct email address, and if you would to flame me, go ahead.
 
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Sep 10th, 2000, 03:29 PM
  #10
joy
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Well, be prepared for the backsheeba. It is indeed their culture. Also bargaining for EVERYTHING. You do quickly fall into the routine of barganing. We usually got our water for EP1.50, instead of the 3-4 the asked for. But when you think of it, how much is 3-4EP? You just get used to the bargaining, and don't want to inflate the prices for future tourists. We were lucky in that we didn't pay any of the guards or admission people. I did, however notice our guide always discretely handed money to whoever we bought tickets from, took a picture of, or whatever. I was grateful he did that, and we didn't have to hassle with it.
 
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