things I wish I'd known before I went to Egypt

Jan 13th, 2010, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,503

grcxx, in my family it would be the X-chromosomes (ME!!)

I do believe we're "back on track" now -- Ivy made her points (which are good ones, noone is disagreeing with that), we all had our say, and others who read this can see both sides!!
sf7307 is online now  
Jan 13th, 2010, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 28,514
Also just back from Egypt although spent only one day in Cairo...

Ivy - we took an evening ride with our guide through the city from the pyramids to the bazaar as my oldest has never been to one and I think it's an experience and also something she should learn to navigate as she plans to study in the Middle East. I didn't realize at the time but my older daughter was in the back seat absolutely petrified by the ride. When we got out an hour later she was white as a ghost and trembling.

Funny, because I'm usually the scaredy cat and I was fine as was my younger daughter - plus we are the ones who get carsick!

I realized that my younger daughter and I had spent 8 days in Morocco and 3 weeks in Tanzania on prior trips. This was my older daughter's first trip to a 3rd world country and she was just overwhelmed. (She was also having trouble with the food...and feeling generally anxious.)

She followed this trip by a trip to Beirut (very different city apparently) and is doing much better but still having some culture issues and adjustments.

I also used to feel that because I lived in NYC I was ready for anything. In reality, NYC is pretty calm and amazingly clean and civilized compared to so many other places.

Don't give up on these kinds of trips. Next time you will have your handwipes and TP, and Avalox, and an ETEC vaccination etc and all will go much smoother.

I promise!

Somewhere in the lounge is a thread I started about how nervous I was about going to Tanzania. (Volunteering, not a fancy safari trip). Tanzania did have a lot of sensory overload, there were a number of scary experiences (including my daughter's snake encounter and bats swarming us one night) but we loved it. We are going back this year to a different town there. I don't feel nervous this time. Just really excited. I haven't told my daughter yet that there are pet lizards in the room and no hot water...last year we had hot water every other day or so...shhhh, mums the word.

gruezi is offline  
Jan 13th, 2010, 11:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 318
the "tourist" vs "traveler" point is a bit condescending whether one considers oneself either a tourist or a traveler, trips should be fun and fulfilling.
Ivy is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 221
Hi All

Ive been a bit MIA Lately, my boss made a new year resolution to off load more in 2010 lol

Grxx3 and Percy - count me in, ill need it in 2010! have read so much about binge drinking in the UK I think I might try it myself thanks for including me

Ivy, Thank you so much for giving us your experiences, of course this is what forums are all about. Personally myself, I never felt threatened in any way by the baksheesh etc because I just changed my la shukran for a scottish FO and it did the trick.

On the toilet paper, I went ski-ing in a great resort in Italy and had worse toilets and worse TP experiences, at one point it was just a hole in the floor, which is not much good with ski boots on and a pair of padded sallopets to manouver in.

I agree your trip should be fun and fulfilling, but it is also educational for us all to see how we take a lot for granted and perhaps its good for us to get a wake up call too.

On your point about the waiter, I had something similar with my DH and I being with a few males in a cafe one night, one of the men just wouldnt look at me at all when talking to us, and I thought it was exceptionally ignorant. So much so that I started making sarcastic comments, which didnt go down too well.

But, we spoke to an Egyptian associate who informed me that it is disrespectful for the men to talk directly to another man's wife unless he knows her well, so the man was actually giving me more respect than most of the men I work with its just a case of adapting to the culture sometimes and we often think that they should adapt to ours, but really we are (in English speaking countries) sometimes a bit too expectant, and think that everyone should speak to us the way it is in our home countries and deal with us the same.

I read a great book before I went to Egypt written by a lady who lives in Egypt (an american lady) and it gave me a great insight into what to expect, so I didnt have any major difficulties. And when the boys on my cruise pointed to the towels and smiled I said to them.... wow Im lucky if I can iron my towels at home.

To anyone who hasnt been to Egypt yet, dont let anything put you off this wonderful country, but go with your eyes open, your mind prepared and with a sense of humour. and you will enjoy every bit of it - good and bad.

I cant put my hands on the book right now but I'll let you know as soon as I find it, as it is a great little read.

scotsgirl is offline  
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