Time & Money


Nov 22nd, 1999, 12:35 PM
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Time & Money

Hi, I'm traveling to Egypt over New Year's and have few general questions: How many hours is the flight from JFK to Cairo? What is the time difference between EST and Cairo? Based on the exchange rate at the time, what advice can you give about calculating if you're paying a good price for meals and merchandise? Tips on haggling with merchants, please (above and beyond that, yes, you should!). Advice on tipping everyone else -- taxis, bellhops, wait staff, maids, etc. -- what's expected and to whom?

Thank you in advance for any advice, tips, info. Linda
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Nov 22nd, 1999, 03:21 PM
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The flight is about 12 hours. There are 7 hours difference (when it is 12pm EST, it is 7pm over there). Currently, 1 US$ is equal to LE(Egyptiane Pound) 3.40. If you are buying souvenirs, do not hesitate to start haggling at 20% or 25% the price you are told. As for meals, there isn't, as far as I know, any possiblity for haggling (unless you are buying fruits or raw vegetables at the market). Prices vary between around LE3 for an Egyptian dish called koshari or less then LE1 for a falafel or a fava beans sandwich, to a whole lt more if you go to a 5 stars restaurant.
For an idea about restaurants and their rates (and nightlife in general), check www.egypttoday.com, or, when you are in Egypt, look for a free monthly guide called "The Croc". It is not comprehensive, but it is excellent, and the comments are usually on the spot.For info about where to find it, you can e-mail them at [email protected].
As for tipping, do not tip taxi drivers. And haggle with them, because whatever they ask for is going to be 3, 4 or 5 times the real price. They are the worse. Even with Egyptian customers, they always try to get more then they deserve. As for maids, bellboys, etc..., LE1 or LE2 should do it. Actually, you can tip a cab driver if he helps you carry your luggage, but be conservative, since he will have charged you more than he should have, even after all the bargaining you can go through. There is no escape.
I hope you have a great time!
PS: feel free to e-mail me if yu have anymore questions.
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