Sep 07, 2005
When I arrived at the bazaar, it reminded me a lot of the Great Bazaar in Istanbul, though not so polished
. Many of the paths are dirt roads that are muddy and uneven, and strewn in garbage. Here the shop owners are very agressive, and try every trick in the book to get you in their shops. And much like Istanbul, there is a lack of handmade crafts and quality items, the majority being cheaply made and imported from places like India. Finding Egyptian cotton is a challenge!! I wasn't shopping for anything, so I wandered through for a while and then continued on my way.
In the evening I went to the sound & light show at the Pyramids. This is a fairly cheesy tourist attraction, where they narrate some of the history of the Pyramids and the Egyptians, and light them up and the Sphinx talks! Like I said, fairly cheesy, but interesting anyway. Just as the show finished it started to pour rain, which is not very common here. A few people have said it only rains a couple times each year! I was just going back to the hotel, so it didn't affect my evening. However, there were 2 more shows after the first one, so those people got soaked I'm sure!
On Monday I went on a long walk through central Cairo, ending at the Khan al Kalili Bazaar. It was an interesting walk, there were no other tourists so the hassle-factor was extremely low for once, until you arrive at the bazzar of course. But lots of staring, probably because most people are thinking what in the world is a tourist doing down here?? There are people absolutely everywhere, and most are trying to do some sort of business. There was a guy riding a bike selling bananas, another roasting some sort of yam on an open fire and selling them, clothes, electronics, household goods, anything is free game for people to be out in the street selling. Most of the people are very poor, and their living accomodations are very run down and dirty. many don't even have roofs or doors. There is a feeling of life and survival though, and making the best of things.