American University in Cairo

Trip Start May 31, 2007
Trip End May 20, 2008

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Add Comment

Flag of Egypt  ,
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Spent the last few days in Cairo doing logistical stuff.  Easy stuff usually but in such a huge bustling congested city as Cairo...pure exhaustion!  Picked up my Tanzania Visa today at the Embassy, a short taxi ride but yesterday one that took over an hour because my driver didn't know where to go and asked for directions about 15 times.  I know how exhausting it was for me, I can only imagine the way the driver was feeling.  This all for 10 Egyptian Pounds, the equivalent of roughly 2 USD.  It's an incredibly difficult and stressful job and I feel for the drivers who at times are difficult to deal with regarding pricing for non - Arabic speaking westerners...of which I am one!

In contrast, the embassy was located on a winding tree lined back street and once inside, I could finally relax for a bit.  Found a taxi back and we were at the hostel in 15 minutes including traffic delays.

The American University in Cairo is a few steps away from where I am staying.  Heavy security surrounds the entrance but once inside (minus your id which stays with security) it is like any other university I have visited albeit with many young females wearing headscarfs.  Its great to see the enthusiasm for learning...which I believe gets lost a bit when the responsibilities of life weigh us down.  So many different nationalities interacting, striving for knowledge and meaningful interaction.  They have an extensive bookstore so I picked up a few Africa guides, a guide to Travelers Arabic by a British Publisher with such handy tips as how to ask for the location of the nearest British Embassy, a book on Iranian Women, a book about Islam and a book about Egyptian Women...should be good reading when I arrive at Sawa Camp on the Red Sea tomorrow!  Decided to take a long bus...should be interesting leaving Cairo at 6:00am...  The bus goes to the town I need but it has to drop me off somewhere north of the town and I'll have to walk down a dirt road to get to the camp...should be an interesting little adventure.  The proprietor of the camp said that I was to have the bus driver call him for directions when we reach Nuwieba...I'm sure that'll go smoothly.

Tonight for dinner I broke down and had a pizza from Pizza Hut and a sweet from Micky D's!  Arabic rock playing at the latter and the call to prayer playing at the first.  So many intricately scarfed young women, a few with the full faces covered.  A Spanish tourist in shorts and a tight singlet (or tank top) was arguing with the man behind the counter at McDonalds...she didn't realize that the cost of the meal did not include the 10% tax.  I explained it to her in Spanish and they both smiled as she paid the extra 1 L.E! 
Report as Spam
Add Comment

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: