Yeah, Cairo

Trip Start Jul 29, 2009
1
20
55
Trip End Jan 23, 2010


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Flag of Egypt  ,
Monday, September 7, 2009

So. Cairo. Yeaahhhh.... Let me start with this. The pyramids are awesome. I have been waiting my whole life to see them as well as the Sphinx. Also the Egyptian Museum in Cairo was just amazing. It contained loads of Ancient Egyptian artifacts and information. We could have spent all day there, especially when we started to think again about what we had to face again once we left. The museum also contained the findings of King Tutenkhamen (sp?), including the infamous face-mask and his tomb (both made entirely out of gold and gems), his worldly belongings and so many other things. He had more gold buried with him than I have ever seen. We were also taken to see the Muhammad Ali Mosque. It was very beautiful and very much the same as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul that we visited a few weeks earlier. We then went and saw a church and a temple. 
The city, you ask? I would really recommend going to Cairo if you like to hang out in Hell. I know I don't, which is why I have no interest in going back to Cairo. To me, it was a lot like Tijuana but a hell of a lot worse. for more reasons than I am going to talk about now. Most of the Egyptian people are very nice. But the ones that we, as tourists, had direct contact with are shiestily trying to get your money by any means possible. There were people scamming everywhere we went. People inside of the boundaries of the Pyramids approaching us, literally trying to force us to take a picture with them after pretending to be employees and demanding to see our tickets, only so they can follow you around afterwards, yelling and screaming that you owe them money for it. The different variations of this same kind of scam are infinite. How about this little doosy: "Hello my friend, where are you from?" "Uh.... California." "Welcome to Alaska!".... with a hand held out like ''give me money now!'' What??! That doesn't even make sense!! Come on! Really, the only thing that one can do as a tourist is completely ignore them when they approach you. It seems rude, but there is no other alternative. In one picture you can see how Tara and I got scammed at the Pyramids. It only cost me a dollar for him to leave us alone, but well worth the lesson. There is a picture with a sleazy-looking Egyptian posing with his scarf on her head. After he forced us to take a picture with him (and I do mean FORCED!!) and then followed me around for 5 minutes demanding money. His tactics were impressive: yell loudly until they give you what you want. Of all people in Egypt, he probably needed the money the least. I saw him get lots of money out of other tourists in the short time we were there. He was also relatively fat, and there really aren't any overweight people around here. Business must be good.... dooooosshhh bag!!!!  
Cairo is a city of over 18 million people. A city that was built in the Sahara Desert with one water source providing for all of the people, the Nile River. At the edges of every part of the city is a sea of sand for miles and miles. But like every other huge city in the world, there is a lot of poverty. Here especially. People are everywhere trying to sell things on the streets, there is garbage everywhere, and the air quality makes modern LA seem like the High Sierras. It is not exactly the most pleasant city to visit, especially if one is coming from a westernized background. I would recommend going to another Egyptian city as quickly as one can see the Pyramids, Sphinx, a mosque and the Egyptian museum, which only would take a few hours. Glad we came, probably won't come back. 
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