contemporary Egypt - My Family Travels


Contemporary Egypt

            In September 2006, I was given the change to go to Cairo Egypt to visit my family who happened to lived there. As soon as I set foot at the airport; I was appalled by how there system works. For some reason, the expiration date on my visa was dated Aug 2006, which will make it expired. I didn’t know about it since I couldn’t understand their written language. An expeditor met me at the airport. It turns out for the price of 500 Egyptian pounds they were able to renew my visa. Although, it was for my advantage, I couldn’t seem to understand how corrupt their system is. Egypt is like any other third world country; unpaved roads, and foul smell. While driving to my parent’s house, I was shocked how people just cross the road without even looking. The expeditor said, people just leave it in sha ala (in God’s will). This behavior alarmed me, because I have not seen such in America more so in Arizona at all. Although I believe that people die when it’s their time, but I’ve not heard people die due to their own doing.

During the time I was in Cairo, Ramadan was being observed; although I have an idea what it is I didn’t know how the practices where until I saw it for myself. It was almost 11 o’clock when I reached the place but there were a lot of people in the streets. The expeditor advised me that because its Ramadan people usually celebrate and eat until dawn. It was a festive mood, it reminded me of Christmas – or so I thought.

            The following day my mother decided to bring me and my grandmother to the Pyramids of Giza. On the way there, the mood was rather different. The people were lethargic and they seem to be angered for some reason. My mother explained to me that they have not eaten since the break of dawn, and will not eat until the sun sets. In third world countries, automobiles are for the privileged, but public transportations are available. In Egypt however, there were not a lot of public transportation; instead they used wagons pulled by donkeys. It was a horrible sight; you can see how tired the donkey was from carrying a enormous cart with people on it. They don’t seem to care about these donkeys, when they die they just leave it in the creek. When we reached the pyramid of Giza, it was different scenery. Far from the congested Cairo, it looked gorgeous than in the pictures I’ve seen. There were a lot of tourists, and with opportunists flock. I understand the fact that we had to pay but I wasn’t aware that we have to tip every single one in the vicinity. Take for instance the attached photo with the camel; I had to pay 100 pounds to the owner and the care taker of the camel. And if you want a camel tour it’s another 300 pounds.

            After visiting the pyramid, we went to Sharm El Shiek. We stayed at the Jollieville resort- a five star hotel for 110 USD. Indeed it’s a beautiful resort; they have a big pool and a restaurant overlooking the sea. Their breakfast is outstanding, a hall as big as a convention room is full of contemporary foods with varieties of bread, Danish, cheeses and other dish. We had a boat ride to another island, for 30 Egyptian pounds. The whole place was a paradise waiting to be discovered. By the end of the day, my family and I ate by the seaside and paid 80 dollars for all of it. It was a great experience that I will never forget. Although their people weren’t as hospitable unlike people in Thailand or any Asian country, the scenery and the experience itself it more than enough. I came back to United States, with fond memories of how great this country is. 

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