February 13, 2012

Top 8 bizarre observations about Egypt

I had the great fortune to run off to Egypt and visit some fabulous and gracious friends in Cairo just a few short weeks before the Arab uprising took hold of the country.  I'm sure the country is very different now than it was before rioting and craziness ensued, but I imagine that most of these cultural oddities still exist.

1.  No one has small change that they are willing to give, but you are expected to have small change at all times.  Offering large bills to pay for items or services results in Emmy-worthy drama.

2.  75% of small boats on the Nile have flags erected on a pole.  99.9% of these flags are Rastafarian.  100% the Rastafarian flags are tattered to hell and back.

3.  Vehicles drive without lights after dark in order to save energy.  This is apparently much more important than saving, oh, human lives.

4.  Somewhere in Cairo, someone is driving this:

5.  Every vehicle dash console in Egypt is graced with a fur cover and an ornately-decorated kleenex box.

6. There are two English phrases that every Egyptian knows:  "Where you from?" and "Obamaaaaa!"

7.  Every tourist site and anything that could be remotely interpreted as a tourist site has metal detectors and x-ray machines at the entrance.  Perhaps 40% of these are actually functional.

8.  It sucks to be this camel:


  1. Corollary to point 7: Those that work, no one cares if it beeps.

    Otherwise, good work summarizing Egypt in 8 points.

  2. Excellent point, Seth! The 40% that work only really work if someone cares. If you have any other truths about Egypt, I'd love to hear them - you are much more qualified to speak on it than I am!