Woman Traveling Alone
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jun 6, 2013 1:52 AM Last Post By: catw
Feb 18, 2013 6:33 AM
15Thank you all very much for this useful information. To the other woman traveling (I'm sorry I've forgotten your user name since starting this reply!) I'm going about the same time that you are. I will nonetheless report back when I get home.
I am still very much looking forward to this trip of a lifetime - but it will not be my only time, I think: as my boyfriend cannot come along this time, I have promised to go back with him another time.
I hope I will not experience as much harassment as I'm reading in the articles, but I will remain wary and steel myself in case I do. I'm even taking weekly tutoring in Arabic between now and my trip, not because of the sexual harassment concern, but just so I can find my way around and be polite. I don't know whether speaking a few words in Arabic will help or hurt the unwanted attention, but no matter. I'll learn to manage it. Maybe my language tutor will give me some advice in this area.
I don't know if an unsolicited plug is inappropriate on this forum? I just wanted to share that I found a language tutor through verbalplanetdotcom - it connects me with a female tutor in Cairo - we connect via skype for our lessons - and the service is amazing. I can do one on one lessons during my lunch hour without ever leaving my desk and she is a very good teacher. I have had only one lesson so far (a free, trial lesson no less!) and I can say about 10 words already - I've been practicing all week - and I have learned three letters so far, each with its three iterations. It makes me look forward to this trip all the more. I have no connection at all to the service; I'm just very happy with it and thought others here might like it, too.
Jun 5, 2013 6:32 PM
16Hey Charlotte Parisi, Are you back from Egypt? Too bad we didn't bump into each other. How did you enjoy your trip? I'm back and I didn't enjoy Egypt very much. Should have gone with a tour. So many obstacles-from language barrier to no street signs in English (like the guide books show!), to unhelpful people and the harassment of selling stuff was unnerving. I got lost in Cairo twice...cried...and was helped both times by young Egyptians! Very thankful! An Egyptian woman was yelling at me in Arabic and I didn't know what the heck I did! I couldn't come and go as I usually do and that culture shock was disturbing. I wound up taking taxis and having drivers wait for me...something I didn't want to do. Everyone views you as a walking ATM machine...its ridiculous. "Where are you from?" "America?" "Obama!" A tout at the pyramids (did you see the US warnings about Egypt?...it IS TRUE and NOT baseless) kept bothering me and was following me all over asking about camel rides. I had to scream at him to stop and he said...."are you crazy?" but it worked and he left me alone! I also used some underhanded "tricks" I want to share....put on your ipod so you can't hear them and if they persist, start singing. I said...crazy american and they left me alone. I even resorted to sign language (I know a little) when my battery for ipod died and that worked the best of all, except for one creative man signing giddyup and saying horse ride! They say people are just trying to make a living, but come on...I was so on edge being CONSTANTLY bothered even after being polite and saying no thank you or la shukran! I realized I was too old for independent foreign travel. I understand about immigration now...why people want to live in the U.S. Nobody maintains anything there! Not their cars, trucks, buildings, animals even the beloved Nile was filthy and polluted. So sad. Even with all that, I did get to see and do everything I wanted: All day at the Egyptian Museum, pyramids and sphinx; Abu Simbel and felucca on the Nile @Aswan; Luxor Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs. Its just a shame that the last ancient wonder of the world HAS to be in a place like Egypt! I did encounter a few nice people-at the hotels but I assume its because I'm spending $$$ there! I also didn't enjoy the haggling. One guy wanted $93.00 (I had a converter w/me) for something you get at a dollar store and I said...I'm not playing the haggling game-I paid 150 Egyptian pounds for a souvenir for me (a tablet pendant w/ankh and hieroglyphs) and he kept haggling, so I left and went to a woman a few stands away and said...How much for that little sheesha and she said 150 Egyptian pounds (she didn't hear the transaction) and I gave her the $$. She was probably wondering why I didn't haggle! The guy was waiting for me and shook his head..I said to him...you shouldn't have been so greedy. He even blocked my way a few times and that is scary. I kept telling him I wasn't playing the haggling game, but he didn't listen. A few times I didn't leave my hotels (ate there mostly all meals) because I felt so uncomfortable!
Jun 6, 2013 1:52 AM
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