A 21-year-old American in Cairo
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Feb 2, 2013 11:44 AM Last Post By: WSOrtega26
Jan 27, 2013 1:38 PM
A 21-year-old American in CairoMy ambitious dream is to fly to Cairo, Egypt in the late months of this year, ideally sometime between October and December. I'd like your perspective, fellow travelers, and Egyptians as well. I thought I'd post it here to draw the attention of Americans who have visited Cairo.
What You Should Know
1.) I intend to travel alone, walk alone and explore alone. That is, unless I find companionship in kindred spirits or interesting people.
2.) I am a 21-year-old female a tiny bit under 5'2.
3.) I am part Mexican - dark hair, dark eyes, and my skin is a lighter hue of beige. My language is English. I will attempt to learn Arabic, but I struggle with my Spanish, too. I continue to learn about the customs, culture and the way of life in Egypt, in all aspects.
4.) I intend to spend a month in the heart of the bustling city; ideally, in cheap hostels, such as Dina's hostel.
5.) My ambitious budget is $2,800. And somewhere between $1,100 to $1,400 is for the roundtrip flight between the United States and Cairo, Egypt.
6.) Depending upon how much money I can save, I'd like to explore Luxor and fly to Rome for a seven-day expedition.
7.) I am accustomed to traveling and vagabonding across the United States, and I have adapted to the bare necessities and outdoor elements - it's a lifestyle. But of course Egypt will be different.
1.) Is Egypt, and especially Cairo, a relatively safe place to travel alone to, with common sense and pepper spray as an ally? What precautions should I take? What should I be prepared for? Is it safe to walk alone and take buses throughout most of the city? Nighttime not a good idea? (Most likely.)
2.) I have heard of accounts of Egyptian men hassling Western and American women - groping, catcalling, making lude and often outright suggestive gestures, following them, touching them, etc. Of course I know that such behavior is not uniform to all Egyptian men, but how can it be avoided or reduced?
Is it a huge concern, a danger?
Because of my darker features, will Egyptian men percieve me differently from the standard prototype of fair skin, light eyes and light hair of American women? Will my appearance alter their attitude towards me?
3.) What can I do to show my respect of Egypt's culture?
What kind of things or experiences in Cairo will I find startling, strange, new and sometimes, uncomfortable?
What are the key, noticeable differences between America and Egypt?
4.) Is my modest budget realistic? Will I be expected to tip or bribe anyone in order to pass through certain points?
Is the food and water safe to eat and drink? What about street vendors?
5.) What should I expect from Cairo and its people? Its women? Its children? Its business people? Its young adults? Its students? How many Egyptians speak and understand English?
6.) Will I be allowed to explore the American University and talk to its international population?
7.) I intend to bring the bare necessities - but do you have suggestions?
8.) I am defying my socioeconomic status - I am poor, but an incurable dreamer, and most times, doer. Will Cairo see me differently because of my lack of wealth? Will my fellow Americans see me differently? (This seems like a myopic question, I know.)
9.) Lonely Planet recommends travel to Egypt in the time bracket I have chosen, but what should I expect from the weather, the landscape, the environment, the pulse of the city? What political opinion should I expect? Political atmosphere?
10.) Those with firsthand experience of traveling to Cairo, what do you feel I should know? No matter how small or insignificant you feel it is, I want to know. Recommendations of sights to see? Places to eat (though not very important to me)? Places to experience the most culture, the real Cairo? Places to take my breath away? Places to meet educated people? Souqs? Parks? Places, mostly hostels, to stay at? Places to meet intriguing characters? What is Dina's Hostel like?
Thank you so much for reading through all of this, and a thousand times more so if you take the time to answer some of my questions to the best of your knowledge. Shukran.
Jan 27, 2013 2:14 PM
Feb 1, 2013 4:20 AM
2Hey! I'm a 24 years old Pharmacist (male) living in Cairo. I'm interested to answer all ur questions and accompany you when you arrive. That is my email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb 2, 2013 11:44 AM
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