Cairo Archives

February 3, 2007

The Predators

To my surprise, I was met at the gate by a representative of Top-Deck Travel and escorted through Immingration and Customs and whisked across the city (through hellacious traffic) to the Indiana Hotel on the west bank of the Nile. The hotel is "old school" but comfortable enough (with an little Internet cafe on the first floor).

On my way over to the ATM at the nearby Sheraton, I "made friends" with an Egyptian on the street who, not surprisingly, had something to sell. I wound up in his papyrus shop and wasted about 45 minutes listening to him and his brother give me all sorts of deals on Egyptian art and touring opportunities, before I begged off and went about my business. The fellow who struck up the conversation was certainly friendly and pleasant, but it really is a hassle to be thought of as prey by every enterprising Indian or Egyptian I walk by on the street.

February 4, 2007

Song Of The Day #35

This pretty much describes my life since November: "Man In A Suitcase" by The Police.

The Police - Zenyatta Mondatta - Man in a Suitcase

The Jewel Of The Nile

I have a free day in Cairo before I join my tour group tonight, so I'll be doing some solo exploring. Tomorrow we go to the Antiquities Museum and then to the Giza Pyramids.

No Super Bowl For This Guy

As I only get one English language channel--Star Movies--in my hotel, watching the Super Bowl tonight is not in the cards. Not a huge loss, really, though the commercials are probably more than half of the attraction of the event. (By the way, there's a rumored Apple ad on tap, one that announces the availability of The Beatles catalogue on iTunes Music Store, following the settlement of lots of litigation between Apple Computer and Apple Records over the use of the "Apple" name associated with selling music. We'll see. Or rather, you will see and I'll read about it tomorrow.)

Security Presence

It's clear that security concerns are a big deal around the city. I noticed that all of the big hotels--especially the American names (Hilton, Hyatt, Sheraton)--have vehicle checkpoints and even metal detectors to clear before one gets into the building. Police armed with rifles or machine guns are on many street corners, as well. Egypt is a moderate Arab state with historically close ties to the U.S. and has enjoyed a peaceful relationship with Israel since 1977--all factors that could potentially fuel the flames of Islamic radicals in this country. Since tourism is so integral to the economy of Egypt, one can understand why such a huge investment has been made in securing the city and all of the tourist sites throughout the country, especially after a bloody terrorist machine gun attack on tourists about a decade ago.

February 5, 2007

Song Of The Day #36

"Walk Like An Egyptian." The name of this song is the "pick-up line" the locals use when they want to strike up a conversation to lead you to a shop. This first time I heard it Saturday afternoon, I thought it was amusing and somewhat charming. But when I heard it for the third time within 24 hours, I realized it was a common piece of schtick. The original song, of course, is by The Bangles.

The Bangles - Bangles: Greatest Hits - Walk Like an Egyptian

Map Update

Here is the updated map of my sabbatical globe-trotting:

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Here is a bigger version of the map.

Spirits Of Ancient Egypt


Today was a sight-seeing day, as the photo above suggests. Pretty surreal to be hanging out in view of something you've seen pictures of your whole life.

Tonight my group--six others: four Aussies and two Kiwis--and I are on the overnight train to Luxor.

February 10, 2007

Out Of Africa

Back in Cairo, after the overnight train ride from Aswan. While my group heads out for some sight-seeing, I have the morning to nap, get cleaned up, pop on the Internet, and then head to the airport.

I've enjoyed the Egypt segment of my trip. It's been educational and fun.

Song Of The Day #41

"I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain." So sang Elton John in "Daniel."

Elton John - Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player - Daniel

About Cairo

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to As Far As You Know in the Cairo category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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