Wandering Cairo

We’re both getting a little tired of the chaos and filth of Cairo. Today we wandered around the city looking for the Tanzanian embassy. No such luck finding it because in my infinite wisdom, during the planning of this trip it didn’t dawn on me that we wouldn’t be able to read any of the Arabic street signs, hence the inability to get our visa issued. It was super hot and we were definitely way outside the downtown tourist area. We decided to stop for Cokes and since the vendor didn’t speak English, and I certainly didn’t speak Arabic I handed him E£2 for our two Cokes. I got change of E£1.50 for the TWO Cokes. Then it dawned on us – the price for locals is 25pts (US$.08); we’d been getting screwed for the past fifteen days. From that point forward we’d only give the Coke vendors exact change, which would totally piss them off because they couldn’t screw us anymore.

This is also about the same time we learned to let the locals make their purchase ahead of us so we could watch them to see what price they paid for the same items. In the downtown area of Cairo the Cokes were 30pts, and when Rich was about to get in an argument with the vendor an Egyptian guy came up and bough a Coke for the 30pts price.

Rich and I walked around some more, then went out for a late dinner. Neither one of us wanted to sit in the room that night so we headed over to the cinema strip and bought tickets for some Egyptian movie that was playing. We’d chosen this cinematic masterpiece by looking at the various movie posters, then looking at which theatre had the longest line to get in. We bought our tickets and went inside. The locals inside were totally surprised to see us, and were quite amused that we were going to see a movie that we didn’t understand.

The movie we’d chosen turned out to be what appeared to be the equivalent of one long episode of Magnum P.I. (Rich called it Mohammed P.I.). It was about this cop who was trying to find this woman who was killing businessmen around the city. This woman, the killer, had been raped as a young girl, so now all she did was go out and pick up men in the bars. She’d convince them to take her to their house, then, after she did this strip tease type dance she’d kill them – sort of her revenge on the male gander. We sat there for two hours until the cop chasing the killer, Mr. Mohammed P.I. finally caught her, but the movie just wouldn’t end. It seemed that they were going to have a trial and send the woman to prison or something, so on that note Rich and I decided it was time to go.

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