Arriving in Cairo

Cairo, Egypt –

Finally! It’s begun! I flew into Cairo on October 12th and met Rich, who’s been traveling on the Continent for the last six weeks, at the Nile Hilton at midnight. Sat there and caught up with Rich until 3:45 A.M. when Sarah, our flatmate from New Zealand, arrived. I booked her her ticket, but didn’t get a chance to fully investigate her ticket as much as I should have. It turns out her flight left London and flew to Bucharest (Romania) then after a layover she boarded a second flight Bucharest to Cairo – Whoops! Sarah’s been a good sport about my mix up – we have been flatting in London together for the last year so we’ve grown close enough to overlook things like my not really knowing what I was talking about when I told her to pay for her Air Romania flight before I had my ticket.

Sarah had evidently had a few bottles of rum to drink with a couple of Australians during the two hour lay over in Romania and she was definitely showing the effects of a binge. She sat and chatted with us in the Hilton for a few minutes before excusing herself to go to the women’s loo to be sick. Once she was finished we got a cab outside, complete with a driver who didn’t speak much English and absolutely refused to take us to the hotel we’d requested. We ended up driving all over Cairo with our driver depositing us at various hotels that belonged to his brother or cousin or someone. They all wanted insane prices like US$30 per night, so we weren’t going to have anything to do with them whatsoever. He finally dropped us off at a hotel we’d requested only after all three of us were screaming as loudly as possible at our driver. (Welcome to the Third World.)

He dropped us off outside this backpacker’s place where we were met by yet another Egyptian dude. He led us into the elevator, sans door, and complete with skull and crossbones over the door stating that it would be detrimental to one’s health if more than three people got into the elevator at one time. I guess the Egyptian guy couldn’t decipher the 1 X 1 foot death symbol because he climbed into the elevator with us and tried to grope Sarah the entire ride up to the Fourth floor of the building. We got our room and laid down to sleep just as the first set of Islamic mosques was firing up their loud speakers to chant the day’s first prayer. Our room wasn’t bad – three beds, a fan and a balcony overlooking the street. Of course it was 5:00 o’clock in the morning so all I could spot was the rooster in the next building over. He looked as though he was ready to start a crowing.

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