There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first is excellent, the second good, and the third useless.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Egypt – Cairo

I hated it, it was dirty, sleezy, stank and had all the charm of a rotting cow carcass. My dad told me before I went that one day in Cairo has the same effect on your lungs that smoking 20 cigarettes has… and that’s probably about right. It’s really easy to get caught up with people, really easy to start thinking that they are nice and genuine, when really they just want your money. This point was really drove home to me whilst stood in a little shop down the road from our hotel. I was approached by a man called Halal who spoke near perfect English and was exceedingly charming. He asked us where we were from, where we were going, what we had planned etc etc, then suddenly we were being ushered into his little back room where he started shoving tacky souvenirs at us. He offered us a drink of water from the tap (really obvious to spot because it smelt so badly of chlorine) despite having told us it was bottled and then introduced us to his friend Ali. The both of them stood there telling us about how they would like to set up a business in Bradford because they both knew lots of people who lived there. After about an hour of trying to sell us things they came to conclusion that we simply weren’t having any of it and quite literally booted us out on our ear with a resounding ‘don’t come back’, nice. As long as you know that people are only being nice because they want something, then cairo is ok. Personally I hated it though.

Karn El Khalili market at night.

A hazy city sunset.

Halam and Ali’s shop, never trust people who run a shop called Baghdad market.

This was taken by Alex, it was his attempt to prove that everyone in Cairo has sky T.V


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