Hello Egypt! I Think I Love You! And Your Menfolk!

Dirty Rooftops in Cairo

Yes folks, we are in Egypt!

Hot, dirty, noisy, awesome Egypt!

The place we were told to be extra careful when visiting.

For women:

  • Don’t make eye contact with men – it is considered flirting!
  • Don’t forget to cover up – you will receive ridiculous amounts of unwanted attention from men in the street!  Apparently an inch of flesh shown at your wrist is enough to turn them into slobbering dogs!
  • No playing backgammon on the street for women!
  • Keep a tight hold on your bag – every man and his son will be trying to get your money when you are distracted!
  • Same genders sit next to each other when at a restaurant!

For men:

  • Try not to be offended if you are only offered one camel for your wife!

Hmmm…..notice the men have a VERY short list?

Yes it’s true, we have landed in a country where us girls were told to expect to be second class citizens.

We googled profusely and found information in one of two extremes.

  1. What are you all concerned about?  Wear what you want, eat and drink where you like, you will have no problems.  Go forth and explore!
  2. Oh no what you are thinking?  Cover every bit of skin, consider covering your hair, you will be repeatedly raped by men’s eyes, called a whore, prostitute and many other things.  Your money will be stolen!  When you go to a market and don’t buy something, freaky men will suggest you try their “Meat and two veg!”  Be very careful you poor woman who is soon to be dead on the street!!

What we have found is very definitely nothing like either of these extremes.

Yes we are being watched wherever we go.  Kate almost caused a motorbike rider to have a crash when she removed her shoulder wrap for a minute next to a busy road!!

Yes men like us here a lot!  We are mostly wearing long pants or skirts and nearly always a shirt with long sleeves and a scarf around our neck or shoulders.

But I’ve been wearing my 3/4 pants (my long pants smell of camel – next post will have the pics!)  They cover my knees and I don’t feel too “out there” when I wear them.

Yes, one gentleman at the next table did bend down to look at my legs while he was eating!  No-one else has batted an eyelid.

Kate is wearing a singlet shirt or a tshirt with a scarf around her shoulders – it’s extremely hot and that is the best option really.  I expect she could cover every bit of skin and she would still be a tourist attraction here.

We walked down a dark street last night….as a gentleman squeezed past her he also had a feel of her bum!!  We laughed our asses off!!  10 points to him for having a go!!

As we walk down the street there is quiet hissing as we pass by.  If you turn your head and look at the culprit you are rewarded with a big smile and “welcome”.  Followed by some Arabic – I don’t really want to think about what they might be saying – I don’t care if it is less than nice.  I can’t understand it so I’m not bothered at all!

Kate and I have joked they are saying “hey come sit on my face!”  Oh dear, I can’t believe I am sharing that with you!

There’s a bit of whistling and cat-calling but the number one important thing to know about all this male attention?

It is exceptionally productive!!

Want to cross the road?  Just send Kate out into the traffic!  Tyres squeal, everyone stops to let her pass!  It’s like Moses must have felt when he parted the red sea!!

Gert has made some rules about the road crossing however.  One girl leads, the two boys go in the middle, followed by the other female.  This is the only way the boys can get across the street!  If they go last, the traffic starts moving once Kate and I have passed!!  Hahahaha….bad luck boys!!

Want to go to the pyramids?  The nice man on the gate insisted that I must be the student!  Mirroring his insincerity, I told him that I loved him!!  He laughed, I laughed, everything was fine!!

Walking down the street, not one man will approach us to scam us!  They all go for Gert since he is the Alpha male!  It’s great – we just walk off and leave him!  Then he has a reason to excuse himself to catch up AND we get off without a second of hassle!!

It’s been most amusing to watch him be asked to buy souvenirs, take taxi rides, go shopping downtown with a scammer etc etc!!  Now we just have to teach him to say “No thank you!” and keep walking!!

Stay tuned for more of our Egyptian adventures.  We are off to attempt to buy train tickets today for a train that tourists are not allowed on!!  Should be fun!

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