This morning I decided that I had to solve the nightly game of trying to kill all the mosquitoes in my room before going to sleep, because I can see through the cracks in my door, so pretty sure it’s a loosing battle. After inquiring at most of the street vendors for ~10 blocks and following multiple peoples vague directions, I managed to hone in on a pharmacy that had a device you plug into the wall that burns some kind of tablet. Along the way, I had breakfast, walked along the Nile, and visited the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities (but didn’t have enough cash on me to get in today). Directly outside the museum was a line of APCs, barricades, spike strips, barbed wire, bunkers, machine-gun turrets, pill-boxes, and soldiers; I didn’t think it wise to attempt a selfie, despite how baddass it would have looked.
Went out for supper at Felfela’s and ordered sauteed vegetables and foul (“fool”) – fava beans, egg, and dry salted beef – which was amazing, the beans are really bland which makes the salty beef really flavorful. I find that most Egyptian food I’ve tried is that way, mainly bland with one or two main flavors that really stand out. My dining companion unfortunately was on the menu… eating next to a fish or lobster is one thing, but felt bad for this little guy quietly awaiting his fate. Apparently pigeon is a delicacy here.
Almost everyday I encounter a new scam; everything from the obvious “I’ll say anything to get you to follow me to a shop,” the “I’m an artist, watch me make papyrus artwork (not sure how this one ends, I bailed early),” to the more subtle “pay by weight on my rigged scale,” etc. Things I’ve learned: never follow anyone, where are you staying/going? “nearby,” how long have you been here? “long time,” how long are you staying? “a while,” make a plan for exactly where/how/what you’re doing and how much it should cost before leaving the building, “don’t go there, the muslims are praying, it’s not safe!” bullshit; however, also don’t assume that every interaction is a scam, because many people are genuinely friendly and helpful and not necessarily pushing anything.
A street hustler told me the secret to crossing the freeway is to close your eyes and pray to Allah! Haha, instead I bought myself a silver ring with an inset amber stone, meant to bring good health to its wearer. I’ve gotta have some kinda health coverage, cause my travel insurance doesn’t cover countries under travel advisories apparently. Unfortunately the Canadian embassy has also vacated the country at this time… good thing I got a health charm.
I’ve found the internet here to be really hit and miss – probably dependent on who else is doing what on the same connection. This morning is exceptionally good, and I’m able to stream some music, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to post. I was going to do the museum all day today, but ended up not waking up till noon, so another day it is.
Well there goes the internet, probably for the day, so I’m gonna find something else to occupy myself…and it’s back ha. So I finished some business with a local shop owner, Mohamed at Hassan & hussien Bazar, that I’ve been bartering with a bit over the past few days. And he managed to up-sell me yet again lol, but after negotiations, his prices are just too good to say no to compared with all the other shops I’ve been in. So funny, every time I make a counter offer, he makes a neck-chopping gesture and shouts “AYE, why you break my neck down to here!” slashing at his knee level. Having coffee and bartering with him is half the fun, haha. I’m pretty sure he made a killing off me, but he seems like a good man, so I’d rather him than most of the other crooks around. He gave me alot of great advice on how to safely navigate the streets in Cairo too. I still owe him EG£ 50, so hopefully I can pay him tomorrow without being up-sold yet again lol.