Packing for the summer move. Found my journal from my 2008 trip to Egypt. Hilarious! I thought I was so enlightened and understanding and some of the things I wrote made me blush at my ignorance. Serves as a nice reminder to remain humble and remember that you can never be too sensitive or polite…
A few sentences stood out to me and reminded me how long I’ve been waiting for my time in Egypt:
May 26, 2008
Will I like [Egypt] enough to go for grad school?
May 28, 2008
I like the city though. It feel more real than any other I’ve been to. Not really sure what that means…
June 2, 2008
i am in love and her name is Alexandria…The charm of the Mediterranean is upon me.
June 10, 2008
I can’t wait to move to Cairo.
Things I learned in Egypt (2008):
1. Camels are only for tourists.
2. Women are strong and independent.
3. The mosquitoes are evil!
4. Bring your own T.P. and women’s supplies!
5. Bus drivers can back a 50 ft bus through a teeny hole.
6. “Modesity” is appreciated.
7. Egypt doesn’t really have a national cuisine.
8. the people are so generous and kind!
9. Bazaars can be intimidating- say,”La shukran” and loudly!
10. The monuments really are amazing!
11. Luxor is HOT!
12. Always bargain- even in gas stations!
13. Shisha is fun!
14. Egyptian boys are beautiful :)
15. Always have a “husband” or a “brother” (as a woman)
16. Be prepared for “Egyptian time”
17. They will all say you’re beautiful to make you happy
18. Respect your tour guide!
19. American women are all prostitutes
20. When they say “kiss on the cheek” they don’t mean cheek
21. Never give away the location of your hotel
22. When in Rome…(be open)
23. Americans are dumb for being monolingual- most Egyptians speak at least 3 languages.
24. Traffic rules are suggestions
25. There’s a difference between prudery and morality
26. Egyptian children are treasures- there’s no concept of child abuse
27. Islam is not what we think in the States- fundamentalists exist in all religions but not all ppl are fundamentalists
28. Egyptians like collecting email addresses
29. Don’t ask an Egyptian for a favor unless you mean it- they are so hospitable
30. Egyptians are very comfortable with contact- so friendly!
31. Bring an antihistamine as well as bug spray, anti-diarrheal, and aspirin.
32. Traveling to foreign cultures is the best thing you can do to enrich your life and character
33. Knowing how to count is essential to peace on the trip
34. Blonde girls are from California
35. People abroad are much more aware of our politics than we are of theirs