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12:30 am (Cairo Time) Day 46 – Cairo is big, hot, alive, crazy, foreign and friendly… Our first real day in Cairo was all that, we started off going to our offices in Cairo to meet the folks we are going to talk to for the next three days, thank god we have a driver provided to us by the company, I would not drive in Cairo! The is no such thing as a line in the street here, no traffic light (not that they would stop…;-)) and cars, cars, cars, well did I say cars, I meant to say lots of cars! And buses, an people, that’s right people crossing the street in the middle of traffic, and no one is stopping, they just have to weave through it (back to this a little later), people get out of buses in the middle of the road and then proceed to the curb, people start from the curb and jump on a moving bus in the middle of the road! Crazy I tell you. I would not drive here period. Cairo is big, 453 sq km (more than 175 sq mi), 16 million people (I think even more now that is the 1998 census value), very alive lots of people everywhere and the fact that most of them don’t talk anything but Arab it’s pretty foreign to us. So after a stop at the office we decided to go the Egyptian museum, let me tell you, this is an impressive place, lots of antiquities there, sarcophagus, mummies, papyri, King Tut’s tomb content as well as Ramses II sarcophagus. It’s an impressive collection and the biggest one in the world. The museum is too big to see all in one day so we will probably go another day to finish it. We hired a guide to explain the thing in the Museum she was very nice and was a Doctor in ancient Egypt so she knew a lot and gave us a lot of very good explanation on the various things in the museum. We then when to a papyri vendor across from the museum, so in order to get there guess what, we had to cross the street, you remember Frogger, well let me tell you I thing the frog had it easy compared to crossing the street in Cairo ;-) you need skill to cross that road, if you think Sandman was out of his comfort zone when we were driving in the British country side, well here he was outright not in it at all!! Even Aaron was not feeling good about crossing, living in Montreal, you learn to cross the street when it’s convenient so I was feeling ok about this task but still a little concerned, since I am writing to you now, you can surmise that we made there and back in one piece and we got some really cool papyri. One of the last judgment, one of Cleopatra and one Osiris for me I’ll take pictures and add to the blog entry when I get home to show you. They are authentic (as far as we can tell) and change color when held in different light and angle (very cool) because of the paint that is used to create them. As we were making our way to the front of the museum to catch our ride back to the hotel we were attacked by a prong of fake papyri peddlers. I have rarely felt myself pressured in my life but let me tell you, those guys tried for at least 10 min even after we were in our car to sell us papyri. 5 for 20 EGP, 6 no 7 for 10 EGP, 10 no 12 for 15 EGP… you see the picture well let me tell you we were glad the driver shoood then off and we got back to the hotel. Tomorrow (well this morning) is our Day 1 and will go from there. I will post picture when we have some (most of them are from moving cars since we have gone from hotel of destination and back for the last 48h). We are planning to go see a sound and light show later in the week and maybe go see the great library of Alexandria (2h away) on Saturday I’ll keep you posted.

Signing out for now… good night

Cheers,

ET

Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 2:58 PM | Back to top


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