A Conversation for Hailing a Taxi in Cairo, Egypt

I'm moving to Cairo from the UK

Post 1


Hi all,
My new husband has been posted to just outside Cairo to work and obviously I'm going too. Although really excited I'm not sure what to expect. I have travelled extensively so am not green to different cultures and I have done quite a bit of research online since finding out we are to move. They all say the same thing, its noisy, vibrant, watch out for dodgey taxi drivers etc but thats the same in any city...What is it like to be a woman in Cairo, is it safe to travel in the city alone, shop alone, tour the amazing sights alone? Are there any centre's where you can meet other expat girlies for lunch, classes -you know...the usual girlie things that I will miss so much. I love to read, I want to learn conversational Arabic, I want to see the hidden Cairo and you only get that sort of information from people who have really lived the experience.smiley - ok

I'm moving to Cairo from the UK

Post 2

Gnomon - time to move on

You should be very careful as a woman on your own in Cairo. I know a few women who lived there with their husbands and they all found problems. Don't expose too much bare flesh, try and blend in. The Egyptian men have this idea that Western women are sex-mad, so they won't leave them alone. One woman told me that once when she went into a shop, the man behind the counter took one look at her and then started masturbating.smiley - ill

On the other hand, Cairo is a fascinating place. Have you read the Cairo entry at A2082818? It's probably a bit out of date now, being based on my experiences 20 years ago, but the city may not have changed much.

Cairo is filthy. It's like a giant rubbish dump with people living on it. But you get used to it.

Don't, don't, don't drink the water. Use bottle water for everything, even scrubbing your teeth. Don't eat salads that have been washed in tap water. Don't drink out a bottle without wiping around the top of it. Get used to the taste of Ratatouille, because it is what you'll be cooking every day, since it is the safest way of eating vegetables.

Bring Imodium tablets for treating diarrhoea, because you will get it at some stage.

If you are white-skinned, the Egyptians will treat you as a gullible tourist and try and rip you off - this is part of normal business in the country. The longer you say, the darker your tan will be and the more they will treat you as an experienced guest.

Egyptians are very friendly people, and you shouldn't have any problems making friends.

I'm moving to Cairo from the UK

Post 3


Given that you say you haven't been here for 20 years I'm surprised you have made such strong statements about living here.

The water has so much Chlorine in it that I'd be surprised if you have any problems with water from your hotel or apartment in Cairo. I've been here for 18 months, wash my veg in tap water, cook in tap water, drink it if I am out of bottled water (I prefer the taste of the bottled water) and have never had a problem. I always brush and rinse with tap water. Veg is fine cooked in a variety of ways as long as you have rinsed it under the tap. Don't think your cooking will be limited. You can also eat apples, plums, grapes that have been washed - no chemicals, just water is fine.

While having some Imodium with you isn't a bad idea you prob will not have to use it - just avoid lettuce (if amoeba were there washing will make no difference).

Not all of Cairo id filthy. The streets are dust and it is polluted but in the suburbs it is fine.

As for the depth of your tan making your shopping experience better I have to say I can't see the relevance. Respect, a smile and a few words of greeting in Arabic are far more effective.

I'm moving to Cairo from the UK

Post 4

Gnomon - time to move on

I'm glad to hear that the water in Cairo has improved.

I'm sure I mentioned in the Entry that the Cairo people are the friendliest in the world.smiley - smiley

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