Sunday, February 8, 2009

Back in Cairo, Egypt


I was reading Umm Travis' post about her incident driving in Cairo. I wouldn't be able to drive there, I think! I had enough difficulties getting around with others driving me (at times).

When I was in Egypt, we took the taxi everywhere. When I was working, I had to get from the condo to midan Abdel-Moneim Riad (basically to the Nile Hilton) since that's where the bus took off from to Smart Village, and half the time I took a taxi to there, the other half I took a 15 minute walk to the Ghamra metro and took it to Nasser station (I think) and then walked the couple mins to the bus area. A couple times I took the micro bus from a corner near the condo to the metro entrance, I think that was like 50 piastres and it saved me some time so it was worth it.

Anyway, when we took the taxi from the condo to that midan together, it was 4 LE, and my husband told me it was normally 3 LE for other Egyptians but of course they expected more because of me being foreigner. About a quarter of the times we took a taxi, my husband was asked to pay more than what he was offering -- because of me.

When it came time for me to take the taxi alone to go to work, I gave 5 LE for that distance. But just a few times later, I got a taxi driver demanding 15 LE!!! Just because I was foreigner! I tried to communicate that it was 5 LE I was offering and 5 LE he was going to get. All I was able to say in Arabic was a stern, "La! khamsa guinay!" A couple minutes later, he was still after me about it. I don't even think I had 15 LE on me, but either way, after seeing how much effort my husband put not to get screwed over by the taxi drivers, I kept my end. I ended up throwing the money onto the front seat and getting out. He just left.

I was so proud of myself, but of course I didn't want to go through that again, so from then on, I asked the drivers if 5 LE was ok.

Another little story... We were going to Alexandria so we took the taxi to Ramses square to then take the microbus. The driver was demanding more money for the ride. My husband, like always, tells him no, gets all insulted, etc. Normally it didn't get out of the taxi, but this guy didn't want to have us leave without the extra money and my husband was not going to pay him an extra pound. I couldn't really understand, but somehow, my husband punched the taxi driver. Everyone was gathering... I could understand a word here and there, mostly referring to me being Canadian... I was SOOOO embarassed! I was trying to slowly move away so people wouldn't look at me, but I had two suitcases and I simply *looked* Canadian. Turns out the guy had "insulted" his mom or something and that's why he got punched. But I seriously could not have been more embarassed.
The picture above is the view from the balcony in Cairo. I have so many better pictures, just not on this computer and this is one of the ones I had online. :)

5 Comentários:

أم ترافيس said...

ya that really sucks ;) next time, try wearing niqab hahahaha ;) just kidding.... cairo is certainly chaotic, subhanALlah! the whole foreign thing can really make someone angry -- but the difference in a "normal" Egyptians salary is quite large, so I guess it makes sense -- somehow! LOL

Candice said...

Yeah, it wouldn't have been so bad if I had a foreigner job, but it was an Egyptian one, paid in local currency. It wasn't so much.

أم ترافيس said...

HAHA! Ya seriously the "joys" of being married to an Egyptian. Once they know you are married to one, you dont get the foreigner salary. But the fact that HE is married to a foreigner, he has to pay higher prices hehehehhe

Candice said...

Haha, and there was one person working with me who was French. But his father is Egyptian. He let that one out and got even less than us :p

coolguymuslim said...

ahh man, i miss egypt so much, your post brought back all those good memories, even now when i reflect on it, some taxi drivers definitely did try to rip us off, but others were subhanallah the nicest ppl!

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