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Egypt info please?



 
 
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  #31  
Old April 11th, 2005, 08:07 PM
Canopus
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"Big_B" wrote in message
...

"Tashi" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
Good health and high spirits!
some info for you.

$1.00 US = approx 5.8 Egp
Everything in Egypt is cheap comparitively.. you can buy cheap

souvieners
or expensive ones the trick is to Bargain....and bargain well. Don't
haggle over a dollar though, keep in mind these people make hardly a
thing. general rule.. if they say for example: $300 for something it is
usually good to start the price at like $75 or so.. usually 1/3-1/4 of
what they are asking.


Wow?! 1/4 od a price! Good. This I will remember.


(keep in mind, the mashed beans they serve for lunch, dinner *foul

madas*
is usually a breakfast dish for Egyptians).


Oh....
I think I'll pass on beans for breakfast.


--many shop keepers will order tea for you and talk for awhile before

you
strike up a bargain.


They will do this no matter what am I buying!? I mean, they won't order

tea
if I'm buying souvenirs worth just 10 dollars?


They'll probably give you tea even if you buy nothing. They may look a
little disapointed if you don't buy anything, but, Egyptian hospitality is
just that.



LEARN THESE WORDS: LA=NO SHUKRAN=THANK YOU


Wait... Do I pronounce this LA infront of No Shukran or it's just No
Shukran?


La means "no", Shukran means "thank you". There is another correct word for
"no thank you", but, everyone will understand what you mean if you say "la
shukran".

NEVER SHAKE OR EAT OUT OF A COMMON BOWL WITH YOUR LEFT HAND.


O.k. Just what is a common bowl? Plate?! Dish?....
This about shaking hamds with your left hand is inpolite everywhere in the
world. This I know.


It's unlikely you will come accross this, but, you may find you have a
common plate of bread or falafal that you help yourself from.


These were some of the prices when I was there. However you should look
to see if these attractions are covered in your tour. Usually they are.


Yeah. I have very similar attractions list on my tour.

I stayed at the Pharaohs Hotel
CAIRO
Citadel Of Salah Al-Din--20LE
The Egyptian Museum--20LE
The Royal Mummies Hall--40LE
The Cairo Tower--30LE
Scarabee Papyrus (where they sell Papyrus paper) Can be pricey..
I bought around 5 pcs at a price of 138 LE (these prices are set)
The Third Pyramid, Giza--10LE
Giza Pyramids--20LE


Well, thease prices seem reasonable.


ASWAN
Train to Aswan from Cairo. 14HRS 69LE. checked out the market, the dam

and
just hung out for a couple of days exploring. ASWAN sells the cheapest
Sheesha's.


14 hours!? Than God for sleeping carts. )
What is Sheesha?


TAKE THE TIME AND THE $ TO FLY TO ABU SIMBLE.. WORTH IT. At that time

it
was I think about $100 to fly there.
200 PT. for local fees
400 PT for Guide fees at Abu Simble temple
30LE Abu Simbel Two Temples


What is PT, ant what is LE?
I thought LE was Egyptian pound, but now....


Stayed at the WINDSOR HOTEL in Luxor. Eat at local places, try the
pigeon--usually in a cage as soon as you enter the restaurant.


So it's fresh, then? )


(Many *touts will be around to show you things.. if you follow one do

pay
them a dollar or something.. that is usually how they make their $) They
are not out to rob you.


O.k. Good to know this. I usually tend not to trust people who try to

"drag"
you off the main street....


Don't be too green. You will quite probably find that someone in the street
invites you to drink tea with them after you halve walked down the street
chatting happily with them thinking what a nice man. You often end up in a
perfume shop drinking tea and after a while the hard sell starts. This can
even happen to experienced visitors although you do get to recognise them
after a while. I have had a few arguments with these guys after refusing to
buy something after being tricked into their shop. Once away from tourist
areas you will experience true Egyptian hospitality as compared to the sham
hospitality of those that make their living on tourists...as in most places.


To go to Hurghada you have to go by Convo... No ship route cause it's
through the desert.
Hurghada is a huge tourist area so expect to pay more, there are many
clubs and restaurants etc.. take the time to go on a side trip into the
eastern desert.
while there find a unique store called the MEYA MEYA. It is the only
place I found that sells nice unique souviners that are not the typical
tourist trash souvieners. The owner of the store is called Sam very

nice
guy..


O.k. So a trip to east sahara, meya meya store...
I know we have an option to go to east sahara so I will defenetly use this
option.


Don't be fooled by people who *lead you to someones store, sometimes the
store can be good.. these people get commisions to get people to the
store... can be an interesting experience.


By interesting expirience, you mean something positive, right?
Like interesting shops and stuff?


Not necessarily, just interesting as compared to nice.


In restaurants/souks... Make sure that YOU break the seal on the water
bottle... refuse it if it is already opened.. they like to refill the
bottle with local water in some places.


O.k. Good to know. Can I get something if I drink (I know it's bad) local
water?


You will see many public water sources, taps coming out of steel tanks by
roadsides, urns by the side of the road. All those sources are prety safe,
I've never had trouble with them. Tap water should be avoided though. It's
probably safe in Cairo, but, it tastes disgusting and is heavily chlorinated
in High Season


When ordering food you can look at what someone else is eating and say

"I
want that"..


That is very uneuropean, but I'll try it....

http://touregypt.net/recipes/


Thanks for the link. Very useful.

Do try foods at markets and bazaars.. just use your common sense, if the
guy who is handling your food is picking his nose or has very bad

hygiene
skip


O.k.

it.. make sure though that ALL food is throughly cooked, boiled.


How do I know if the food I buy in the bazaar is cooked, boiled.....?


If it's grilled and burned it is probably well cooked. I must admit I've
eaten in all sorts of places in Egypt right down to spit and sawdust cafes
and have only ever had an upset stomach when eating in what looked like a
high class resaaurant serving Western food.



Oranges, bananas, mangos good choices.. nuts, cheese, figs etc. also

good.

O.k. So Fruits that can be peeled off are all o.k., everything else try to
skip.


most of all relax and have fun, explore and don't take things too
seriously... realize that these people are all trying to make a living,
not to rip you off.. well not always!! Tourism is the leading job for
most and some people are degraded to handing out toilet paper to

tourists
as a job!!


So I should leave my suspicion that everyone will try to rip me off at

home?


No, just reduce it to "there will be some people who try to rip me off"



If you want superior service in hotels.. tip your cleaning person
generously.. I gave her $10 for 3days and I got my clothes washed, dryed
ironed, chocolates, flowers, fancy towels all made up in the shapes of
animals and shells.


Impressive! All this for 10 dollars!
Did you give her this the first day when you came to the hotel?


Also,, tip the Person you want to tip IN PERSON Don't give the $ to the
manager or someone... the person who you want to get the $ won't get it
usually.


O.k. I'll try to remember all this.


Tip the waiters in high class places better than ones in low class places.
There is a reason for this, the ones in low class places normaly get paid
relatively well while the ones in high class places get paid a pitance and
tend to rely on tips (baksheesh). Also tip well the nice lady (or gent)
that tends the toilets keeping them clean, showing you to a nice well kept
one, gives you soap and tissues to clean yourself...they do not normally get
paid anything and some pay the owner to let them do the job.



Thanks a lot for this post(s). You have been extreamlly helpfull.




  #32  
Old April 11th, 2005, 11:43 PM
Alan S
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On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 19:31:34 +0100, "Canopus"
wrote:


"Alan S" wrote in message
.. .
On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 16:45:07 GMT, "Tashi" wrote:

|Good health and high spirits!
|some info for you.

Thanks for that. Could be very useful.

I will be in Cairo for only three nights, probably May 2006. Not on a
tour. Extension of time may be possible, but not likely.

Any suggestions for a three-night, incl two days, stay would be
appreciated. I know it's too short, but I wish to at least see the
Pyramids and the Museum, plus whatever else of Ancient Egypt I can in
that short time.


Cheers, Alan, Australia


You will be hard pushed to do much more in three days. Unless you are doing
a flying visit to places so you can say "seen that, done that" then you need
a day for the museum and a day for the Giza Pyramids (El Haram). Try to get
to the Dashur pyramid site near the southern suburbs of Cairo which have two
spectacular pyramids. There is the Red Pyramid which you can go down into
and while you are in the bottom chambers take note of how they are
constructed. They used large blocks carved perfectly around corners which
add nothing to the structural strength of the pyramid, but, would have been
very difficult to do...no one can say why they did it, but, you find this
construction technique on only the very oldest structures. The there is
also there the Bent Pyramid with much of its white facing stone still
intact, a marvel to behold and gives you a true idea what they all must have
been like at one time. Dashur is not frequented too much by tourists so the
atmosphere is more sublime.

Rob

Thanks Rob

It's not so much "seen that, done that" as a stopover
en-route to a longer trip to Europe and America. So I have
to prioritise times - more time in Egypt is less somewhere
else. Particularly when the other half is much more
interested in Vienna, Prague, Paris and NYC than ancient
monoliths like me (intended:-)

News reports here of Cairo are a bit daunting; I saw your
post on the minibus. How safe is it for a 58 yo 6' tall
obviously Western caucasian to wander around alone by such
means? Or for a similarly obvious 4'10 1/2" (never forget
the half-inch) lady to do the same thing in the bazaars?


Cheers, Alan, Australia
  #33  
Old April 12th, 2005, 12:57 AM
Canopus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Alan S" wrote in message
news
On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 19:31:34 +0100, "Canopus"
wrote:


"Alan S" wrote in message
.. .
On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 16:45:07 GMT, "Tashi" wrote:

|Good health and high spirits!
|some info for you.

Thanks for that. Could be very useful.

I will be in Cairo for only three nights, probably May 2006. Not on a
tour. Extension of time may be possible, but not likely.

Any suggestions for a three-night, incl two days, stay would be
appreciated. I know it's too short, but I wish to at least see the
Pyramids and the Museum, plus whatever else of Ancient Egypt I can in
that short time.


Cheers, Alan, Australia


You will be hard pushed to do much more in three days. Unless you are

doing
a flying visit to places so you can say "seen that, done that" then you

need
a day for the museum and a day for the Giza Pyramids (El Haram). Try to

get
to the Dashur pyramid site near the southern suburbs of Cairo which have

two
spectacular pyramids. There is the Red Pyramid which you can go down

into
and while you are in the bottom chambers take note of how they are
constructed. They used large blocks carved perfectly around corners

which
add nothing to the structural strength of the pyramid, but, would have

been
very difficult to do...no one can say why they did it, but, you find this
construction technique on only the very oldest structures. The there is
also there the Bent Pyramid with much of its white facing stone still
intact, a marvel to behold and gives you a true idea what they all must

have
been like at one time. Dashur is not frequented too much by tourists so

the
atmosphere is more sublime.

Rob

Thanks Rob

It's not so much "seen that, done that" as a stopover
en-route to a longer trip to Europe and America. So I have
to prioritise times - more time in Egypt is less somewhere
else. Particularly when the other half is much more
interested in Vienna, Prague, Paris and NYC than ancient
monoliths like me (intended:-)

News reports here of Cairo are a bit daunting; I saw your
post on the minibus. How safe is it for a 58 yo 6' tall
obviously Western caucasian to wander around alone by such
means? Or for a similarly obvious 4'10 1/2" (never forget
the half-inch) lady to do the same thing in the bazaars?


Cheers, Alan, Australia


Well I'm 55 and don't think twice about wandering around in Cairo or the
rest of Egypt alone, in fact I enjoy it immensely. Unlike in the West the
older you are the more respect you get. What is important is your attitude.
Remember, the Egyptians have been in the tourist business for a very long
time indeed and are experts in body language. If you look a bit phased by
your experience while in a bazaar (or any where) they will realize you are a
green tourist and will give you the run around, if you look relaxed and self
assured you will on the whole be left alone or at least only gentle banter.
Whatever, you are never really in danger and once you realize that things
become fun. I enjoy wandering into obscure parts of Cairo and trying to get
lost as there is always something or someone interesting just around the
corner and where ever I end up it's only a cheap taxi back to base.

When I first started going to Egypt I found it tiring getting hassled in the
streets and bazaars, but, now it rarely happens. Nothing has really changed
there except my attitude and self confidence. If you have time then take
some time out to just sit in a local tea house or even public square
munching a sandwich and just chat to people, you'll be amazed at just how
friendly and warm the locals are, how mature their kids are and how much of
the child remains in the adults.

By the way "Western Caucasian"! The racial mix is quite wide in Cairo, race
and skin colour don't really come into it. They will be interested in where
you come from, what it's like there and more important to them what religion
are you. Identity is far more to do with religion there, not race

Rob


  #34  
Old April 12th, 2005, 02:00 AM
Alan S
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On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 00:57:24 +0100, "Canopus"
wrote:

Identity is far more to do with religion there, not race

Rob


By "western caucasian" I meant that my western clothes, and
general "I'm a tourist" look is likely to be fairly obvious.
Thanks for the other info. As an atheist does that mean I'll
be an invisible non-person, or beheaded on sight?


Cheers, Alan, Australia
  #35  
Old April 12th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Canopus
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Posts: n/a
Default

Alan S wrote on 12/04/2005 02:00:45:-

As an atheist does that mean I'll
be an invisible non-person, or beheaded on sight?


Cheers, Alan, Australia


Oh, I expect you'll just be taken up the highest minaret and thrown off
unless you repent your evil ways, embrace Islam and give all your money
to the orphans as penance :-)

Seriously though, it should prove no problem. If you do get into a
conversation on Islam ask as many questions as you like, the person you
are talking to will delight in answering them. Just don't criticise
Islam or the Prophet or say nasty things about it. Islam in its pure
form is a very enlightened religion, but, unfortunately, not many
Muslims understand it in its pure form. If you are lucky you may meet
a true Sufi in which case you may get to glimpse into the heart of
Islam and all religions if you are open, deeper than the majority of
Muslims can. An atheist often has less of an abyss between himself and
Truth.

Rob
  #36  
Old April 12th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Canopus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Alan S wrote on 12/04/2005 02:00:45:-

As an atheist does that mean I'll
be an invisible non-person, or beheaded on sight?


Cheers, Alan, Australia


Oh, I expect you'll just be taken up the highest minaret and thrown off
unless you repent your evil ways, embrace Islam and give all your money
to the orphans as penance :-)

Seriously though, it should prove no problem. If you do get into a
conversation on Islam ask as many questions as you like, the person you
are talking to will delight in answering them. Just don't criticise
Islam or the Prophet or say nasty things about it. Islam in its pure
form is a very enlightened religion, but, unfortunately, not many
Muslims understand it in its pure form. If you are lucky you may meet
a true Sufi in which case you may get to glimpse into the heart of
Islam and all religions if you are open, deeper than the majority of
Muslims can. An atheist often has less of an abyss between himself and
Truth.

Rob
  #37  
Old April 12th, 2005, 02:51 PM
Alan S
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 12 Apr 2005 12:51:08 GMT, "Canopus"
wrote:

Alan S wrote on 12/04/2005 02:00:45:-

As an atheist does that mean I'll
be an invisible non-person, or beheaded on sight?


Cheers, Alan, Australia


Oh, I expect you'll just be taken up the highest minaret and thrown off
unless you repent your evil ways, embrace Islam and give all your money
to the orphans as penance :-)

Seriously though, it should prove no problem. If you do get into a
conversation on Islam ask as many questions as you like, the person you
are talking to will delight in answering them. Just don't criticise
Islam or the Prophet or say nasty things about it. Islam in its pure
form is a very enlightened religion, but, unfortunately, not many
Muslims understand it in its pure form. If you are lucky you may meet
a true Sufi in which case you may get to glimpse into the heart of
Islam and all religions if you are open, deeper than the majority of
Muslims can. An atheist often has less of an abyss between himself and
Truth.

Rob


Thanks Rob

I'll try not to start too many flames - but atheists don't
see an abyss there at all:-)

And I certainly wouldn't criticise a person's faith; apart
from being discourteous as a guest, I suspect that in those
circumstances it could be suicidal. However, I'll make that
my last religious (irreligious?) comment in the thread.


Cheers, Alan, Australia
  #38  
Old April 12th, 2005, 06:31 PM
JP
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And I certainly wouldn't criticise a person's faith; apart
from being discourteous as a guest, I suspect that in those
circumstances it could be suicidal.


Cheers, Alan, Australia


Hello.

Your phrase "apart from being discourteous as a guest, I suspect that in
those circumstances it could be suicidal" tells me that you don't see these
things (in Egypt) in their proper way. I mean, I know some Egyptians, and
almost every time I am there we talk about religion, most of the time it
simply is a part of our conversation of the evening. Anyway, what I try to
say is that you can voice your opinion about religion (Islam) in a
conversation, you can say whatever you want, as long as you are not
offensive. Sound pretty much like the rules in any country, doesn't it :-)?
I think freedom of speech does not mean you can just say anything you like,
but merely that you can express any opinion you have, only in decent
language. That's a slight difference.

Regards, and have fun in Egypt, you will be surprised.
John



  #39  
Old April 12th, 2005, 06:31 PM
JP
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

And I certainly wouldn't criticise a person's faith; apart
from being discourteous as a guest, I suspect that in those
circumstances it could be suicidal.


Cheers, Alan, Australia


Hello.

Your phrase "apart from being discourteous as a guest, I suspect that in
those circumstances it could be suicidal" tells me that you don't see these
things (in Egypt) in their proper way. I mean, I know some Egyptians, and
almost every time I am there we talk about religion, most of the time it
simply is a part of our conversation of the evening. Anyway, what I try to
say is that you can voice your opinion about religion (Islam) in a
conversation, you can say whatever you want, as long as you are not
offensive. Sound pretty much like the rules in any country, doesn't it :-)?
I think freedom of speech does not mean you can just say anything you like,
but merely that you can express any opinion you have, only in decent
language. That's a slight difference.

Regards, and have fun in Egypt, you will be surprised.
John



 




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