Egypt is a wonderful destination, and people usually choose it because of its exciting history and archeological sites. However, what should one expect when they really land there after all? Monuments and museums will take a while, but the country’s heartbeat will affect you more.
Today I will present the Egypt of today and warn let you know what you can expect.
- Safety and prices
You will be surprised by the level of security you can feel in a country where the majority of the population is much poorer than yourself. People may want to make you buy, tip, or offer food to them, but they will never still from your pocket. A common phenomenon is that people will also sell at higher prices to tourists than they will sell to locals, but this is something that, after a while, you are expected to understand on your own, and you will start demanding to hear the right price. Even the overpriced products that address tourists are still incredibly cheap. Sometimes it is just not worth it to try to buy for cheaper, especially if you take into consideration the fact that this small amount of money that for you is negligible is much more important for them and their survival. In addition, the fact that they never steal is an extra reason to approach them with goodwill and be generous as a customer.
- Traffic and driving – how to move in Egypt
Traffic in Egypt and especially Cairo, is crazy. Whatever you may consider as traffic in the United States is nothing compared to what you will have to face in Cairo, so using the metro may be your only choice in some cases. There is, of course, uber available, and both taxis and uber are also extremely cheap. Uber is always preferable in places that are entirely different from what you are used to, so I highly recommend it. Renting a car in Egypt is not a good idea. A glimpse at the way that people drive in the streets will convince you. If you are not used to this bizarre way of driving, the most probable thing is that you will have an accident and end up paying to repair the car. Also, keep in mind that Egyptians like to beep their horns a lot for some reason. Even when there are no other cars on the road, you will hear the sound of horns on the streets in the city centers. They are used as a warning to pedestrians that may be planning to cross the street and taxi drivers try to catch people’s attention in case they need a ride. The last idea is to hire a professional driver who will accompany you through your whole journey. Hotels are always willing to provide you with this kind of information.
- Eating their food
If there is one thing you will love there, this is food. Keep in mind that the hygiene of these countries is not quite high, so you want to protect yourself from any infections that will affect your digestion. Always drink water from sealed bottles and eat in good restaurants. If you happen to visit a restaurant that is popular with locals, do not order a salad and eat anything that may have been washed with tap water, like fruits.
Their national dish is koshary. It is a mix of different kinds of pasta and rice accompanied with red sauce, legumes, fried onion, and chilly. It is really amazing what Egyptians enjoy at Abou Tarek, a restaurant you will find in many places. The restaurants that prepare koshary do not serve any other food, and they are specialized in that. The next most popular dish you will find, especially in Egypt, is called molokhia. This is a dark green soup that comes from the plant ”molokhia.” They serve it with meat, rice, and lemon or a combination of them. It is not spicy but very tasteful and a bit grassy since they add plenty of oil to it. It is worth giving a try and keeping a memory of Egypt as it is today. If you are a sweet tooth, don’t forget to try basbousa, a traditional Arabic dessert which is a semolina cake soaked in syrup.
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