What an experience in Cairo and Giza!!!
First – Let’s just say NOTHING comes for free here and genuine benevolence is non-existent!!! What appears to be a kind local helping out, is soon to have their hand out asking for money because they offered their help!!! Trust NO LOCAL!!!!!!!
The Egyptian people are, to say the least…interesting. Not to sweep a grand generalisation brush too broad…..but it seems that there is a trait of thief, con artist in their blood. Something.
The men have a very distinct look – they are very large – intimidating, proud and aggressive!! If I were to put together a team of assassins – I’d FOR SURE hire Egyptian men!! And the women are just as tough – some openly slapping their children – HARD – in public!!!
That said, once you’ve paid for a local they’ll defend you like a lion from other Egyptians trying to step into their territory (us!!)!!!!!
Beware the naive traveller who approaches the entrance up to the Great Pyramids on foot!!!! You will be assaulted by tour guides – who are government licensed – they will flash name tags and ID permits that are in Arabic – and one has no idea of the legitimacy of it if you can’t speak Arabic!!! The tour guide will want to take you to either a horse stable, or camel stable – each tour guide in cahoots with the stable owners. Buyer beware!!!! Pick a tour guide that is cahoots with a stable owner who actually cares for their animals!!!!! Most of the tour horses and camels were poorly cared for and over worked. We were lucky that the owners of the horse stable actually liked his horses!!! And took care of them!!!!
Security is EVERYWHERE…..but how honest is the security? Everyone has a price in Giza and Cairo. EVERY local has a plastic card that says they work for the government. And there are soldiers walking around with machine guns. Guarding all entrances to tourist traps like the Giza Pyramid Complex, Khan el-Khalili, the Egyptian Museum!!! Some police officers looking MUCH more official than others!!!!!!
Dirty – Giza and Cairo are SO dirty. Garbage lines the streets, piles – I mean PILES of garbage with carcasses of goats and horses with dogs, birds, cats and children scavenging through it for something to eat!!!! Such extreme poverty!!!
We enjoyed our time in Cairo and Giza…..but there is this side that adds to the reality of the journey.