Monday, March 2, 2009

Egyptian Grumblings I

Photo by Katy Kobzeff

After a day of flying, two days in Cairo, another flight, and my first day in Luxor I finally have time to clue you all in on what I have been doing. At first I had a couple individual posts in mind to write up and publish over time (the plane, first day in Cairo, Second day, etc.) but it has all sort of just tumbled into one constant day in my mind that spans four actual days. So what I have decided to do instead of a bunch of separate posts I am going to just bring back the "Grumblings". "Grumblings" are basically like "Ramblings", Underling style (therefore tweets are Little Grumblings). What follows then is the past 4 days condensed into a series of "Grumblings" brought to you in two parts. Enjoy.


Where: Cairo International Airport
When: Last Night

After being hassled by security (twice mind you) and being shuffled around by the god awful airline known as Egypt Air, I found myself sitting at the gate, waiting to board, staring at this man at a small computer. Now he obviously worked for the airport or airline, that was plain to see, and in the end that really doesn't matter in the slightest. What matters is that after clicking a few buttons on the computer he proceeds to take 30 minutes combing through each and ever last piece of information that is printed out. Now of course this is not your typical printer paper, this is early 90's printer paper with the holes on the side and each sheet is connect to the next. What resulted was this man surrounded by a pile of computer paper with God knows what on it, and there I was trying to read my book but all I could do was turn around every few moments and start laughing uncontrollably at this spectacle. And after about 30 minutes he obviously found what he was looking for, ripped the one sheet he wanted off and sauntered away leaving a pile of paper littering the floor.

What follows was a series of questions I had pertaining to this particular event, all of which I find myself asking every 5-10 minutes here;

  1. What the hell is he doing?
  2. Why is he doing it?
  3. Why is this process so odd?
  4. Why is he not doing it my way
  5. Who the hell is he?
And so on and so on......

Just keep those questions and questions like them in mind while reading the follow Grumblings, because you know I was.

Grumbling along....

  • You know when Ron Jeremy is sitting across from you in the terminal your day is going to go well.....
  • I really do not like airport food (though I do like beer), especially at JFK,
  • Thanks to about 4 beers I successfully fell asleep before take off only to wake up while we were still over New Brunswick, I remained awake for the rest of the 11 hour flight.
  • On Southern People: You guys are far too nice, cheery, and slow talking. I can not take it. Flying with a Southern flight attendant, and a pack of Alabamians was far more trying than it needed to be. Let's lay down some ground rules so it never happens again; the civil war ended over a century ago therefore no more calling me a Yankee, no cackling, just because I talk fast does not make me elitist it just means I have better developed motor skills, lastly if and when you talk in and around foreigners please tell them you are from the South of the US (not to be confused with South America) because they always get confused when I don't have a drawl and say y'all like you, best to say that you consider the Northeast a different country all together. Grumbling forward!
  • Delta lied to me, their website showed a picture of an airplane equipped with a television for each passenger. What I got was a partially obstructed 17 inch 15 feet away.
  • I can never remember the name of Dennis Quaid, not to be confused with Kevin Costner.
  • Drinking 4 beers, taking a 1 hour nap, feeling irritated, and being next to the bathroom is not conducive to reading.
  • I apparently can not go an entire flight without spilling a liquid of some kind on myself, the lucky liquid this time: Hot Tea.
  • In Egypt certain individuals are allowed in the arrival terminal, so they can assist you in getting a Visa, your luggage and getting through customs. I feel as if this lends itself to corruption and terrorism, but hey what do I know?
  • First of all, Egyptians drive like crazy people, but that's neither here nor there. What is truly disturbing is that there is a cop position every 50 - 100 yards on the street armed either with a Kalashnikov or a Radio. They appear to be glorified traffic cops but then you see cops with "Traffic" on their chest. I think this is President Mubarak's way of preventing and better responding to the eventual car bomb in Cairo. Disturbing yet reassuring at the same time.
  • Pyramids = Very large
  • The Menna House was everything I expected and more. The pyramids were about 400 yards from our window, need I say more?
  • Watching Katy haggle with Taxi drivers is very amusing. It's something about them initially treating her like a stupid American woman, only to realize that she speaks Arabic and lived in Cairo for a while so she knows their ways. And taxi drivers are scum.
  • We went to dinner in what is considered the best Egyptian food restaurant in Cairo, and it lived up to its reputation. The clientele was that best part though
  • We went to bed at about 7 PM local time and slept until 7 AM the next day, no I am not kidding. Though I was briefly disturbed from my slumber around midnight when Katy couldn't sleep and wanted to go check out the Disco.
Part II will follow tomorrow, stay tuned....

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and laughed several times, particularly at your inability to keep drinks in cups on flights. Niger was the same way with people coming into the arrivals area. All they had to present to security was the equivalent of 5USD and voila! no hassles