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too much sheesha

EGYPT | Wednesday, 6 May 2009 | Views [766]

Hoped off the plane very early in the morning to a huge, honking, and hot city known as Cairo. Cairo is huge and we soon learned how huge as we took a taxi to our couchsurfing host's house in a southern part of the city just inside the boundary. Our taxi driver got lost, then wanted more money for the trip but our host Tarek helped us out and invited us in. After a quick introduction he went back to sleep and we crashed for the next few hours before getting up and meeting Acer his wife, their two young daughters Nora and Sama and their live-in servant Nesha(sp). Nesha made us lunch and we lounged around the house and caught up on emails, etc. Later on, another couchsurfer named Scott from California had called Tarek about staying the night on his way back home to the USA. Tarek decided to take us all out to the nicest restaurant in Cairo called Abu Sidel or something like that. It was very Egyptian with all Egyptian dishes so we tried one of their specialities called Molokhya which is a a soup made from a leafy green summer vegetable called Molokhya or Melokhya and served with rice and meat or chicken. Tasty indeed! After dessert we smoked sheesha, which is like hookah to everyone in the USA. A huge water pipe with flavoried tobacco. Being the ex-smoker she is, Jessica had no problems with it. I on the otherhand could not blow much smoke out to save my live and I would start coughing. I was quite the laugh at our table, oh well better for me I thought. BTW, for reference Egyptians like to stay out late and get up late so we did not START eating dinner until 11:30pm and did arrive home until 2:00am and Tarek had to work the same day, wow we were exhausted.

THe next day we headed into downtown Cairo to try and get an International Teacher Identity Card(save $ on temple site visits which we did not get) and check on flights to Aswan our next stop. That night we took Tarek and Acer out for another Egyptian speciality, pigeon. THey took us to the most famous pigeon restaurant in Cairo, it was packed with locals. We each had one stuffed and one grilled. Final verdict- the stuffed one is ok, I prefered the grilled one but both are too much work for the amount of meat we both thought but not to shabby in taste believe it our not. After dinner we meet some of Tarek and Acer's friends for dessert and more sheesha and met up with our friend Sam from Michigan. We have now met Sam in three different countries and two contients. He smoked sheesha better then me as well, oh well not a bad thing to be a terrible sheesha smoker I guess.

The next day we finally headed out to do some Egyptian things like oh say visit the pyramids. After struggling to catch the right public bus for two hours to Giza which is about 20 minutes from Cairo we finally made it. The pyramids are amazing to see in real life but somewhat smaller then you would expect, I think because the city is literally right up to the sand around the pyramids, kind of a weird mix of old and new. We did not know it was still winter hours and the pyramids were closing soon so we hurried around to take photos including the famous sphinx which is definetly smaller in person then in photos. There were lots of guys with camels looking for people to ride, big tour buses in the parking lot and trash blowing around. Kind of anti-climatic until you start to think how old these structures and still standing after thousands of years, pretty cool to see first hand.

The next day we caught our midday flight to Aswan, in teh south of Egypt to see all of the great ancient temples of Egypt. Aswan and Luxor is where most of the ancient temples and tombs that many people know of when they think of Egypt like King Tut, Ramses, etc. Aswan and Luxor also border the Nile and their locations are much more scenic and hectic then Cairo. We knew we would back to Cairo so only spending a few days was ok. The next two stories are from the banks of the famous Nile river in Aswan and Luxor.

Tags: cairo, pigeon, pyramids

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