January 16, 2003

Cairo

Here am I. I managed to take off from CDG to LHR after a 60min delay...as usual from British Airways when I'm inboard. Gene Hackmann was inboard too. No I did not ask any autograph.

The connection went smoothly at LHR and I arrived in Cairo at 23:00.
Everyone rushed into the banks to buy the stamps for the visa (15$). Small anecdote though, the policeman checking the passport/visa do somewhat 2 passengers in parallel as once he finishes with one he gives the card via a small hole to some 'cage' next to him. Inside this compartment is hiding a woman that is obviouslly registering the card in a computer ( yes, I managed to see something through the door that was slightly opened as the woman was probably in a real sauna ).

After that I was able to get my baggages (surprise, BA did not screw up !).
I was asked by some guy if I needed anything. No thanks.
Then I was called by a whole bunch of guys lining up and proposing limousines/taxis. I took my chance and said that I wanted to go to 169 Mohammed Farid (Pensione Roma) and proposed 40EGP, he accepted immediately (sure, the normal price is somewhat 30/35EGP) and asked me to pay now. I said 'no'. He said 'yes'. I said 'no' and left, he said 'ok'.

So I took a taxi and arrived to Pensione Roma despite the strange driving style in Cairo. During the trip, the driver asked me to think about his tip. I said that 40EGP was already more than the normal price so that was included in it. I then asked him how much was the 'real price', '30 ? 35 ?'. He agreed. When we arrived I gave him the money and he told me 'that's for the car, I need a tip'.
Yeah right. So same discussion again. yes-no-yes-no. He left thinking that I did not have more money since I got them straight from my pocket. I was expecting this so I got them out before while waiting for the baggages

Anyway, I climbed the 4 floors up to Pensione Roma and found that nice place with a single room + breakfast at 30EGP (5EUR) waiting for me.

Today I was up to the Cairo museum. One thing is certain there are not that many tourists right now in Cairo ! I found a cybercafe next to it (Nile Hilton Shopping Mall) that's why you are able to read this.

No pictures, sorry. I have to check how I will do it, I need to automate a few things first.

 
Posted by stephane at January 16, 2003 03:24 PM
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