A familiar face – Coptic Cairo

24th March 2008

Today I met up with Alex, my Uni friend from Oz outside the Cairo Museum. She met me with her holiday romance, Kurt from Belgium. How cute! I of course proceeded to give her shit about that all day, how hypocritical of me! We decided to go to Old Cairo to see all the Coptic monuments.

I decided we should get the metro to do this, which is really easy, when you know what you’re doing. We visited the Church of St George and the Hanging Church, places I had already seen. We also went in the Necropolis and explored in there, which was thoroughly creepy, but enjoyable. Many of the crypts were open and many of the tomb tops had been taken off and only covered with bits of cardboard! We also managed to find the church of the nativity which due to its secluded location was empty. We had drinks in my favourite cafe and Kurt met us there, he got a taxi, which made Alex and I laugh. We then visited the Coptic Museum; I think Kurt may have felt a little left out with me and Alex nerding it up about Egyptian history the whole time. I said to Kurt, “My area is Early Dynastic right down to the Ptolemaic period and Alex’s is The Roman Period to the Arab Conquest, so between us we know everything!” Alex and I burst into giggles.

We then got the train back, and Alex and Kurt came and chilled out at my hotel for a bit, before returning back to the Victoria. I also took them to McDonalds, which I think they were grateful for as their local guide had been only letting them eat local food. The next day, I went to a Sheesha cafe with Muhammad from the hotel, which was nice. I tried lemon flavour this time, which kind of reminded me of tequila shots! At about three I met up with Alex again and we went to Khan el Khalili. She was amazed that with me there, she virtually got left alone! She said, “This is great!”, “What did I tell you, they love red hair and green eyes…and with this rasta I stand out like hell!” Everywhere there were shouts “Hey Shakiria!” “Love your hair!” “Nice Rasta” “I love you!” Hassle city for sure. We decided to go back to Alex’s hotel, and we hung out there for a while and then went junk food shopping at On the Go around the corner. I bought so much crap, it was great!

We went back to the hotel and chowed down on all our junk, while watching some weird movie on TV and then decided to go our exploring at night, on my last night in Cairo. Even though I’m completely excited to be going to the UK, I’m really going to miss this Chaotic place, that never seems to sleep. Our adventure was motivated by Alex’s need for a glue stick, to stick things into her travel journal with. It’s amazing how many actions you can come up with to try to explain glue to non-English speakers. We were presented with everything from beans to feminine thingys, which I found hilarious and left Alex red faced. We finally ended up having to settle for super glue.

I went back to the hotel for a rather sleepless night, with some machine whirring below my window, which kept blowing open and giant mossie of death assailing me from the air all night. I eventually killed the mossie and stuffed the window with tissues to prevent it from blowing open again. The next day I was picked up at 6:30am and taken to the airport, to my surprise everything went smoothly. The officials looked at my multiple entry visa, and I said “No, No, No…” and turned the page for them before things got stupid, so they could see the new visa. I waited around in the departure lounge, thinking similar things to 2006….already I couldn’t wait to return

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