Planning for Egypt

I'm starting to settle into the idea that I'll be headed to Egypt in 3 months. I've downloaded learning Arabic pod casts, and I'm trying to learn at least 2 words a week. That's one tough language! LA SHUKRAN has been my first phrase. No Thank you! I've been doing a little research on the country, and this is the first thing and words it recommends.

While Egypt is an extremely hospitable country, they can (from what I've been reading) be a little over bearing when it comes to getting you to buy or shop their wares. Much like the old days shopping Juarez, Mexico or other impoverished areas. Tipping - baksheesh - is also something I have to learn more about before I leave. Since most income in Cairo comes from tourists, tipping is a way of life and how most of these people make their money. I'm also trying to come to terms with the toilet facilities...the public kind, not the ones at nice hotels or restaurants. They aren't free to use, and even toilet paper cost more. YUCK. Just Yuck.

I've already started planning my wardrobe for the trip. It's a little more difficult than you may think. We're visiting a 95% Muslim country, so out of respect, we should dress more conservative than normal. It's a little hard to plan a conservative outfit to wear in 98 degree temperatures. Fully covered arms and legs, but jeans or pants are fine. Particularly for days we plan on visiting any mosques or religious sites. (We're to add head coverings to those days.) It's two completely different sets of clothes. One set for 5 days in Egypt, and a completely different style for 3 Days in Paris.

I must admit I absolutely love immersing in other cultures. I can not wait to get completely lost in the Khan el-Khalili bazaar! Of course I want to see the pyramids, but I really want to shop!!! :-)

My top list of things I want to do in Egypt:
Ride a camel around the pyramids
Khan Bazaar
National museum of Antiquities
Nile Cruise
Mosque tours
City of the Dead

Guess I better get to work so I can have pounds to use at the Khan! :-)

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