"Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May" is a poem by Robert Herrick. This poem portrays our existence on earth, and that people age as life goes on, and everything becomes boundless. Herrick here urges people to take advantage of youth and energy while they may! The poem is in the genre of carpe diem, to seize the day.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Cairo - Part II
Its been a week since I posted about my Cairo trip.. and I thought I should continue my Cairo journal here and write..
I woke up around 7:30-8 and was so excited because the plan was to see the Pyramids. We headed down for breakfast, and it was a beautiful site.. we sat by the Nile.. it was just amazing :-)
A lot of my friend kept telling me to avoid saying that I was Kuwaiti, I just couldn't... at the buffet, I felt like having eggs, the chef asked me if I was Arab, I said yes... and when he asked what nationality I just couldn't lie, but instead I asked him to guess... he went east to west, north to south with the Arab countries skipping Kuwait LOL. Until he was like "Kuwait??" I smiled and nodded hehehe. By 9:00 we were back in our rooms getting ready and I called the driver to pick us up...
Ahmed I: Hello
Ansam: Good morning, can you pick us up at around 10:00?
Ahmed I: Well, you see... Actually the other Ahmed is your driver, I just picked you from the airport cuz he had some thing to do, so would you mind calling him instead?
Ahmed II: Hello?
Ansam: Yes, this is Ansam............. (telling him the same thing)
Ahmed II: I am sorry to tell you that it will take me more than an hour to pick you up! I was not informed nor prepared
Ansam: But we did the whole arrangement thing from Kuwait to have a driver on call!!!
Ahmed II: I am a bit busy
My friend calls Kuwait about what happened.... after five minutes
Ahmed I: I am gonna pick you up soon
We wasted our morning waiting until he came around 11:30! It pissed me off big time since we had to call Kuwait to get things done in Cairo! Plus 11:30 isn't really early for us to go around the city :-( The driver did not seem happy about it... he was quiet!
There they are.... the Great Pyramids of Egypt! I always thought that they would be in remote area and that you cannot really see them from the city, I was wrong. As we approach'em, we were stopped by civilians who claimed they work there either as "Egyptologists" or for ticketing. There were also tourist police all over the place. One of those ticketing guys approached us and asked for PASSPORTS!! I was like WTH!? Apparently you are giving entry tickets' prices according to your nationality. So he asked us for any forms of IDs because we did not have our passports, he made it seem like a BIG mistake to be coming to the Pyramids without passport! He examined the IDs like for few minutes and was like OK, since you are Kuwaiti I will charge you EGP4 which is the Egyptian rate, but will have to charge your American friend EGP60... I was like whatever, and paid for myself, the driver, and my friend. He kept telling me "Kol sana wento 6ayebeen" (which literally translates to happy new year) all through ticketing process.... and how he worked hard on getting me the Egyptian rate because Kuwaitis and Egyptians are the same to them... I ignored him, I kept saying thanks.. but that was about it!
We had to go through security to go in while our driver drove ahead and waited for us inside.... I was surprised to read CLEARLY that they charged me just the right amount and there were no favors... It stated clearly there; the price of Fellow Arabs are EGP4... they asked for the ticket and again the guy checking my ticket gave me a "shocked-face" look on how I got the Egyptian rate... I pointed at the sign and smiled! He then stalled me asking me for ID again and asking questions... I went with the flow.
As we entered, we were looking for the driver and we were approached by one of the "Egyptologists" who harassed us rather than offering services. I kept asking him to go away! Under other circumstances I would not mind hiring an expert but since they are so annoying I decided going without them... reason I did that is because when he offered, I rejected it with thank yous... he would just ignore me and get into our car insisting on it which scared the hell outta me! I kept asking him to step out, the driver was asking him that too... my friend also, but he would just come close to my face and try to convince me to take his service...
You want worse? I saw a tourist police and I asked for his help... he came in with some hand gestures (implying tips/money) saying.. "tell me? whats wrong?" DO I HAVE TO PAY EVERYONE to get through it all or what? The Egyptologist looked back at me inside the car and was getting so close to me till I started kicking the chair and asked him to move away from my face!! He finally stepped out of the car!
We parked the car, and walked around but to add to my joy... another Egyptologist came and started talking and explaining things to us.. I ignored him 100% I asked him to leave politely but with no use... he kept walking with us like we have no choice... until I clearly told him that I was not gonna tip him or give him a penny!
The weather was two windy, the Pyramids looked amazing but the place was trashed :-( There are "No Climbing" signs, but you can climb anyway if you tip them :-( I wanted to do more... but the whole atmosphere was not helping! I wanna go again with a male presence or with an Egyptian friend or someone who really know their way around there! I wanna go again where I can have a good time without all those annoying surroundings :-( Its beautiful, its awesome, its the Pyramids for God's sake!
I remember standing in front of the Coliseum in Rome and just thinking about the history... gladiators, lions, people who walked those grounds....etc! I wish I was able to do so with the Pyramids :-( They just wont let you enjoy it... some thing must interrupt and ruin it for you!
Bring in eye drops, water, lotion, and sanitizer. It helps a lot.