Where will you be next?
I was asked this question by a local in Giza.
The website says:
In the heart of Alexandria, situated in an 18th century building with classical decorations and stunning views of the Mediterranean, Le Metropole boasts 2 French restaurants and elegantly furnished rooms with a balcony.
RLe Metropole’s rooms are decorated with luxurious fabrics and include free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, satellite TV and daily newspapers. Each room has a modern bathroom.
An extensive breakfast buffet is served daily in the breakfast room. For dinner, Les Ambassadeurs Restaurant serves French, seasonal cuisine. The Versailles restaurant also serves French meals, but in a Louis XIV-style setting with daily piano music.
The 24-hour front desk at Le Metropole can arrange car rentals, dry cleaning services and recommend attractions and restaurants in the surroundings.
The hotel is situated a 2-minute walk from the El Raml Train Station and the sandy beaches. The library of Alexandria is 1.5 km away.
Friday night in Alexandria in a private room with a view of the Med? You betcha!! Even better yet, I will party with Moro and Kevin. Kindred spirits.
A french restaurant on the Med?
Which of my two pairs of footwear shall I wear to dinner? Sandals or the hiking shoes? My shorts or one of the two pair of pants? The jeans or the pair with 2 zip pockets? Shall I wear my Patagonia baseball style sun hat?
How should I do my hair?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
All is good. I could spend all day writing about my experiences in Egypt. What, reader, should I write about? What interests you?
I have only received one or two questions.
So, I have learned, seen, discussed:
- Military service for 2-4 years is required by all Egyptian men not disabled.
- guns, automatic weapons, shotguns, carbines are everywhere, but probably many less than the US. I also bet gun fatalities are less per 100,000 than the US
- I saw a gun shop
- military presence is everywhere. Mostly, I believe, in response to what has happened to tourism revenue. It was >12% of Egypt’s GDP. Not now.
- talked politics, terrorism, travel, governments with many. WIth almost everyone I meet I broach the subject of the impact of terrorism. The impacts are much broader than I ever imagined.
- Tonight I sat in a farm field at sunset with the horse carriage driver and had a beer, while the horse ate dinner in a field. Men were working the fields by hand as several camels fed. Sitting in a palm frond hut built to provide shade during the midday sun, we talked terrorism and the impact on him and his family. Tourism is down substantially everywhere. He cannot provide for his family the way he did 7 years ago. He described vivid examples. I understood all he was saying, then he said he only meets travelers wanting to do the things I want to see and do every three or four years. I was flattered. Really flattered. 99.99% percent of tourists never leave their guided bus tour or hotel unless instructed to do so. The horror, the horror.
- Sought out Giza Abdoul (50% of Egyptians say their name Is Abdoul or Mohamed) and bought him sisha and tea.
- Then I worked him a bit on helping me get fabric for shirts and a tailor. He took me to a rip off, big kickback clothing place where Venus Abdoul took me last week. I told them both I wanted a tailored shirt and we left quickly.
- took 5 tuk tuk rides today.
- Bless Abdoul, he just wants to feed his family drink tea and smoke shisha. Like many Egyptians.
- Adoul. I had dinner with him and his family 10 days or so ago at his home. He sometimes picks my pockets for ten cents here, 50 cents there, all afternoon. Sometimes not. It is a game we play. He understands me. I understand him, I think. He is poor.
- watched the pyramid light show on the roof of PV for 6th time.
- Feeling sort of confident in the Egyptian way. I now feel that I pay fairly 40% of the time. The Egyptian way.
- Bought 5 more tailored short sleeve shirts, about $12.00 each. A local would pay 1/3 to 1/2 of that.
One shirt is this KILLER egyptian print with cartouches, The Sphinx, the scarab (beetle- good luck), Tut, etc. that will make a great party shirt in PDX, maybe salmon fishing in Sept. with Moro and Kevin?